There are have been times in my reading life where I have just needed a book to give me warm feelings inside. And I have found, especially in the current world, that lately I have needed this more than ever. The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan is just that type of book. When I read the back of the book I just knew that it was going to be one of those novels that might have some ups and downs, but in the end I was going to have good feelings. And I was not wrong.
Laura is a woman that has had a tough life. She married a man very young and it turned into an unhealthy relationship. You find out at the start of the book that she has left her husband, and that she has found her salvation in the house of Anthony Peardew. She works for him as a personal assistant type. Anthony is an older man that for years has collected items that he has found ,and has categorizes and kept them in his house. I don't want to give too much away, but this activity begins because of a loss that Anthony suffers and really is unable to get over. When he dies, this happens at the start of the book and is noted on the dust cover, he leaves his house to Laura and charges her with getting as many items as she can back to their owners. Laura embarks on this endeavor with the help of Sunshine, a neighbor girl that is special in a number of ways, and the gardener.
There is another story line that goes along that I am not going to tell you about, because it is one of the mysteries of the book and I in no way want to spoil it. I will say that it tells the lovely story of a friendship between two people. One of the other things that Ruth does in the book that I just thought was so clever is in relation to the found objects. Anthony Peardew is a writer of short stories, and he has published books about the objects he finds. Little short vignettes of where the objects came from pepper the novel. What is clever is that you never know if they are solely from his imagination, or if they are the origin stories for the objects themselves. The stories are usually very short, but a number of them pack a very solid punch. The book weaves in and out of the tales of the objects, the story of these two friends, and Laura as she embarks on a new life in Anthony's house with his objects and works to understand his past.
My only issue with the book is the fact that everything gets tied up a bit too pretty for me at the end. Even though I felt warm and fuzzy inside when the book was done, I did note that it was a little bit too clean and the bow a little too straight. But I don't fault it for that. I really enjoyed the writing style, and the characters. I was invested in every story, and I never felt let down by any of the choices that Ruth Hogan made. I would give this book to anyone that just wants to feel good about people, and wants to have a story that warms the heart and soul. I know that this is a debut, and I am excited to see with Ms. Hogan does next. This book is like a big ol' hug for the heart.
Book Rating : 3 books