By Ruth Hogan
Well, this little gem was like a breath of fresh air. Fresh British Air. It’s a small story, but lovely. An older gentleman lost something dear to him years ago, and as a sort of atonement, he started collecting “found” items that had been lost by other people. As he nears the end of his life, he decides that it’s time to start returning all these many things he’s collected, but leaves the job to his devoted housekeeper, Laura, who seems a bit lost herself.
The story goes on to chronicle Laura’s nearly impossible job of returning the lost things, which includes some delightfully diverse and fascinating characters. The Down’s girl who lives next door is one of my all-time favorite characters in literature. Her name is Sunshine and she makes me happy even now, as I remember her. The eclectic mix of people reminds me of JoJo Moyes’ ability to draw a cast of truly amazing characters. It felt a bit like that, anyway.
There is heartbreak, there is wonder, there is joy and confusion. I absolutely loved the ending – but no spoilers here! It’s an easy read, and there is depth to be found if you want to go there in your book club-ish discussions. If not, it will delight you for the too-short time it will take to read it. Four + stars. (that means, just a hint below a 5, which as you know on this blog requires my socks to be knocked off – all the way).
FYI: a good bit of language in this one.
Yes, that is a sunscreen smudge on the cover.
Addendum: Almost forgot! The gentleman is a writer and has written stories about the lost items – and we don’t know if they are true or not, but it’s an amazing surprise to stumble upon several short stories inside this novel. Another great reason to pick it up! And you can pick it up here.