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The Things We Keep
A poignant story of one of today's nightmares: early-onset Alzheimer's.
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What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

Created: 02/23/16

Replies: 16

Posted Feb. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

Many novels shift from present day to distant past. In The Things We Keep time shifts are much shorter, with events occurring months apart. What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?


Posted Feb. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
candaceb

Join Date: 03/30/14

Posts: 36

RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

I found it to be a bit confusing and I had to pay sharp attention at the start of each chapter. I think Ms Hepworth did this to show progression and build tension and it was certainly effective.....I didn't want to put the book down!


Posted Feb. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 114

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RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

At first I got a bit confused with the time shifts but once I got into the story, I liked the way that the author handled time in the story.


Posted Feb. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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bestmartin

Join Date: 02/20/13

Posts: 71

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RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

I liked the time shifts, even the disorienting nature of some of them. I think it mirrored the characters reality.


Posted Feb. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 60

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RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

It heightened the tension and kept me reading. It was a clever way to keep the reader interested in both stories--Anna's and Eve's. It was a bit disorienting at times, but I think that was the point. It was done to reflect the confusion of dementia and the uncertainty of knowing where you are in the story and in life. I think it was a wise choice for this book.


Posted Feb. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 69

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RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

I did not find it confusing, I think the author chose this method to focus on one character at a time. I loved the book, read it in one day.


Posted Mar. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanr

Join Date: 04/25/12

Posts: 37

RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

In the end, I found the time shifts distracting. I had to readjust for each temporal interruption in the flow of the story. I think it would have been better for me to have had Anna tell her story in the first half of the book followed by Eve's story (which could have been been intertwined with Clem's). Perhaps the author wanted to interject some confusion to emphasize the Anna's plight. If so, she was successful as I found it confusing.


Posted Mar. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothygo

Join Date: 03/27/13

Posts: 20

RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

I, too, found the shifts distracting at first, but soon felt it added to the jigsaw puzzle quality of the story. Rather than have it laid out in chronological order. It gave me time to consider the possible paths the story could take. It felt as if the author was weaving the story and the final result was a rich tapestry of many people's experiences.


Posted Mar. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
maryjaneb

Join Date: 01/09/16

Posts: 6

RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

I found it confusing at first and then annoying. I was glad to be reading this in book form rather than on my e-reader because I frequently had to look back in the book to see what was going on. For example all of a sudden Eve mentions Richard's funeral. I was confused. Did I miss his death in previous pages? How did he die etc was going through my mind. Hepworth used foreshadowing intermingled with her change of time.


Posted Mar. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Frances

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 32

RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

I think the intertwining of stories kept the narrative flowing. Reading one character and then another would have been more cut and dried. The time shifts were a good way to keep the story interesting. For such an easy, quick read, it was a book that held my interest. I did want to find out what happened.


Posted Mar. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 188

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RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

As I said in anther question I was confused by the time shifts.. As stated this seems to be a popular writing tool, as foes the use of different voices rather than a third person narrating the novel. I must admit that I missed the time clues in the chapters.


Pegh
Posted Mar. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
johannam

Join Date: 03/24/13

Posts: 11

RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

I was confused by time shifts at first but once I fell into rhythm of them it made me want to keep turning the pages!


Posted Mar. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Frances

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 32

RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

I agree that the time shifts kept the story moving along and kept my interest. I think that method added to the
momentum of the story.


Posted Mar. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 45

RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

The time shifts didn't bother me. I just kept wondering what we were moving toward. And in the end the story converged back to when Anna and Eve met.


Posted Mar. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rivkahh

Join Date: 05/04/15

Posts: 10

RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

I also found them a bit confusing at first. The idea that it reflects the experience of dementia is an interesting one. It became less confusing to me as the book progressed. Some were more disorienting than others.


Posted Mar. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

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RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

So many of today's novels don't tell the story in a linear timeline. I find them to be confusing. That's probably the author's intent. Confusion goes along with dementia.


Posted Mar. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Frances

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 32

RE: What did you think of the time shifts? Why do you think Ms Hepworth chose to tell the story in this way?

I think your point that many authors do this is indicative that this is not intended to be confusing or to be about dementia. Time shifts are much more popular these days and not all books are about dementia. I think the author intends us to be jarred, thus causing us to pay attention. We may be confused at first but it becomes clear pretty quickly. I think the author wants us to think in a way that is more global than linear. It's a good way to take in the big picture and grasp more points of view. I don't think the time shifts are about dementia.


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