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Summary

Winner of the Richard and Judy autumn book club 2017.

One of the Mail on Sunday's 'Best books for the beach this summer'

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 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....

And if you loved The Keeper of Lost Things, don't miss Ruth Hogan's second novel The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, which is out now.

©2017 Ruth Hogan (P)2017 John Murray Press

Critic reviews

"One of the most charming novels either of us has read. Don't lose it. Keep it." (Richard & Judy

"The first book I read in 2017 - and if another as good comes along in the next 12 months, I'll eat my special gold reviewing spectacles." (Daily Mail)

"Captures perfectly and heartbreakingly the small moments on which a life can turn." (Kirsty Wark, author of The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle.

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book

A beautiful story, wonderfully read. The characters came alive on the page and Sunshine was adorable.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A story to become lost in...

Lovely, original storyline, unusual mixture of central characters, all of whom I warmed to increasingly as the plot unfolded, some of whom I liked immediately. Not my usual choice of genres, but I loved it! So much so that I found myself laughing out loud at a funeral scene on my way to my first radiotherapy treatment!
A gentle, life-affirming tale.

48 of 50 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful

What a lovely story. Funny and poignant, each character is as wonderfully crafted as the story itself. A love story without being overly sentimental.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Charming

Loved the original idea. Really well crafted characters that kept your interest throughout. Looking forward to her next one!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enchanting

What a great premise Bagpuss for grown ups. With twists and turns I didn't see and some I enjoyed watching develop. A wonderful combination of author and performer making an amazing piece much richer for each component. The loving and honest character of Sunshine was painted with painful accuracy and much affection bringing to mind characters from my past. I loved how the author portrayed her as a young lady often underestimated, wise yet innocent. Just a hint of menace gives the tale that final boost before a gratifying finish. All in all a great listen and one I shall revisit with great relish.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Well woven

A beautiful love story - woven with engaging characters and a comforting denouement, very enjoyable to listen to

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Lovely lovely book!

I've listened to a lot of audible books but this is the first time I've felt compelled to write a review! I loved this book, it's laugh out loud funny at times, sweet without being sickly so and also moving without being cliche or 'hammy'. I've dabbles with a few books which are general fiction leaning towards 'chick lit' which mixed success, in fact I can think of only two others I enjoyed; the trouble with goats and sheep and the one plus one. This is up there with them, there a few unexplained things, there are a few subplots which could have been teased out further and which I'd have happily listened to more of, but it is still a lovely book. I even had a look at what other books Ruth Hogan had written only to find this was her first published novel!

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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bloody brilliant

Narration was lovely to listen too. Beautiful story, heartfelt and laugh out loud funny in places. Totally recommend for a listener with empathy and an open mind. I've started collecting lost things too now and pondering their stories.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
  • 15-07-17

Charmingly performed but ultimately pointless

[SPOILER ALERT] Although competently performed this was ultimately a fairly pointless exercise. With one exception all the characters were nice, nice, nice - charming, well-intentioned and completely likable, but universally two-dimensional and dull. By the end I couldn't care less what happened to them.

The plot interweaves two different sets of characters who do eventually find a connection but by then I had completely lost any interest. Even the less-than-nice spoiled brat of a sister Portia was the only one to inject any kind of energy or life into the proceedings. The so-called ghost of Theresa was unconvincing as a plot device as there was no sense of real peril generated. It consisted of "Oh gosh the bedroom door is still locked" and that was about it.

I did love the character of Sunshine (and the phrase "the lovely cup of tea" will from now on always make me smile!) but I felt her story could have been better explored as the intimation was that she had some sort of ESP. But it was mentioned almost in passing and never referred to again. Shame as I would have loved to have known more about her. There was one appearance of an ex husband but he was swiftly dispatched, being treated more of a nuisance than a threat.

Laura and Eunice are both nice, gentle, caring, lonely love-lorn singletons from two different eras, pining after what they can't have and utterly devoted to their bosses. I felt that their characters never developed, matured or learned from the first chapter to the last. Why couldn't one of them been given some gumption? They were practically separated at birth, they were so similar.

Stories need to have a conflict for them to work, and the conflict needs to be resolved. I felt no conflict anywhere in this book, just a linear movement through time and a series of unfolding events that did nothing to engage my interest or stimulate my intellect.

Yawn.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

dazzling unique story beautifully told

i brought this book on a whim based on the reviews and am so glad i did. its a gorgeous story of love life and lost things. the characters are brought to life by the excellent narration and the storry is witty, original and exquisitely told
i would recommend it to everyone

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah H
  • 14-11-18

Sweet but not sickly

This story is a sweet romantic story that delights you at every turn. It is not overly romantic, in fact it is rather realistic. The love story between Laura and Freddie is a realistic and integral part of the narrative. The addition of Sunshine into the mix is an excellent foil to things becoming too 'heavy'. She adds some wonderful moments of humour and honesty. The dual narrative allows for a second love story between Eunice and Bomber which ties beautifully to the main narrative. All in all a great feel good read. If you like Jojo Moyes you will enjoy this.