This book was among my Christmas presents so I couldn’t wait to read it. I loved the whole idea of the story - how an elderly man, over the course of many years, had collected lost items, carefully labelling the
date, time and place of each find. A glove, a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, a white umbrella decorated with red hearts - what was the story behind each “lost thing?” On his death he bequeathed his house and all his possessions to his young assistant,
on the understanding that she would make it her business to return as much of the lost property as possible to its rightful owners.
Having two separate but
eventually intertwined casts of characters - Eunice and Bomber in the 70s, Anthony (the Keeper of the title) and Laura in the present - seemed a little contrived and potentially confusing. I found it difficult to like the character of Laura over much and the
relationship between her and Anthony was nowhere near as poignant as that between the more likeable Eunice and Bomber. But the introduction to the story of innocent Sunshine with her startling understanding about the origin of the lost things was inspired
and beautifully drawn.
I think I would have liked to hear more of the stories behind the “lost things” - possibly this is what I expected from
the book’s title so I’d set myself up for disappointment. It is author Ruth Hogan’s first book and the inclusion of some of the humorous scenes seemed a little out of place, as if she had been determined not to miss out any of her ideas,
cramming them all into this one book. Then I heard that she wrote the book while having treatment for cancer which might well provide a very understandable explanation.
This is a light and entertaining read which (though this is only my opinion - it has enjoyed rave reviews from others) promised rather more than it delivered.