The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan

I never had any particular beef with Richard & Judy book club. Mostly because I don’t own a TV, and I didn’t go out of my way to find out. So I had no exposure to it. Now things have changed. Now we do have a problem. After this book I will actively avoid the books recommended by the pair. And on top of that any book where any review uses the word ‘whimsical’. Not my cup of tea.

I’ll resort to the Goodreads blurb here, there’s just no point in me summarizing the plot:

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer—Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?

This is probably the sweetest, cutest book I’ll read this year. Sickeningly so. Like eating spoon after spoon of sugar. Yes, time passes, things are lost, but a true love can recoup anything. For love will ave us all, especially in a lovely cottage, with lovely quirky neighbors. For all will be good in the world, just have faith. Bleh. And to top that off it’s also written in this syrupy way. With too much detail, too many adjectives. Too much of everything, somewhat like a literary equivalent of Cath Kidstone shop, little flowers everywhere. Oh and they drink endless ‘lovely cups of tea’, endless!

I challenge you to read the below sentence out loud and not laugh:

The roses in the garden below were in full bloom; undulating ruffles of scarlet, pink and creamy petals, and the surrounding borders frothed with fluttering peonies punctuated with sapphire lances of larkspur.

‘frothed with fluttering’ is my favorite I think, though ‘lances of larkspur’ are not bad either, and it can get worse:

Laura was still thinking about what Freddy had said. A gardener using the art of Jackson Pollock as a linguistic metaphor was a little unexpected, and another intriguing insight into the kind of man he really was. It made Laura both eager and determined to find out more.

the snobbery of it! And worse:

The garden room was lit with dozens of candles and there was a bottle of champagne chilling in an ice bucket, flanked by two glasses. […] Finally, when Freddy and Laura had run out of words, they took comfort in each other’s arms, sleeping furled around one another like petals in a bud.

This one is just yuck! Cloying!

I think I’ll stop here, you probably get the gist of what I think about this.

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska @vkphotospace.com 

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