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Ratings and Book Reviews (7 39 star ratings
7 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
39
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

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    Disappointing novel!

    The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth is one of the most boring books I have read this year (and I have read some sleepers recently). The Things We Keep tells the story of Anna Forster whose mind has early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 38. After an incident at her brother’s home (fire and her nephew), she has decided that it is best for everyone if she goes into a home. Rosalind House is an assisted-living facility for seniors and they specialize in Alzheimer’s patients. Anna, though, does not plan on being at Rosalind House for long. Eve Bennett is now a single mother (daughter, Clementine is 7) and has to go back to work (her husband, Richard did a Ponzi scheme and then killed himself). Eve graduated from the institute of Culinary Education in New York. She finds a job as chef at Rosalind House and it comes with perks (she gets to clean and help with residents in spare time with no extra pay). Eve is touched by Anna and her closeness to the other young resident, Luke (he has a different form of dementia that involves words). Anna and Luke have formed an attachment, but their families do not approve. Eve does not agree with the family’s decision to keep these two apart and tries to rectify it (Eve likes to stick her nose in everyone’s business). Is Eve willing to risk her job to help Anna and Luke? Will Anna succeed in her goal to end her life? The Things We Keep is told from three different point of views (Anna’s, Eve, and Clementine’s). I found the writing to be very disjointed. The book also jumps around too much (different times, different people). There is too much going on in this book. The writer seemed determined to introduce the reader to every resident of Rosalind House (there are too many of them). I was also shocked at the treatment of the residents at Rosalind House. I would not let this place look after my pets, much less a relative (horrible care). I hope real assisted living facilities are not like Rosalind House. The story, I believe, is about how love endures no matter what (but it did not really come across in the book). I did not enjoy reading The Things We Keep (it reminded me of a very bad soap opera). The novel moved at a snail’s pace (maybe even slower) and it was not enjoyable to read. I give The Things We Keep 1 out of 5 stars (which means I really, really did not like the book). I received a complimentary copy of The Things We Keep from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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    The Things We Keep.

    A very inspiring book. The characters all have problems to overcome. It is nice to believe that even demintia patients can experience love and companionship.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    The Things We Keep- Our Memories

    An emotional capture and insight towards living with Alzheimer's and how it affects those around you in different ways. Very poignant. Very emotional. Very well-written, piquing interest with a blend of warm comfort.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Such a wonderful book!

    This book was wonderful. The story that it told is my worst nightmare in so many ways. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease can change so much about a person as the disease takes away memories. Early-onset Alzheimer's disease seems like an even crueler fate since the individuals being affected haven't had the chance to live a full life yet. I think that this book did a fantastic job of really making me think and more importantly making me feel. Anna is in her late thirties and has early onset Alzheimer's disease. She has reached the stage where she and her family realize that a care facility is the best place for her so they find a facility with another patient dealing with early onset dementia. The author did a fabulous job of really getting into Anna's head and she is dealing with her memory loss. Anna's decline over the course of the story was also handled very well. This book also tells a love story. Anna meets Luke at the care facility. Both are dealing with dementia at a very young age and they are drawn to each other. I really thought that they were so good for each other and it pained me that they didn't find each other until after they were experiencing memory loss. Anna never could seem to remember Luke's name but she always knew who he was and his presence seemed to bring her peace. This book also deals with people trying to make the best decisions for those that they love. Anna's brother was put in the position of having to make decisions for Anna. There is no doubt that he loved his sister and wanted to do what was best for her. Unfortunately, Anna couldn't always share what that was. We also get to learn Eve and her daughter Clem's story. Eve has just taken the position of cook at Anna and Luke's care facility. Eve hasn't worked for quite a while but is willing to do what it takes to care for her daughter. They have been through a lot after a scandal hit their family. I thought that their story was well done and interesting and I loved the way that Eve fought to help Anna get what she needed. The narrators did a wonderful job with this book. I have listened to Therese Plummer quite a few times in the past and love her work but this was the first time that I have had the chance to listen to Barrie Kreinik's narration. There were three distinct points of view in the book and I really liked the use of multiple narrators to perform the story. I thought that they both brought a lot of emotion into the story and were very pleasant to listen to for hours at a time. I am glad that I decided to listen to this book. I would highly recommend this book to others. I thought it was a really well-done story that I found very thought-provoking. I would not hesitate to read more of this author's work in the future. I received a digital review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Best title ever

    The book was very well written and I enjoyed every page. I love that the story is told by 3 different characters and with time line that starts and ends in the same period. Everything else fills in the blank. It is the best novel I have read lately. I highly recommend this novel to any who knows someone with dementia?
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