WHAT made this book so approachable to me was that its concept was unique but not distant. Loss is a universal experience, however I had never considered that there might be someone looking out for all the things we misplace and storing them, even that which is seemingly meaningless.
The theme of loss is the most prevalent of those explored in the book and ranges from jigsaw pieces to true love, something that can be an inconvenience shortly forgotten or a life long heartbreak but present everywhere nonetheless.
What I liked about looking deeper into the question we all ask at one point in our lives, of where the things we lose disappear to, was that it’s such a rich, wide topic with a range of angles from which to look at it and the one Ruth Hogan chose seemed indescribably perfect.
Though one might think a book such as this about finding what has been lost would be focused quite firmly on plot, this is a story that’s incredibly character driven. This is something I love to see and was done well in this, with each character becoming of great interest.
The true mark of this success is that the perspective through which it was told changed at various moments to provide intertwining stories and there was not one that lagged behind the others or made me wish their chapter was over to get to the next. Each had their own charm.
At first I was uncertain as to whether I would enjoy this book quite to much as I hoped to due to its slow pace and delicate, detailed style from the beginning and though this is not a quick, easy read it’s one with a type of beauty that becomes more and more apparent with every page.
Anthony Peardew though now retired had once made a successful career of writing short stories, his fiancée Therese died and he had to attend her funeral on the day their wedding would have been.
This loss impacted him in a great many ways and he then spent a majority of his life picking up, storing and crafting tales around lost items of all sorts that he came across with the hope of one day returning them.
As his life is drawing to a close Anthony comes to realise he has never been able to find the true owners of anything in his collection and makes the decision to pass on this goal, this duty to his trusted friend and assistant Laura who is younger, and in her own way just as lost as the mysterious possessions.
Laura was reliant on this job not only for income but for continuity, comfort and friendship and so had to be the heir to the noble position of The Keeper Of Lost Things. Alongside that of Anthony’s last wish and Laura’s new mission, is another story starting in 1974 with Eunice, a keen lover of books getting a job as the assistant to a publisher, her life from there and the ways in which it crossed paths with Anthony Peardew.