Monday, February 8, 2016

The Things We Keep

Sally Hepworth

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 another 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.


My Thoughts

This story is told in three voices. Anna’s, who has early onset Alzheimer’s. Eve’s, the newly hired chef/cleaning person/caretaker at Rosalind House were Anna lives. And finally, Clementine, Eve’s young daughter.

While she can still make decisions, Anna has her brother move her into an assisted living facility called Rosalind House. The one they choose has a male resident close to Anna’s age. His name is Luke. Anna and Luke make a special connection. Eve, who is fighting her own demons, sees the special bond between these two and goes against all the rules to help them be together. Clementine has the young girl ability to connect with the older residents at the home.

Is it really possible that the story of someone who has Alzheimer’s could have a happy tone? In the accomplished hands of Ms. Hepworth, this one actually does. Her characters were very likeable. I wanted good things for them, even though we know that for Anna, here memory would continue to deteriorate. While certain elements of this story were certainly sad, the message I got was that love can result in some magical things.

I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

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