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The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page | Review

Firstly, could Sally Page have had any another job? Of course, Sally Page was going to be a writer, I love cases of nominative determinism like this.

It’s a couple of hours since I turned the final page on this uplifting book and, in a bid to be more organised, I’m writing up this review straight away. We can all assume that this pledge will last two or three books but hey, I’m trying.

The keeper of stories is all about Janice, a cleaner in Cambridge who collects the stories of other people.

She’s found over the years; people have shared their stories with her. Janice isn’t sure how or when it started to happen, but she’s kept them stored in her mind, treats them like treasure and revisits them.

When she starts cleaning for ninety odd year-old Mrs B, Janice meets someone who wants to hear her story, something Janice has no intention of sharing. 

What Janice hasn’t banked on is that Mrs B is shrewd and will find a way to get Janice to open up.

I loved this book.

It’s a book I really connected with. It’s the simple idea that everyone has a story to tell, that sometimes, ordinary people, find themselves in the most extraordinary situations or carry out the most extraordinary deeds. It’s a fact that I believe in and know to be true.

I deal in other people’s stories every day. Everyone does indeed have a story to tell, and like Janice, I believe it is a privilege when someone chooses to share their story with you. That’s what is at the heart of The Keeper of Stories and what made it a poignant and lovely book to get lost in.

These are characters that you really invest in. 

I could easily see why people would share things with Janice, I really wanted her to see her own self-worth. She had a habit of doing herself a disservice, often referring to herself as ‘just a cleaner’, she had little understanding of how highly her customers regarded her. No one saw her as ‘just a cleaner’ and by the end, she didn’t either. I loved seeing her confidence grow, I loved seeing her fight back and loved that this was a character in her fifties, let’s have more older main characters please.

Which brings me to Mrs B. if I get to my nineties, I want to be like Mrs B, shrewd, tricky, sweary, beyond caring what anyone else thinks, knocking back a brandy every now and again, telling stories.

That’s how Mrs B ensured Janice would come back, telling stories, like Scheherazade from One thousand and one nights – one of my favourite references in this book – and a trick that I’d probably fall for.

Seeing their bond and friendship grow was wonderful, how they teamed up, came to care for and respect each other. And most importantly, I loved the fact Janice entrusted Mrs B with her story.

There is so much empathy to be found within the keeper of stories. It’s about friendship and relationships. It’s a story about second chances, guilt, forgiving yourself, starting over, rebuilding and living life.

If you’re looking for a book bursting with heart that will make you laugh, make you think and leave you smiling after turning the last page, I’d recommend the keeper of stories, it’s utterly lovely.

On a final note, people’s personal stories are special, so if someone trusts you enough to share theirs with you, treasure it and lock it away somewhere special, just like Janice.

Happy Reading 

P.S Read the author’s note at the end 

radiosarahc View All

Journalist, writer, traveller, music lover, collector of hats, news addict, bookworm

13 thoughts on “The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page | Review Leave a comment

  1. Great review! I think everyone definitely does have a story to tell, so it’s interesting a book focuses on that. The characters sound amazing and I love that you saw their friendship grow! Thank you so much for sharing, adding this one to my tbr x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a lovely read and I can see why you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing a great review Sarah!


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