Book Review: The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

St. Martin’s Press, January 2016

This was a very thoughtful and engaging book. It also had a few surprises to offer, which I didn’t expect!

Anna is a youngish woman, mid-thirties, with early onset Altzheimer’s. Right from the beginning, her voice is witty and warm, yet doesn’t shrink from showing the difficulties involved with losing her memories and ability to live.

She places herself in a home where she can be cared for as the disease advances. There she meets a man about her age who has a different form of the same disease. They discover that they have more in common than the illness, and find love even as their minds lose the ability to remember that love.

Or are those memories lost? The title of the story hints at what isn’t lost even in the progress of such a debilitating ailment. And therein lies the plot.

Eve is a woman with her own troubles. When her husband causes the collapse of an investment account that impacts thousands of people, she leaves him…only to then be burdened with the guilt of his suicide.

Anna offers her something more. In getting to know Anna even after she is too far gone to form new friendships, Eve recognizes the tendrils of love that can be held onto no matter what. She becomes Anna and Luke’s only champion, and eventually enables them to stay together until the end.

Really a lovely work that delivers far more than I had expected. Well worth the time, and it is also a fast read. Pick this up on Friday evening and you won’t stop reading until you’ve turned the last page!

5 stars!

If you’re interested in reading another thoughtful novel about love in the face of horrible odds, try Reparation: A Novel of Love, Danger and Devotion.

I received an ARC from the publisher in order to write this review.

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