Title: The Things We Keep
Author: Sally Hepworth
352 pages, published January 19, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Note: I received this book fromNetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.
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.
I was nervous when I first requested this book. My father passed away from early onset dementia almost three years ago, at age 65. I am all too familiar with the reality presented in this book. But I wanted to read it--I am a firm believer in awareness, spreading knowledge, and understanding. My hope was to spread awareness by reading and reviewing this book.
With that being said, this book was fantastic. The author clearly either did her research well or unfortunately knows the struggle first hand, because this book was SO accurate. I loved how the two main character's stories (Anna and Eve's) wove together. It was beautiful. While this book is sad, emotional, and heartbreaking at times (have tissues and don't read in public!), it sends a clear message that even in the worst of times, there are still reasons to smile, even if they are hard to find and few and far between. Fortunately, this is true in life as well. I've read many reviews that say this book is "uplifting" in the end. Don't let that fool you. This book is anything but uplifting. There is no happy ending with Alzheimer's. But this book does teach us that love is always present, even in the worst situations. I highly recommend this book!
Overall rating for "The Things We Keep": 4.5 stars