I read this towards the end of 2017 and it immediately became a favourite of my reading year. This book came to me via a personal recommendation on twitter. All I can say, is that the recommender had a very good idea of the kind of writing I enjoy.
The keeper of lost things is Anthony Peardew, a man who has spent half of his life collecting lost objects in order to atone for a broken promise made many years before. Laura is his trusted assistant. When he realises he is running out of time to complete the task he set himself, he leaves his house and its treasures to Laura. Anthony knows Laura is the one person he can trust to reunite the lost things with their rightful owners. Laura a lost soul herself, although carefully mended by Anthony and his house, is initially overwhelmed by the task set before her. How can she possibly find the owners of so many things.
With the help of a handsome gardner and an extraordinary girl called Sunshine who has Down Syndrome and an unsual skill to see what others fail to see, Laura takes on a task which will challenger her but ultimately change and enrich her life.
This is a book with stories within a story. Apart from the two main story lines, there are smaller stories throughout.It is so full and could be confusing, and yet I did not find it so. I loved the connection between the stories and the objects, such a cleaver way of weaving a tale.
There is so much to endear the reader to the characters in this book. I found the characters vivid and brimming with life, I could see each of them and hear their particular voices as I read. The gorgeous ‘Sunshine’ is a joy and her development and growth through her part in the various reconciliations is managed sensitively and kindly. Loss, heartbreak, mending broken hearts, the strength of human bonds and kindness all feature heavily in this book.
The story is utterly charming and the two strands of the story were perfectly knitted together by the end. I finished this book brimming with happiness. I also finished it being just a little more curious about the dropped mitten or abandoned hair bobble spotted languishing on pavements or at bus stops; because it would seem that everything has a story!
If you are faltering a little, this would be a lovely way to get your reading year off to a very cheerful start.