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Read advance reader review of The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

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The Things We Keep

by Sally Hepworth

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth X
The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2016, 352 pages

    Paperback:
    Jan 2017, 352 pages

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  • Jean N. (New Richmond, OH)
    The Things We Keep
    I enjoyed this book very much. I've never read anything about early on-set Alzheimers disease. Through Anna's first person story I really felt what it must be like to know that you are going to be steadily losing your memory and almost all that you are as a person. Anna amazed me. She made choices while she still could, and faced her future with courage. But, the story remained real. Anna's feelings, thoughts, reactions were so human and honest. I felt all the characters were very believable.
    I think book clubs would have a lot to discuss. This is a very readable, thought provoking book.
    I think that an important thing to remember, and it came through in this book, is that love does remain. Memories may fail, but a person can always feel love.
  • Marcia C. (Jeffersonville, PA)
    The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
    This wonderful book has two story lines running side by side. The first is a love story between two adults in their 30's whose memories are being slowly undermined by dementia. Anna and Luke meet in an assisted living facility. They fall in love and, against all odds, work to hold onto their love and identity for as long as possible.

    The second is the story of Eve a young single mom who is working to rebuild her life and that of her young daughter after her husband's bad business decisions destroy everything they had. The two stories come together in a way that is heartbreaking, strong, inspiring and touchingly human.

    This might be a good book for anyone who read Still Alice. I would definitely recommend it for book groups. I did have one problem with the book and that was with the time shifts. I found myself looking back to make sure I was in the right time frame. However, that never interfered with my enjoyment of the story.
  • Patricia S. (Yankton, SD)
    Do the things we keep outweigh the thing we lose?
    Three women, one only a child, each suffer devastating losses. Anna suffers devastating early Alzheimer's, Eve the shocking suicide of her husband and all she possessed, and her young daughter, Clementine, the sudden loss of the father she adored.

    How each of these moves ahead in life, forging new futures while learning to keep what was good in their former lives makes for a heart wrenching and at time amusing story.

    The supporting cast - Anna's brother Jack, the residents of Rosalind House, Clementine's classmates - all add to the poignancy and humor in the story. The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth is a wonderful find which I am going to highly recommend to my book club.
  • Mary B. (Laguna Woods, CA)
    Fantastic read!
    This is one of the best books I have read this year. Anyone who enjoyed Still Alice would like this one & I think it brings up many issues for book clubs to discuss. I like the way the 1st person narrative changes among the characters in each section. With the 7 year old daughter's narrative, I found myself laughing & crying. The characters are well drawn & believable.
  • Michele
    Great read
    It's been a while since I've read something that I don't want to end. The Things We Keep, like Still Alice, is about early onset Alzheimer's. But I found this book more heartwarming than Still Alice. The residents and staff at Rosalind House felt real and familiar, and I wanted their stories to continue.

    The story centers on Anna, who is in her 30s when she is diagnosed and has chosen to live at a small assisted living house. Hepworth has captured with compassion and humor the issues Anna and her family must deal with as her disease progresses. Anna's relationship with Luke, also in his 30s and dealing with dementia issues, is tender, funny and heartbreaking. When Eve, the cook, was introduced, I found myself wondering why this storyline was necessary but it became clear. Great story about love, grief, and what we are willing to risk for others.
  • Bonnie B. (Fairbanks, AK)
    "If I don't remember, will I have been here at all?"
    Sally Hepworth has written a sad book that also made me smile; a page-turner that I wanted to read slowly and savor; an accessible and poignant book.

    Anna is in her thirties when she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease, a genetically based illness that she inherited from her mother. Her twin brother, Jack, does not carry the gene and is spared. However, he is responsible for Anna and the situation tears him to pieces.

    Jack places Anna in Rosalind House, an assisted living facility where, day by day, her cognitive processes decline. However, what no one accounted for was the power of love to surmount this illness. Anna meets a young man close to her age with a type of Alzheimer's different than hers. She loves his dimples and calls him "young guy". They connect deeply and powerfully despite their difficulty communicating in the traditional sense.

    With a wonderful supporting cast of characters cheering them on, Anna and "Young Guy" navigate this new chapter in their lives, one that brings them both hope and despair.
  • Linda J. (Ballwin, MO)
    Loving In Spite of the Odds
    When I closed this book after finishing it, I felt like I had been privy to both a heartwarming and heartbreaking story. When starting a book about Alzheimer's Disease, one knows that it will not end well. It's about the journey and how the patient's family copes with their loved one losing his or her grip on reality. This book is no different except that the patient is a 38-year old woman, Anna, who receives the diagnosis. The other main character Eve has suffered a traumatic life-changing experience that leaves her and her daughter, Clementine, trying to find their way.They all intersect and Sally Hepworth has written a novel that takes readers through emotional highs and lows. I don't know how she got inside Anna's head and managed to tell her story from her point of view. Her descriptions of Anna's thought processes as the disease takes more and more of her mind make for fascinating reading. Hepworth draws in her readers so it's impossible not to become emotionally invested in the story. I have heard that Reese Witherspoon has bought the movie rights to this book, and I will be first in line to see how she tackles this subject.
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Beyond the Book:
  Early-onset Alzheimer's

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