Book review:The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan


The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (first published in 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton)

Anthony is a celebrated author, but what really consumes him is his unstructured collection of found items: a decorative hair accessory, an umbrella, a puzzle piece, a button… These have inspired him to write intriguing short stories, but he has always dreamed of reuniting them with their original owners.

When Anthony passes away, he leaves this motley gathering of unrelated items to his assistant Laura with a request that at first seems impossible: return as many of the items to their original owners as possible. 

The events that unfold will enrich and complete a number of people’s unfinished business. And perhaps at last lay to rest the ghost that haunts Anthony’s house and has a taste for roses and romantic old pop songs.

Through this quirky device Ruth Hogan knits her series of vignettes together with the overarching narrative of Laura’s life, as well as that of another devoted amanuensis, Eunice. A publisher’s assistant, Eunice has spent her life pining for a man she can never have.

Hogan has an eye for the bittersweet, for loves and losses, for strained family bonds and unspoken emotions. She creates relatable characters and stories that linger in the mind like the scent of roses drifting through an open window.

WATCH: Author Ruth Hogan introduces us to her book, The Keeper of Lost Things

Purchase a copy of the book on

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
23% - 952 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 383 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 2082 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 58 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 740 votes