There are some books you read because they are deep and asking meaningful questions. Then there are books that you read because they are sweet and make you feel things and you love that. Hogan’s novel is the second one.
And after the week I had, I needed an enjoyable and uncomplicated read. And since this has been on my ‘girl you need to read all the books in your bookshelf before you buy more’ list for a few months, I thought I’d try it.
Hogan’s break out novel is about Anthony Peardew, who collects lost things, catalogs them, then tries to return them to their rightful owners. He’s driven to do this because 40 years before, he lost something from his beloved fiancee on the day she tragically died. Anthony has a gardener, Freddy, an assistant, Laura, and a friendly neighbor Sunny. Laura is coming out of a difficult divorce and needs to be found just as much as Anthony’s objects. And somehow, a book publisher and his faithful life companion are also intertwined.
Combine all this with ghosts, cups of tea, movie references, and an annual trip to the coast, you’ve got quite the story.
Honestly, it was sweet but it also had some good stylistic elements. The writing was consistent, the characters developed, and most importantly you were really able to empathize with these people. It was a feat on Hogan’s part that I loved all the characters I was supposed to love, and hated the ones I was supposed to hate. And the way all the seemingly random threads came together in the end was impressive. It was also heartwarming. Have I mentioned that yet?
Sometimes I worry if I’m not reading a classic or a post modern existential crisis, people will judge me. Or I won’t be living up to my English degree. Well forget that. First of all, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of your reading material, if you’re reading you win. That’s it. Secondly, variety is important. Thirdly, what even is living up to a degree?
And fourth, my favorite, I’m living my life for me. So I’m reading whatever I want.
I’m also recommending whatever I want so if the story I’ve described sounds like something you’d enjoy, or you’re a mom in a book club, check out Hogan’s work!
Things I’ve lost and never found:
My pink jelly shoes, a giant pair of silver hoops, a Cosmic Brownie, and everything I learned in the six years I took Spanish.