By the end of 2017, I was a bit mentally depleted (as most of us probably were!) Teaching, reading, and living in Korea had all taken their toll on my grey matter. So, when I was browsing for my next literary adventure, the words ‘feel-good’ really jumped out at me. Described as the ‘feel-good book of the year’ and only 99p, The Keeper of Lost Things seemed like the perfect choice.
What is The Keeper of Lost Things About?
The Keeper of Lost Things follows the lives of Anthony, Laura, Bomber and Eunice. The story begins with Anthony, who is the collector from the title. He picks up any lost item he comes cross, ultimately hoping to return them all to their worried owners. He then passes this task on to his housekeeper and personal assistant, Laura.
The second narrative is about a publisher, Bomber, and his assistant, Eunice. Separated physically and temporally from the main story, they add another level of depth. Add in a disgruntled ghost and a sexy gardener, and you have all the ingredients of a lovely story.
The Keeper of Lost Things is a heart-warming, easy read. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The characters are likeable and generally well-developed. They are not the most original or dynamic of literary characters, but they suit the plot well. The stand-out character for me is Sunshine, and I suspect I am not alone in this. A teenage girl with Down’s Syndrome, she lives opposite Laura. They quickly form an unlikely friendship and Sunshine helps Laura in her task of returning the lost things. Hogan portrays her as both unique and perceptive. They way she articulates normal things had me laughing out loud, yet she is also the smartest of all the characters, an intent of Hogan’s I imagine in including her.
Hogan’s treatment of senility and memory loss was one of the book’s most enduring elements. I would suspect that Hogan has had some experience of the loss of a loved one to the disease. She avoids portraying it in a too harrowing lights, but manages to hint out the heart breaking nature of it. By describing the illness from the relative’s point of view Hogan shifts the focus to how it affects those around the diagnosed. There is nothing ground-breaking here, but Hogan deals with it sensitively and honestly.
The only thing that disappointed me regarding The Keeper of Lost Things was the ending. Hogan builds the story up gradually, and by the end you sense that these two hitherto unconnected narratives will collide. Without giving too much away, they do indeed ‘collide.’ However, it is more of a light rain than a ground-shaking thunderstorm. It tied the story up adequately enough, but it lacked any real depth or impact. I can’t help feeling that Hogan missed a great opportunity here.
If you are looking for a light-hearted, somewhat unique story, The Keeper of Lost Things is a great read. Hogan tells a heart-warming story, and she tells it well. This book hasn’t left any kind of mark or message on me, but this is literature for purely entertainment purposes.
You can buy the book HERE.
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