Cover Image: The Keeper of Stories

The Keeper of Stories

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Member Reviews

The story line is what originally caught my eye, it’s so intriguing! I think that overall, this book is well-written and one of a kind. Janice was easy to like and the stories were fun to read about.
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I loved this book, brilliantly constructed and well written the first book for a long time that occupied all of my spare time and one I didn’t want to finish.. The book brings together unlikely characters in a cleverly constructed plot based around a family and driven by greed. Sally Page knows how to get your heartstrings humming and your emotions rolling as the characters come together to head off a selfish greed driven son. Highly recommended.
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I really enjoyed this uplifting story of female friendship, especially since it’s between two different generations. I often think people put restrictions on making friends, sticking to people of their own age who think like them. I’ve enjoyed friendships with older and younger people, they sometimes give me historical context and a sense of how past events affected people, whereas young people keep my thinking fresh and give me a lot of hope for the future. I also liked that it was about ordinary people such as Janice, who is a cleaner but also collects stories. Cleaning and similar professions like providing care for people in their homes are opportunities to talk to people and really get to know about their lives. It’s also a job where you work in someone’s own home, so you are handling their books, photographs and mementoes of life. Many people who need these services are at home more, so they’re looking forward to someone to talk to. I felt all of that in this lovely book. It tells us that every single person has a story to tell and some of them are extraordinary. 
I loved how the author explored the context of a story and the variations that occur depending on who is telling it. My story might be told quite differently to someone observing from the outside. We also bring our own thoughts and preconceptions to a story. With the characters who Janet visits, we can see how their different characters influence the story they tell, but also how those stories affect Janice. This is a look back at oral storytelling, how do the original stories alter in the retelling? 
Janice was an interesting character and i loved the way she treated those she cleaned for and how she chose to spend that bit of time talking. Janice’s kindness and reverence for these stories is clear, but there is a purpose to them that she’s not ready to face. If Janice looks after others and listens to her client’s life stories, full of adventures and incident, why does she never tell her own story in return? I felt like she was hiding away from life, and while gaining some satisfaction living vicariously through others, she isn’t truly living her own life. I kept hoping that she would be inspired by one of the stories and suddenly do something life affirming. It takes the wonderful nonagenarian Mrs B to wake Janice up and think about parts of her life and her dreams for the future. I loved that these women empower each other and have so much empathy for the other’s situation. It’s a lovely debut and promises much for the future. 
11
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A beautiful and poignant story full of warmth and hope. 

I really enjoyable read that kept me turning the pages. Gorgeous and accomplished writing with characters I couldn't help root for. 

A fresh new talent and an original premise that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to fans of women's fiction.
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Janice is a cleaning lady who listens to her clients stories.  She  had added a new client and decides Mrs. B is hiding something. Mrs B wants to hear Janice's story as she tells Janice her own.  Mrs B – a shrewd and tricky woman in her nineties .  But Janice is clear: she is the keeper of stories, she doesn’t have a story to tell. At least, not one she can share.  Mrs B is no fool and knows there is more to Janice than meets the eye. What is she hiding? After all, doesn’t everyone have a story to tell? This book covers all aspects of human nature.  Good vs. Bad, Happy vs. Sad etc.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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The Keeper of Stories has Janice, a cleaner, who collects the stories of people she meets.  She feels it's the way to really understand someone.

When she starts cleaning for Mrs B, a crafty widow in her nineties, she finds someone who wants to hear her stories.  But Janice doesn't think she has a story to tell, or at least not one that she wants to tell anyone.

Janice's collection of stories is entertaining, along with the names she gives people like Mrs 'YeahYeahYeah', and is a mostly light hearted read.

The Keeper of Stories was published on 28th February 2022, and is available from Amazon, Waterstones and Bookshop.org.

You can follow Sally Page on Twitter and her website.

I was given this book in exchange for an unbiased review, and so my thanks to NetGalley and to HarperCollins, One More Chapter.
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A warm story about a cleaner, trapped in a lifeless marriage who enhances her mundane existence by imagining stories about the people she encounters. The characters were very well written especially Mrs B and Decius the irascible dog. Beautiful storytelling and a fine debut novel. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc.
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My favourite book so far this year. I started off reading it slowly, thinking how beautifully it was written. I ended up reading it quickly because I was longing to know what happened! A lovely "stable" of characters - so many, I would normally lose track and get confused, but they were somehow different enough from each other and introduced in such a way that I didn't. Loved it. Can't wait for Sally Page's next book!
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Gorgeous! I loved Janice as the main character and thought the story was warm, endearing and well written. It had some really funny moments and lots of tenderness - highly recommend.
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This was a nice, pleasant and easy going read.  I did find the storyline moved a little slowly through the first half, however this gave a good background for the second half to pick up, with a satisfying ending. Thank you for the ARC, 3 stars.
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Janice is a cleaner and cleans for an interesting bunch of folk, some treat her like a good friend, some don’t, but they all have stories and over the years Janice has collected these stories and keeps them.
Everyone has a story, right?
Even Janice!
A thoroughly enjoyable read, you’ll fall in love with Janice and some of her employer’s, but more than that as Janice tells the many stories she keeps, we also discover the story of Janice.
Heartbreaking, heartwarming, a beautiful read.
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Enjoyable read, interesting characters. I liked this book, simple but good.everyone has a story, some more interesting than others.  Would recommend.
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I love this book - the word that springs to mind is ‘charming’. 
Janice is a woman who’s underestimated by so many people, but the ones she lets close recognise her for what she is - modest, clever, interesting and interested. 
I would recommend this book to anyone - it’s not at all light and jolly, there are some very much darker parts…but isn’t that like life? 

Thank you to NetGalley for providing this book for review.
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At the heart of everyone is a good story.  Cleaner Janice knows this - alongside dusting and cleaning toilets, she listens when her clients talk to her, and finds the heart of their singular story.  Joyous, determined, soul-crushing, hopeful, she listens and treasures them all.

Her own story, however, she keeps close.  Or she did before she took on an elderly aristocratic former spy as a client, and who - amid books and belligerent independence - sees Janice for herself, and is the catalyst for major change and release in the middle-aged cleaner.

This was a really good book, that starts out light and fluffy but adds more and more depth and intrigue as the layers are peeled back, revealing an unexpected story at it's core.  A great read.
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The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page was such an enjoyable read. She really hooked me in with very well developed and credible characters. I loved how Janice collected people every bit as much as their stories, in the sense that she made their situations better by being involved in the edges of their lives yet so often became a key part. How much did I detest Mike and his arrogant dismissal of Janice’s intrinsic worth as well as his blatant exploitation of her. Each character’s life is sketched and the playing out of their lives is beautifully woven into Janice’s own story A truly lovely book with a feelgood factor Five stars
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The Keeper of Stories is wonderful women’s fiction that revolves around Janice the house cleaner and stories she collects of people she works for. The story is mainly about misplaced guilt but there is many layers of trust, betrayal, loss, grief, tough childhood, parent’s influence on children, struggle in life, friendship, and love.

Writing is beautiful, heartfelt and slow to steady-paced. The narrative is third person from Janice’s perspective. I enjoyed Janice’s voice. Her tone is both serious and funny just like the stories she collects.

This is mainly character driven plot. The book has a slow start but after finishing the book I feel it was good as it gave me time to ease into the story with introduction of Janice, the houses she works in and what story they have, her husband of many jobs, what employers she doesn’t like and how through those employers she met and started working for Mrs B who saw through her and could tell she too has a story. Janice believed she is keeper of stories, she doesn’t have her own at least not the one she will share with anyone but Mrs B wouldn’t let her keep it hidden. It was interesting to read each stories Janice collected, to find out how they end, and most of all what is Janice’s story.

Janice is most amazing character. She is fifty yers old house cleaner. She lovely, smart, kind, patient, and selfless but she likes to be invisible, keep herself in the background, and she doesn’t take stand for herself. She has it somehow in her head that she doesn’t deserve happiness or better in life. It just blew my mind how she could stay married to a husband like Mike. But as story progressed we see her different sides. It, of course, comes in the second half of the book but I enjoyed seeing how many amazing things about herself she was hiding. I loved how being with Mrs B brought change in her life, how through the stories she collected she drew power of change and mended relationships that she thought drifted apart. Her story is most touching and heartfelt of all and I’m so happy she met Mrs B and Euan who made her realise hers is misplaced guilt and she deserves happiness. I’m still sad and shocked it took so many years for her to realise that.

Mrs B is my favorite character. She, at first, looked difficult woman in her 90s but she is just lonely still missing her husband, and want to live on the college campus where her husband worked and they lived, until she dies. But her son has different ideas and he wants her to move to old age homes. It was sad to see no one understood her or spent time with her like Janice did. She looked frail but she is feisty and colorful character as she was spy when she was younger. I found myself aligning with her thoughts and beliefs. And what she did at the end is touching and heartfelt. I just wish I could live with this old lady.

Euan is lovely. He is bus driver who watched Janice going to her work regularly and eventually formed friendships with her that developed into feelings. He is caring, calm, gentle, and lovely person. There was so much depth to his character. I wish I could know him earlier. He is perfect soul mate to Janice. I loved how he made Janice realise there can be more than one story for a person, brought happiness in her life and made her realise she desrves it.

It was amazing to know other characters and their stories– The famous opera singer, how he became successful and was so kind to Janice; Fiona-recent widow who lost her husband to depression, her son struggling with loss, and everyone tiptoeing around him; Old pleasant lady who has competitive best friend; unpleasant Mr. NoNoNotYet, son of Mrs B, his wife Mrs Yeahyeahyeah (they have name but I want them to recognise by names Janice gave and it was also funny), and their lovely cheerful and blunt fox terrier who came to be important part of Janice’s life; and many other stories that Janice come across in life and books. I also loved Becky’s story that Mrs B told to Janice. It was most fascinating interesting of all and near climax I realized why she told it Janice. What happened to all their stories and how it ended made the book most intriguing.

You can say this is kind of collection of short stories but it is told by a person observing it and giving it a shape and making the short collection into a novel. And most surprising and amazing is author’s note saying all these stories, both historical and real in book, are based on true stories.

Best part of the book is Janice’s story. It is kind of mystery in the book. Janice and Mrs B’s conversations is another best thing in book and many things are revealed through it. There is so much depth in their conversations that I want to keep reading those parts again and again. It is also intriguing to see what Mr NoNoNotYet will do about Mrs B’s accommodation and if he will be successful in it.

Climax is amazing and very realistic with all revelations, Janice’s fear and guilt, Mr NoNoNotYet finding out about Janice and his mother’s conspiration. There is so much happening between climax and end and I suggest you pay attention to this part most and also to Janice and Mrs B’s conversations. I loved how author wrapped all stories. There is no happily-ever-after endings for all of them but it’s satisfying and uplifting.

Why 4.5 stars-

My only small complaint is slow pace. Often I needed to take a break but it’s not exactly negative point. This book made me pay attention to each details of the stories and that might be the reason I or anyone cannot go faster with this story. I suggest you be patient with this book and you will see this is truly a gem.

Overall, The Keeper of Stories is beautiful, interesting, heartfelt, and perfectly written Women-Centric fiction.

I highly recommend this if you like,
Slow read
Amazing stories within a story
Interesting characters
Lots of character depth
The theme of misplaced guilt
Insightful messages
Many layers
Intriguing subplots or stories
Beautiful writing
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This book was so much more than I expected. This is another new to me author that I wish I had read before now. I loved the cover too!
She can’t recall what started her collection. Maybe it was in a fragment of conversation overheard as she cleaned a sink? Before long (as she dusted a sitting room or defrosted a fridge) she noticed people were telling her their stories. Perhaps they always had done, but now it is different, now the stories are reaching out to her, and she gathers them to her…

Cleaner Janice knows that it is in people’s stories that you really get to know them. From recently-widowed Fiona and her son Adam; to opera-singing Geordie; and the awful Mrs ‘YeahYeahYeah’ and her fox terrier, Decius, Janice has a unique insight into the community around her.

When Janice starts cleaning for Mrs B – a shrewd and tricksy woman in her nineties – she finally meets someone who wants to hear her story. But Janice is clear: she is the keeper of stories; she doesn’t have a story to tell. At least, not one she can share.

Mrs B is no fool and knows there is more to Janice than meets the eye. What is she hiding? After all, doesn’t everyone have a story to tell?
This was a well written book, that drew me in from the start and I just had to keep reading it until I finished, the ending tied everything up very well, although maybe a little too well. Once I had finished though, I had to put my Kindle down and just sit for a while as I was so taken in by Janice, Mrs B and all of the other wonderful characters that I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye. I loved the setting too, as I know Cambridge quite well, so it was lovely to be able to ‘see’ the characters in the various different locations.
A great read equally for the beach or curled up under a cosy blanket.
Thank you to @netgalley and @onemorechapter for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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`Everyone has a Story to tell, but what if you don't have a Story ! What Then ' ?
This is an absolutely Brilliant Book & recounts people's lives through Stories many of which I am sure we can all at some part relate to in our everyday lives or the life of someone we know or have known. You will laugh with Janice ( real name Hope) & you will also shed tears with her , in fact along with the other characters you will have a fascinating Roller Coaster of a ride .#Netgalley,#GoodReads, #FB, #Instagram,#Amazon.co.uk, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/358a5cecda71b11036ec19d9f7bf5c96d13e2c55" width="80" height="80" alt="100 Book Reviews" title="100 Book Reviews"/>, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/ef856e6ce35e6d2d729539aa1808a5fb4326a415" width="80" height="80" alt="Reviews Published" title="Reviews Published"/>, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/aa60c7e77cc330186f26ea1f647542df8af8326a" width="80" height="80" alt="Professional Reader" title="Professional Reader"/>, So I highly recommend you read this Book.
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Janice is a cleaner. It is a job she mostly enjoys & it gets her out of the house away from her feckless husband. She regards herself as very ordinary but she is fascinated by others stories. Snippets of conversations, seeing people & events are all part of Janice's life. On the whole she likes those she cleans for, apart from one couple, however she loves their dog (unfortunately called Decius!) His fox terrier face seems to be able to sum up situations in a forthright manner with many expletives. When this couple ask her to take on an elderly lady who is not managing  she meets Mrs B. A lady who insists everyone has a story when Janice insists she hasn't!

To start with I found this book difficult to get into but there is something quite charming about it, I must admit Mrs B's Becky story went on a bit but overall it was a lovely read. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book.
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There’s a sweet romance in the book once Janice has kicked her no-good husband to the curb. The author has developed quite the cast of characters in this one and I definitely rooted for Janice to find her happy ending.

This one was a bit of a slow burn, but I did enjoy it and might just add “Vanity Fair’ to my reading pile now.
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