MEET THE ‘KEEPER OF LOST THINGS’…
Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life lovingly collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before.
Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.
But the final wishes of the Keeper of Lost Things have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters…
Well I think I can say with some confidence that this will definitely be in my Top Ten books of the year. It had everything I look for in a good read, a cracking plot, great characters, a will they, won’t they romance, some whimsical quirks and just for good measure a collection of adorable dogs. The fact that it also had a supernatural strand that I would normally avoid like the plague, mattered not one jot. It felt perfectly acceptable and by that stage I was so involved in the plot I’d have probably even accepted zombies (OK maybe not).
It’s a simple basic plot, but it’s cleverly sewn together with back stories, side stories and cleverly inserted vignettes of likely scenarios to explain how each item came to be lost. The result is a delightful read that will ultimately produce a welcome and satisfying resolution. The Keeper of Lost Things is actually Anthony Peardew, who, on the day his fiance died, lost not only the love of his life, but, it later transpired his beloved keepsake from her. From that day on, he has collected any lost and misplaced items with the intention of re-uniting them with their rightful owners. These acts of restitution were meant to help atone for the loss of his own keepsake but sadly he dies without having re-united anything. This daunting, if not nigh impossible task, is a job he leaves, along with his house, to his trusted assistant Laura.
The book develops with the unfolding story of Laura and her plans to fulfill Anthony’s wishes while coming to terms with her own personal problems assisted by her new neighbour and young friend Sunshine and the existing enigmatic gardener Freddy. A parallel thread features Bomber and his personal assistant Eunice. Theirs is a moving story that has unknowingly featured in Anthony’s life and will also feature in Laura’s.
What really makes this book though are the characters, a real mix of lovable, vulnerable and adorable through to sexy and sympathetic, with the odd pantomime villain thrown in for good measure. My favourite though has to be the delightful Sunshine, who has Downs Syndrome or as she tells everyone “dancing drome”. She has a unique (and often comic) way with words, more than a hint of the psychic and an innocent naivety that often cuts through to the heart of the matter. She is never backward in coming forward and knows all occasions can be made better with “the lovely cup of tea”. She is at times incredibly childlike and at others she extends a wisdom way beyond her years, and I adored her.
As a debut novel, this book is a very accomplished piece of writing that manages to evoke a range of emotions. The themes of love and loss are explored within families, friendships and relationships, and always with empathy and feeling. There were moments of real sadness and others of sheer hilarity which just served to make me love the book more. It’s hard to categorise this book, it’s a story of hope and redemption, it’s a story of about friends and family and it’s a ghost story but ultimately it’s about love and appreciating it in all its forms. Anyway who needs categories, all you need to know is, it’s heartwarming, beautiful and engaging what more could you want.