The Things We Keep

By Sally Hepworth

5 out of 5 stars

My oh my. My heart is full after reading this beautiful book. It hit a lot of the right spots for me emotionally and storywise. It also hit home because of the storyline about dementia.

Anna Forster has early onset Alzheimer’s. She’s only 38 and as the disease progresses and her memory fades, her twin brother puts her in the Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. Most of the people there are elderly (and what a lovely bunch) but there is one other young person there, Luke. Luke and Anna are attracted immediately and fall in love, despite their diseases. Luke has a dementia that makes him forget how to speak and what words to use. Anna forgets what things are . But the two of them work so well together.  Something very sad happens between them and they are kept separate and locked in their rooms at night.

We also have the story of Eve and her 6-year-old Clementine. Eve starts working as a cook at the house, using the address to keep her daughter in her school district. Eve’s husband perpetrated a major Ponzi scheme and then kills himself with Eve left to suffer the hatred of many and to pick up the pieces with her daughter. Eve has a connection to Anna and does whatever she can to bring happiness back to Luke and Anna. She also needs to find happiness for her and Clementine again.

I talked to this book. I yelled at Anna’s brother Jack.  I cried with Bert and his invisible wife. I  cried with Clara and her husband Laurie. I wanted to shake a few children. (Bad, I know). It took me back to caring for my mom and her struggle with dementia.  But that is just how beautifully written this book is! It involves you in everyone’s life and won’t let you go even when you shut the book at it’s end. (In tears, of course)  It’s just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. It comes out next month so start your year off with an amazing read. You won’t be sorry.

I very happily received this ARC from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

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