Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

Title: The Things We Keep
Author: Sally Hepworth
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: January 19, 2016
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "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 other 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."

My Two Cents:

In "The Things We Keep," Anna is losing her mind to early onset Alzheimer's and Luke is losing his ability to speak and form words. Both of them are in their thirties and suddenly find themselves living with the octogenarians and nonagenarians in a nursing home. They are frustrated with what is happening to them. They are frustrated with having to be in a facility geared for much older people. They fall for each other but the rules of the facility are meant to keep them away.

The characters in this book are wonderful. The book is told from the perspectives of Anna and Eve, a woman who is trying to fix her own life and the life of her young daughter after Eve's husband kills himself after being caught in a Ponzi scheme. Both of the characters are fantastic. The author does a really good job of showing the progression of Anna's illness and how it changes her and how she is able to communicate. Eve's story is sad as well but in a very different. I thought it was so interesting how she let Anna and Luke be together as if to bring happiness to others when she was having such a difficult time bringing happiness to herself.

This was a really powerful book that made me think a lot. What would I do if I were in Anna's place? How would I feel? The feelings of helplessness were so clearly drawn in the book that it gripped me viscerally. This is definitely a book that will stick with me long after I read the last page.



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