Title: The Things We Keep
Author: Sally Hepworth
Date finished: 1/9/16
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 19, 2016
Pages in book: 352
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
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.
My rating: 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book will count towards my “Holiday 2015 Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “White cover” square, since this book has a white cover (duh). This book tells the story of Anna Forster, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s at only thirty-eight years old. While this would upset anyone, Anna is determined to live her life as best she can for the time she has left. After she almost ends up hurting someone important to her though, she decides that it might be best to go live in an assisted-living facility so that there will be less of a risk that she forgets something and burns down the house.Through research she ends up at one of the only other assisted living facilities that has another person like her, a man with early-onset Alzheimers, Luke.
It is at Rosalind House that Anna finds happiness with Luke. The book alternates between the period when their relationship is developing (as far back as fourteen months ago) and present day, when a woman named Eve Bennett comes to Rosalind House as the new chef. Eve has come upon some tough times herself recently, and she really needs this job to take care of herself and her seven year old daughter, Clementine. Anna’s and Eve’s stories intertwine and they both end up helping the other in unexpected ways.
Overall I really very much enjoyed this book. It was moving and had both light and heavy pieces to it. I thought there were some really interesting thoughts woven into the book on love. Is love really only based in memories? If you lose your memories are you also unable to love? Even if you don’t remember your nephew when he’s standing right in front of you I’d hope there is some piece of you that remembers that you love him. As Eve said in the book, that maybe “love is more like a river – it wants to flow, and if one path is blocked off it simply finds another.” What a tough concept though, that if you were to lose your memories you might also lose the love you have for your family. Anyways I liked all the characters in this book and that the focus of the book was Alzheimer’s, which up until now I hadn’t read much about. I would definitely recommend that people read this book, I thought it was great.
The bottom line: I would definitely definitely recommend this book. I thought it was an immensely touching story and gave a true look into the mind of someone living with Alzheimer’s. Plus it was a fairly quick read!
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page