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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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Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

Created: 02/23/16

Replies: 24

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading? Did they change as the novel progressed?


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

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 138

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RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I was surprised about the circumstances. Even though she promised Luke she would not jump I figured she just forgot and did it anyway. This was a sad turn but not overwhelming. Her mental deterioration was progressing so fast and that was the overwhelming tragedy.


Posted Feb. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pauj's Gravatar
pauj

Join Date: 04/26/14

Posts: 30

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

One interesting thing about Alzheimer' (which I think was mentioned in the book) is that people lose their depth perception. The way the scene was written made me believe that she didn't realize she was jumping from such a height, and was just stepping over to get to Luke. Some institutions use this change in depth perception as a boundary that Alzheimer's patients can be unwilling to cross...a section of dark carpeting following a lighter section looks like an abyss to some patients, and they don't cross over it.


Paula J
Posted Feb. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
wordybird

Join Date: 06/29/12

Posts: 3

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I was not surprised. I felt that Anna was the kind of person who kept her word. Since she had made a promise to Luke, I assumed she did not attempt suicide. I don't think the essential person changes with dementia.


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: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I think she was trying to get to Luke, and did not realize the height she was at, depth perception is an issue with Alzheimers patients.


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: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I agree with Pauj. I don't think that Anna was trying to jump. She saw Luke and wanted to tell him about the baby. It was that simple. She didn't realize where she was or what would happen if she took that fateful step. It didn't surprise me, but it did sadden me.


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

Join Date: 01/26/16

Posts: 20

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I was surprised and thought it was an interesting twist. It made me think differently about Anna in terms of her happiness/acceptance of her living situation. I thought the actions portrayed by Anna in walking into space were realistic - the intense focus on the immediate goal of talking to Luke, and her inability to recognize her dangerous position and to anticipate the results of her actions


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

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 46

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I agree with Pauj. I don't think Anna intended to jump or fall. She was so intent on finding Luke she did not even realize she was out on the roof or in danger- so sad.


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

Join Date: 01/09/16

Posts: 6

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I didn't think Anna's fall was intentional. It was pretty clear that it was an accident. It FINALLY explained why she was in a wheel chair. It also solved the Hepworth 's "problem" of how to deal with Anna's baby.


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

Join Date: 05/16/11

Posts: 64

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RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I was surprised but I too don't think she meant to jump.


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

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 32

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

What surprised me was that the facility allowed access to upper floors at all. Lack of depth perception is serious and residents should have been protected. Another sign of Eric's incompetence which no one saw.


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: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I didn't think she attempted suicide and realized near the end that she was pregnant. I was more surprised that she was left in such an open area by her brother.


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

Join Date: 03/24/13

Posts: 11

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I believe she accidentally fell. She had wandered thru that "hole thingy" and talked about the "slope" of where she stood. I agree with those who feel it was a matter of her depth perception.


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

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 45

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I was surprised by the truth about her fall. The saddest thing about it for me is that she couldn't explain to others what had actually happened and that she wasn't trying to kill herself, she simply took a step into thin air and fell. This left her brother feeling guilty about something that in reality he didn't understand.


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 90

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RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

Yes, I was surprised but happy to hear it was not the suicide attempt everyone thought it was. She was so excited to share the news with Luke that she forgot her surroundings. Perhaps the depth perception issue was a factor. I can't believe an assisted living facility would not have blocked access to such a room.


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Frances

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 32

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I agree that allowing easy (or any) access to that room is not believable. That home was not a well-run place. The sadistic nurse Skinny who ripped at Anna's clothes with the door open, the dishonest Eric, the staff wandering around as if medical and qualified. An odd place.


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 72

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RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I also agree that Anna's fall was an accident. She forgot she was on the roof and was just excited to tell Luke the exciting news. All the windows should have bars across them to protect the residents and there should have been no way a resident could have access to the roof or a floor where no one was living. Was it the author's was of dealing with Anna's pregnancy as suggested or showing another way that the home was not being run very well as other's suggested? I didn't even think about how well the home was run until the end when you find out Eric stole money from it.


Posted Mar. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbaraf

Join Date: 05/27/13

Posts: 6

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I was not surprised. i thought it would be revealed that it was an accident. I also assumed early on that Anna had a baby.


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: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

It surprised me but added to my interest in the story.


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

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 70

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RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I am in agreement that unsecured upper floors were accessible. When I read what happened from Anna's point of view, I realized why she was in a wheelchair and also knew it was an accident. I didn't know that depth perception was a problem wth dementia patients.


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

Join Date: 03/09/16

Posts: 3

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I was surprised that she fell because she was at the window, saw Luke and wanted to share the good news about their baby, and went forward not realizing the consequences. Another thought, what if she had the baby?


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

Join Date: 04/26/15

Posts: 37

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

What surprised me the more than the fall was that Anna (or any of the other patients) had access at all to an unsafe area of the facility. Since Alzheimer patients frequently wander and become disoriented, their area must be safe and confined.


Posted Mar. 10, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Frances

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 32

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

Regarding the baby - I thought that was an unnecessary plot twist the author threw in to add interest and drama to this bland book. Didn't work for me at all. And then, of course, the author had to get rid of it. It was a little side jaunt which, like the negativity, seemed to me to be an effort by the author to make the book more serious. I didn't find it valuable in the story.


Posted Mar. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanw

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 28

RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

I do not feel Anna meant to commit suicide. I think she was trying to get to Luke and let him know about the baby. I believe she meant to keep her promise to him.


Posted Mar. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 70

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RE: Were you surprised by the truth about Anna's fall? Did you have any guesses about what happened as you were reading?

Yes, I was surprised and saddened. I do think it was an accident.I am in agreement with the others who commented on the unsecured upper floors. I did not realize that depth perception was a problem for Alzheimers patients.


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