Author: Ruth Hogan (web site / twitter)
UK Publisher: Two Roads
Genre: UpLit, romance, up to date fiction
Meet the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’…
Once a celebrated creator of quick tales now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life accumulating misplaced objects, making an attempt to atone for a promise damaged a few years earlier than.
Realising he’s operating out of time, he leaves his home and all its misplaced treasures to his assistant Laura, the one individual he can belief to fulfil his legacy and reunite the hundreds of objects with their rightful homeowners.
But the ultimate needs of the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’ have unexpected repercussions which set off a most serendipitous collection of encounters…
This e-book was a Christmas current from a number of years in the past that I had been carrying round on holidays as a result of it appeared like it could be a great vacation learn however I had by no means truly received round to studying. The image above? Greece, 2018. And it was ridiculous, as a result of it was a e-book that held numerous attraction, it sounded genuinely beautiful and uplifting, however maybe the problem was that it didn’t appear pressing – there was nothing pushing it up my studying record.
However, this made it the proper e-book for once I was feeling considerably overwrought and worn out earlier than Christmas. I used to be nonetheless battling my 2021 studying droop, and actually feeling like I used to be unfold very skinny over far an excessive amount of toast. It made the principle character, Laura, really feel very relatable when she finds herself out of the blue in a scenario far past her personal expectations.
Much like Leonard and Hungry Paul, the story could be very light. It doesn’t drive you alongside at any sort of aggressive clip, and everybody inside the story is (by and enormous) well-meaning and good to one another. There are a couple of exceptions, however they arrive throughout as considerably panto-villainish somewhat than any precise menace to the heroes of our story. They are flawed folks in their very own method, however their flaws are all the time painted as comprehensible, the reactions to them resonable, the resolutions mature.
Two tales are weaved collectively on this e-book, related by a misplaced icon of St Teresa from a long time beforehand, and a misplaced field containing the ashes of a lifeless man discovered at the start of the novel. We see parallel timelines – one a classic story of a friendship between a writer and his assistant, finest pals and with some barely bittersweet unrequited love however no much less tenderness for it; the second is a recent story of a lady who has felt she has failed at each alternative life has given her decided to not fail at her newest, and surrounded by individuals who need to assist her. Between them, woven like a thread, is the story of a person who isn’t a widower solely as a result of his fiancée died earlier than they might get married, and the mission he set himself to gather misplaced gadgets and save them.
There’s a component of magic realism to this, not not like the light fantasy of Dress Shop of Dreams. Anthony – our late not-quite-widower – writes quick tales concerning the gadgets he finds, however one way or the other manages to faucet into the reality of every object’s origin. His fiancée’s spirit haunts their home, stopping the clock in her room on the time of her loss of life, making it odor of roses, and changing into more and more extra irritable a housemate when Laura proves considerably lower than speedy about acquiesing to her spiritually-communicated calls for. These components of the unbelievable aren’t actually questioned or explored at size, simply accepted of details of life and everybody continues on, which is sort of a enjoyable method.
There are some components of the e-book that I’m not 100% on – having a person named Anthony, who lives in a home known as Padua, accumulating misplaced issues feels somewhat on the nostril; and Sunshine, the woman with Down Syndrome (or, as she calls it, “dancing drome”), is a really candy character however I ponder if she maybe tends somewhat too near a TV tropes article than a personality in her personal proper? These are extraordinarily minor niggles although, in an in any other case very beautiful, warm-hearted e-book. There’s a component of discovered household inside it that makes me extraordinarily pleased, in addition to a mild sense of self-relisation and confidence-building that isn’t a laboured or heavy-handed message. It was simply the light type of e-book I wanted when my mind was battling the stress and pressure of the world.
- A mild, easy-reading up-lit e-book that makes use of magical realism tropes to weave collectively three tales throughout timelines with actual grace.
- The quick tales which can be included as Anthony’s work and tied to the misplaced gadgets are great little treats inside the broader narrative. Some candy, some unhappy, some barely darker, they offer some nice little vignettes into different characters other than the principle solid. I’m not good with quick story collections on their very own (they don’t work with my mind) however having them integrated into this wider story was a pleasant choice.
- There are some tropes I am keen on on this e-book that are finished gently and really properly – discovered household specifically is a theme that weaves via the entire novel, and seeing folks discover their place and heat is great, cheering studying each time.