The Room of Lost Things, Stella Duffy

“…falling into the missing ‘t’ of his South London childhood.”

The Room of Lost Things is the story of a lonely, lost dry cleaner who sees all the typical life of South London through his windows. I read the book straight after the riots in London last year, and this book makes regualar reference to the Brixton riots of the ’80’s and their reflection in life today.

As a South Londoner myself, I loved Duffy’s disregard for North London and all it has to offer, and the lovely way in which she focuses on all South London has to offer. It is not a nice place to live, but she shows its merits and how the hardships it constantly overcomes are the outcome of very complicated situations. The people in South London deal with a lot and Duffy’s obvious love for the place is shown through her characters who continue to live their despite the good life, just to the north of that river.

The story is of many inter-locking people, mostly with secrets they hide from others. The story is partly emotional, partly funny, partly sad but for me, the most important aspect was the description of areas and lives of a place so commonly disregarded or insulted by many who do not know it.

“a dozen cameras steal his soul from every angle .”


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