“The Keeper of Lost Things” by Ruth Hogan

In this world of diversity and a plethora of human mass, we drift hither and thither looking for a change. A change in our own lives, in our surroundings, in the people that we look out for and in the things we seek for. Change is a necessity for the human body and the mind because by going through the same grinder mill again and again, nothing new comes. We often think that if the same system is applied to a diversity of people, something new and different will be produced. It is our own failure to recognize how different ways correspond to different people and their codes of conduct. The same system is not applicable for all thus there has to be different ways for different people to excel. For more perceptions regarding change check out my blog on How Change Scares Us.

Thus the The Keeper Of Lost Things signifies this importance of change in everyone’s lives. How people enter in and exit our lives and how many of them leave an eternal impact on our personality and our character. How our company and our surroundings shape us into being who we are and who we are destined to be. This is not a one-man job but instead a collective artwork in which a variety of colors and strokes contribute to a bigger picture. That bigger picture is a symbol of the past that we hold behind us, the present us and is a message to the future before us.

“But then hope went well with faith, didn’t it?”

– Ruth Hogan, The Keeper of Lost Things

Image result for ruth hogan quotes
Picture Credits: blog.whsmith.co.uk

We as humans have always had people come into our lives, spent good and bad times with them and then one day see them go away. Whether people leave because of the fights they have or the immense problems they face or because it was just not destined to be. Some don’t leave on their own accord but are rather swept away by the natural law of life and death. In simple words, at times our beloved ones leave this world leaving us behind to live a life which is hard without their existence.

Us being this victim of sorrow and guilt are left behind with nothing but the memoirs of those people that we once shared conversations with, with whom we laughed, cried and saw the world as a difference among similarities. Now in this situation of immense loss of a human soul, time flows and heals. Some people are healed in a way that they start to excel in their lives for the sake of those that left them or to live for the dead. Others excel for their own sake thinking that those that left would probably have wished the same. And then there are those who spent their entire lives fulfilling the unfinished dreams and goals of those that left. The Keeper of Lost Things is a book that tells the story of living for others. Even though the idea of living for others sounds impractical in this era of self importance but then there are those rare souls who find life in living for others which is a form of empathy that few can master.

The Author, Plot and More Information

The Keeper of Lost Things is written by the author Ruth Hogan. The following information is taken from her own website, ruthhogan.co.uk. She was born in Bedford and passed her O and A levels to get into Goldsmiths College, University of London, to study English and Drama. She also worked for ten years in a senior local government position (Human Resources – Recruitment, Diversity and Training). After her accident in her late thirties she got a part-time job as an osteopath’s receptionist and spent all her spare time writing. She also made it through her journey against cancer and ended up writing prepossessing pieces of artwork. Here is a list of her notable works:

  • The Keeper of Lost Things
  • The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes
  • Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel
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Picture Credits: info.harpercollins.com

The main characters of the story includes:

  1. Laura
  2. Anthony
  3. Freddy
  4. Sunshine
  5. Therese
  6. Eunice
  7. Bomber

The brief plot of the novel revolves around two stories, one of Anthony and Laura and the other of Eunice and Bomber. Now both stories seem unrelated in the beginning but as the novel progresses the reader ends up seeing the deep connection which is expertly created between the two.

Now after Laura’s divorce from Vince she started working for Anthony as his assistant. This gave her a purpose to live and to move towards her goals. Anthony was a secluded man after the death of his lover Therese. Nonetheless after Anthony’s death, he named his estate after Laura and left her with the task of uniting the lost things that he had collected over the years in his study with the people who had lost them. This was because of the guilt that he had accumulated because of losing the necklace that he had bought for Therese. Regardless Laura then spent the rest of her life in the effort of uniting someone with the things that they had lost with the help of the gardener Freddy and the girl living across the street known as Sunshine. The connection between the two stories was briefly that Eunice was one of the people who had lost the ashes of her lover Bomber which were now in the study of Anthony with many other Lost Things.

My Review and Experience Regarding The Book

The Keeper of Lost Things is one of those books that give you peaceful yet spiritual vibes. While reading it, I felt as if it was a perfect choice for a travelling book. This book has taught me a lot regarding giving to others and being humane. I learned how in giving we receive. I learnt about legacy and responsibility. How Laura being unrelated to Anthony ended up being a huge part of his life. How her efforts held responsibility for the reconciliation of Anthony with his long lost wife and lover, Therese. In doing that Laura realized the many truths of life and got time to understand the mistakes that she had made, one being her crumbling relationship with Vince.

The relationship between Anthony and Therese made Laura understand that it is okay to take wrong turns in life and that we all can have a new beginning and that is why she was ready to start a new relationship with Freddy. This book has taught me about the little things in life, the lighter colors and silent voices that surround each of us in this orchestra. All the things that we so easily overlook in life are the ones that carry the most meaning in the end and even though it takes a while for you to understand what matters the most, at times you’re too late.

This novel gave me a new insight to living life, I started looking at things in a different way and I felt as if what everyone was doing, little or big was meaningful and contributed to the bigger picture. I apprehended that at times it is how we look at things that matters and not how things actually are in reality. How we all know that this society that we live in constitutes of social injustices in all affairs but it is our perception whether we look at the negativity with hopelessness or face it with upheld optimism. It is all a matter of perception.

Another amazing concept that this book taught me was of relativity and the work of the universe, in other words the power of coincidence. I learnt that coincidence doesn’t just happen, it is a chain and it is all connected. One event leads to another and then another and at one point you stop and wonder and that is when it occurs to you that it was a coincidence, but no, it is all interconnected.

“There’s no such thing as coincidence. Notice how every major event in your life somehow leads up to the next….it is all connected.” 

My Favorite Lines From the Book

Here are a few lines from the book The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan that have stayed with me:

(P.S. All of these quotes/lines ARE from The Keeper of Lost Things and they are written by Ruth Hogan, I was just too lazy to write it besides every line.)

  • “The wonderful thing about books was that they were films that played inside your head.”
  • “Common decency, good manners, kindness and hard work were treated as peculiarities.”
  • “Nothing wrong doesn’t make him ‘Mr Right.'”
  • “But then hope went well with faith, didn’t it?”
  •  “Laura wondered to what extent she had engineered her own failures.”


“If you never get sadness, how do you know what happy is like?’ she asked. ‘And by the way, everybody dies.”

– Ruth Hogan, The Keeper of Lost Things


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