Sometimes you just have to read something that has no real agenda other than to tell you a tale about folk going about their everyday business, living their everyday lives and treating each other in a way that’s applaudable. The Keeper of Lost Things does just that and I have to say that I am gratified that there are writers out there producing books like this that entertain and warm the heart in equal measure.
The book starts with Anthony Peardew (what a lovely name!) picking up a biscuit tin from the carriage of a train that has been left there, and taking it home with him to add to the other lost things that he has accumulated over time. He carefully labels them with the date and the place that he found them and then locks them away in his study.
Laura is his housekeeper and secretary. Having come out of a divorce that has left her listless, she feels like she has finally found the place she belongs: Padua, Anthony’s home. Freddy is Anthony’s gardener and there is the making of a romance between them as Laura senses immediately an attraction to him. And then there is Sunshine, the girl who watches the house and befriends Laura, whether she wants it or not and who adds an extra humorous and mystical element to the story with her impromptu exclamations about the items that Anthony secretes in his study.
Each object has a story and I like the way that Hogan tells us the background to everything that Anthony has found in a brief tale of its own in italics as they are unearthed in the study. They are like little glimpses of the lives of others, told just as well as the main story.
In addition to the life excerpts attached to the objects, there is a sub plot about Eunice and Bomber, friends and work colleagues for life and a life-changing event that is an integral part of the book and reveals itself by degrees.
All of the characters are likeable except one and there are echoes of other easy-to-read female authors here like Jojo Moyes in Hogan’s ability to carry you along effortlessly within the action of their lives and their dialogue so that you are immersed in the story.
I recommend wholeheartedly this book as it will undoubtedly leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.