Continuing the October theme of supernatural books, I’ve just finished The Keeper of Lost Things, which also has a ghost. A ghost who is much less corporeal than Annie Van Sinderen, but a ghost nonetheless.
Anthony Peardew is the original keeper of lost things, collecting abandoned objects in hopes of someday returning them to their rightful owners. He does this because he has lost something precious and hopes it will some day be returned to him. He has also lost Therese, the love of his life, who died shortly before they were due to be married.
Anthony leaves his house and his legacy to Laura, his housekeeper and assistant, with the stipulation that she do her best to return all the lost items. Laura, along with Sunshine, a nineteen year old girl with Down’s Syndrome, and Freddy, the gardener, sets out to fulfill Anthony’s wishes and help Therese’s ghost reunite with him. Therese, in the meantime, fills the house with the scent of roses and the song “The Very Thought of You”, leaving clues that only Sunshine seems to get.
Intertwined with Laura’s story is the tale of Eunice and Bomber, who eventually figure in to the search for the owners of lost items. While not exactly the love story of Anthony and Therese, there is a love of sorts between these two film buffs. They both have a habit of quoting lines from their favorite films. (Something I am guilty of myself, frequently.)
We also get the stories behind the lost things – a blue button from a coat, a jigsaw puzzle piece, some green hair bobbles. My favorite is a white umbrella with red hearts left at the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park. Not all the lost things have happy endings, but their stories fit perfectly with the rest of the narrative. It reminded me very much of Tom Hanks’ instagram photos of lost gloves and shoes.
There’s a lot of tea involved as well. Laura is initially drawn to Anthony and his house because of his use of a tray cloth when he serves her tea. Sunshine is fond of making anyone and everyone “the lovely cup of tea.” This is also the second place recently that I’ve seen the phrase “Shall I be mother” in offering to pour the tea. I’d never heard it before, but I love it. I may start using it myself.
Rating: 3 stars
Favorite line: It’s a toss up between these two:
“He made a pot of tea, finding more comfort in the making than the drinking…” This rang so true to me – I often find myself calm and centered just from the simple act of making tea.
The other made me laugh – from Sunshine as they were spreading Anthony’s ashes: “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, funk to punky. We know Major Tom’s a monkey.” I love a good Bowie reference, even if it’s a misheard lyric.
Tea: I mean, it had to be English Breakfast, didn’t it? Having just received samples of teapigs morning glory english breakfast in my latest Sips by box, I decided to pair it with this book. It does indeed make “the lovely cup of tea.”
I can’t say enough good about Sips by. For $15 a month, I get a box of four different teas…and so far haven’t found one I didn’t like. I’m not getting anything in exchange for saying this…I just love it that much! Want to try it out for yourself? Save $5 on your first box with this link.