Anthony lost the medallion his fiancee gave him before she died in an accident, and ever since he has collected any lost things he can find in hope of atonement. Laura, his cleaner, finds solace in his house, and inherits his quest when he leaves it to her, along with Freddie the gardener she can’t help fancying and Sunshine, a young girl with her own special way of thinking and Downs Syndrome. Meanwhile many years ago, Eunice saw a man drop a gold coin on her way to the job interview that would shape her life, and the long, fulfilling friendship with the man she loves but could never marry. The lost items and stories they tell bring together these and more characters with just the right amount of hope.
This book was lovely. Full of real characters, interesting stories, satisfying relationships and the stuff of live woven together to make something very beautiful. Like Anthony’s collection of lost things, here we find lost stories; people whose lives are the ones that people ignore rather than write about, collected together and woven beautifully into one tale. I loved this.
What’s more, it has one of the most beautiful covers ever AND I read almost all of it on our 5th wedding anniversary trip to Paris in our ridiculously gorgeous apartment – so all of that helped. But I would have loved this book anyway!
At intervals through the book, one of the lost items would be listed with Anthony’s label, and then a little story of how it came to be lost. It wasn’t quite explained if he had written these (for he was a writer) or if they were the truth, but it added to the lovely impression of a sort of patchwork comprised of many people’s lost things and lost stories.
Eunice and Laura were the characters we followed the most: both good, kind, slightly shy people who hadn’t originally fulfilled who they thought they should be. Through the story they both and especially Laura go on a journey of discovery that is very satisfying.
Curiously, both characters are older than me, and in reading it I probably had a vague ‘but you’re older than me surely you have life sorted by now?’ in my head, which is a bit like children who assume that their parents know everything. I don’t think it really stopped me entering into the story, but I will be interested to see what my Mother thinks.
One of the things I loved about the book, and not just because I was on an anniversary trip, was it’s portrayal of relationships and marriage; which many of the stories covered. It was interesting to see many people’s experiences; and so often there were many parallels between things that were very pleasing. The plots all drew together too: but not too much.
Gosh, what a lovely book. And I’m so pleased to start off the year with review of three books that I loved; this, The Bear and the Nightingale and The House of Birds. What a treat!
Thank you so much Two Roads for the review copy, I shall treasure it. The gift in no way affected my opinions though was greatly appreciated.