I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Women, Emotions & Feelings, Literature & Fiction
Buy on Amazon
Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.
When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.
I first heard of The Things We Keep back in September from Breaking the Spine’s Waiting on Wednesday. I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis as I really enjoyed Still Alice. So I was very glad I was able to get approval for the ACR on Netgalley. I am glad I did, as this was a great read. This was a unique look at Alzheimer’s as it dealt with Anna, a women in her thirties, diagnosed with early-onset. While she is still mentally able, she decides to move into an assisted living center, and picks one based on the fact that they have another young resident with dementia.
The chapters alternate character narration and go a year in the future and then back. It sounds confusing but worked very well within the scope of the story. The world built was vivid and solid, the pacing was just right and the majority of the characters were strong. A few of the side characters felt shoved in and had very little to do with moving the story forward. But even with those included the story never lagged. The high emotional quotient in The Things We Keep was perfection and I really enjoyed all of the different interactions.
What I enjoyed the most was that this was a very different type of women’s fiction. It melded a contemporary women’s fiction with a medical drama then added in some romance and a Ponzi scheme. It shouldn’t have worked, but it did. Sally Hepworth managed to create a read that touches many emotional levels and had depths I was not expecting. The Things We Keep is a book that will stay with you in the best of ways.
Favorite lines – “If I don’t remember, will I have been here at all?”
Biggest cliché – “I’m your family and I love you, so of course I know what is best for you.”
Have you read The Things We Keep, or added it to your TBR?