- Published: 2016
- Number of pages: 368 pages
- Format: Epub
- File Size: 0.49 MB
- Authors: Sally Hepworth
With huge heart, humor, and a compassionate understanding of human nature, Sally Hepworth delivers a page-turning novel about the power of love to grow and endure even when faced with the most devastating of obstacles. You won’t forget The Things We Keep.
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.
Review Praise for The Things We Keep:”A devastatingly beautiful love story” ?People”A poignant testament to the immeasurable and restorative power of love…. Sure to appeal to fans of Jojo Moyes, Jodi Piccoult, and Lisa Genova; book clubs will be lining up.” ―Library Journal, starred review “Hepworth’s debut, The Secrets of Midwives, was critically acclaimed, and it’s always a formidable task to impress readers with a second novel. But with The Things We Keep, Hepworth proves that literary lightning can indeed strike twice.” ―BookPage”A compelling read that touches on important themes, not least the different forms that love may take. Sally Hepworth succeeds by engaging our common humanity, capacity for love and sense of humour.” ―Graeme Simsion, New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Project –This text refers to the paperback edition.
Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:
⭐ Whether you have ever known a person with dementia or are just reading this book, you can not help to be moved by this beautiful book. I felt so many emotions of love, worry, sadness, and anger, and yet through it all there is always hope and deep compassion. The Things We Keep is an extraordinary novel about the love between Anna who is 38 and has early onset dementia and Luke, 41 who also has dementia and is a resident in Rosalind an elderly care home. Anna can’t remember his name but calls him “young guy” and the two only want to be with one another. Eve is a recent widow, who finds herself needing a job and is hired to be a cook in the Rosalind facility. She struggles to keep a deep dark secret so that she can keep her daughter Clementine in her same school district without moving. The character development is deftly told with alternating chapters by Anna, Eve, and Clementine going back through time. There are decisions made, that alter life choices, and the author does a magnificent job of giving keen perspective to the characters and their feelings as they evolve. Life is not always what is seems on the surface. Brilliantly written, with a real feel into the mind of someone struggles with dementia, this book is one I so loved. Truly it is one that touched the deepest corners of my heart.
⭐ This was a brutal read but not in a graphic sort of way, more like you just feel like you keep getting sucker punched in the heart. But yet just about every time I would start to feel like this was such a cruel and unfair world, there would be this beautiful moment in the story that really emphasizes what life is all about. I can’t guarantee if you read this book you will love it, but I do think it will stir up some emotions especially if you have had someone close to you suffer from dementia.At thirty-eight years old, Anna Forster is suffering from early onset dementia. She moves into an assisted living facility where she meets Luke, the only person who is even remotely close to her in age. And while time might not be on their side, they develop a connection and Anna knows she’s going to have to fight to remember what is most important in life.I apologize that my synopsis kinda sucks but it’s tricky to really describe the plot as it has alternating timelines and also other character perspectives like Eve, the cook at the facility, and her young daughter Clementine who are both struggling to start over. So the book is unique in the fact that not only do you get to witness Anna as her memory begins to fade but also how her caretakers and family are dealing with it as well. By the end of the book you do feel like you also know the other residents in the assisted living facility as they each have an interesting backstory.Love is such a powerful theme of the book and I’m not just talking about romantic relationships, but also the love you share with a child, parent, or sibling and even just plain, old friendship. This story really tugged on my heartstrings. There is so much sadness in the book , but even in darkness there is light. There are some special moments in the story that in my opinion make the book well worth reading even though it is a tough, emotional read.
⭐ This is a very good read. I could hardly put it down to tend to daily things I needed to do. Like most everyone, Alzheimer’s has touched my life in many ways. Many friends and family have suffered with memory problems. This is an insightful book that made me think and brought a tear or two. I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I did. I enjoyed all of the personalities at the nursing facilities. They soon became familiar fiends.
⭐ The stories of people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of senile dementia ring somewhat true but much of the environment is created for dramatic effect in this work of fiction. I can agree that human need and basic longing for connection still lingers throughout the stages of memory loss.My mother was a long term care resident in assisted.living in a midwestern US facility. The long term care home of this story did not function according to any standards that I knew were in existence 30 years ago. I never observed attempts to keep memory compromised people apart, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I do know that building safety standards were much greater than those described in this book.The author has tried to get inside the brain of someone afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and has created an interesting alternative vocabulary. It may be a bit hard to follow, but this alternative brings home the great frustration experienced by someone who is losing his or her recall of language and time snd place.The two unusually young people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease are the essence of the story although there are several “side plots” interwoven.One is constantly reminded of “loss” and how it affects us from childhood on.
⭐ A sweet ( but not saccharine), sympathetic story about early-onstage Alzheimer’s. I appreciated that the characters were depicted as more than their disease, and that even in dementia, a person can still retain a bit of what made each of them unique. There are minor points in the plot that are unrealistic, and, to be honest, the story was very predictable. But the humanity of the characters makes this a very affecting story.
⭐ It was okay…. I like books that are hard for me to put down and this one was really easy to put down. I didn’t get hooked and wasn’t attached to any of the characters. I did not like the ending and I didn’t like all the point of view changes and time period changes. A little confusing and sloppy.
⭐ I liked it although I am dealing with a spouse with dementia, this book does kind of hit on how we try to protect when we feel helpless, while others are in denial. It showed what one thinks is not the only perspective when looking at it from another’s view. I was caught up in how we all could work harder to not be cruel, especially in front of young children.
⭐ Ii did not like this book. Why? Many reasons 1. Conversations were too predictable. 2. No ” home would allow the cook to be the housekeeping department… infection control so this aspect was far fetched . And 3. The author should have done some research on patients “bill of rights”.
⭐ Can I give it six stars??? The story is a page turner from the opening paragraph. The author has managed to write a beautiful story about love and what’s important in life while providing such a compassionate awareness for a disease we only associate with the withered elderly. The manner by which she delivers such s rich story, taking readers back and forth in time, is surprisingly effective abs engrossing. I read this book in three nights, looking forward a day to getting back to characters that had become so real to me. I cried at the end. I didn’t want to say goodbye either (read the book and you’ll know what I mean).
⭐ A wonderfully engaging but bittersweet read. Loved how the characters are drawn so realistically–their emotions ring true. These are people you want to be friends with. Author Sally Hepworth has an innate ability to bring real-life scenarios to life with empathy and a keen eye for details. I especially enjoy how she weaves her characters’ stories together, through their individual perspectives, to create one great novel.
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