Three couples. Three time periods. A handful of colorful supporting characters.
And maybe…a little bit of fantasy.
If this book was a movie on a shelf, I would have a difficult time choosing its genre. Comedy? Drama? Romance? Philosophy? “Yes” to all because it incorporates all of those things. But it is also a quirky, creative tapestry of characters and their individual stories, woven together into a very unusual, but clever, novel.
At its heart, The Keeper of Lost Things, by Ruth Hogan, centers around Anthony Peardew and his lost love, an event which becomes the catalyst for everything that follows. The rest of the characters, even those who occupy more of the plot, orbit this initial story-line. Each is introduced in a methodical and timely way. All are sympathetic, with fully explored personalities.
What impressed me was that, despite the layers of plots and subplots, the novel was not confusing. Ruth Hogan’s writing is not just clever, but beautiful. The reader empathizes with every loss and every victory because, on some level, we’ve all had similar experiences.
Both the “keeper” and the “things” in the title are subject to discussion. While there are certainly actual objects that qualify as “things,” there are also plenty of abstracts. The key is to allow the story to carry you, the reader, through its ebb and flow, allowing all things to be revealed in time.
It is a worthwhile journey.