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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

A Book for My Magpie Heart

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Rating 4/5

Will you like this book? You might if you like:

  • Intertwines stories

  • Novels that move back and forth in time

  • Tidy Endings (maybe not all happy but definitely tidy)

  • Haunted houses (but Casper style haunting)

  • Tea

I read this as part of a book club that meets at Trillium Brewery (Mrs. Trillium’s Book Club, check it out) and how perfect is that? I read this right after I finished Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow and it was another one that pulled me in (the people watching at the Richmond airport on Sunday morning isn’t always great). I enjoy novels that travel between time periods and characters. I also love a mystery but I am not too clever by half, so I like things spelled out for me (hence my love for Poirot, Midsommer, Death in Paradise, etc), and this book was one that telegraphed early and often that everyone was intertwined.

There are a lot of characters in Hogan’s novel but the main story is about a gentleman named Anthony who collected lost things and wrote stories about them. He also kept them meticulously filed in his study at his beautiful home near Brighton. When he passes away, he leaves his house to his housekeeper/assistant Laura with the stipulation that she see about returning all these lost things. So she goes about the work with the help of her teenage neighbor, Sunshine, and her gardener, Freddy. Intertwined with this story, Hogan includes vignettes about the lost items and how they came to be, well, lost. And finally, she weaves the story of Eunice, who works for a publisher in London starting in the 1970s. They of course will all fit together in the end, as I mentioned.

A lovely read, as I mentioned it kept my attention. I will say, Laura could be a bit tedious in a few places and there were a few unnecessary scenes where it felt like Hogan needed to throw just one more thing at Laura, which she really didn’t need. Still, a great read for the summer.

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