Title: The Things We Keep
Author: Sally Hepworth
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Anna Forster is only thirty-eight years old, but her mind is slowly slipping away from her. Armed only with her keen wit and sharp-eyed determination, she knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. But Anna has a secret: she does not plan on staying. She also knows there’s just one another resident who is her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.
Eve Bennett, suddenly thrust into the role of single mother to her bright and vivacious seven-year-old daughter, 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. Eve has her own secrets, and her own desperate circumstances that raise the stakes even higher.
The kid I babysit twice a week loves to go to Barnes & Noble and look out the windows… strange, I know. One day, as I was wheeling him around in his stroller, I decided to browse the table of new releases. This is where I came across The Things We Keep . The title sounded interesting, and the cover looked like something I’d normally pick up, so I went ahead and read the jacket copy.
Being a sucker for chick flicks, I naturally gravitate towards plots that possess some romantic elements. I tend to like romance thrillers, romance mysteries, and women’s fiction novels that include some romance. Reading the copy convinced me that Hepworth’s novel wasn’t just about the relationship that evolves between Luke and Anna, but also followed their individual journeys through the difficulties brought on by their diseases.
Going to Barnes & Noble with no intention of buying anything–simply because my wallet couldn’t handle it, nothing more–I left the store with The Things We Keep , because I was certain this would be worth the money… and I was right.
Hepworth writes with eloquence and emotion, allowing us to really feel the sadness that comes from Luke and Anna’s battles with early onset Alzheimers but also the happiness that blossoms as a result of their love for one another. It reminds us all that love can overcome obstacles–no matter how big or how small. Anna and Luke’s characters were both relatable and easy to feel compassion for, and it was interesting to see how their characters changed through the narrative. I encourage you all to read Hepworth’s novel, if for no other reason than because you, too, will fall in love.