Thursday 4 February 2016

The Things we Keep by Sally Hepworth

Anna Forster is only 38, but in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. She agrees with her family who make the decision to move her to Rosalind house. Eve is a struggling single mother who needs to make ends meet. She finds herself there too, with her young daughter. Eve discovers that Anna has met and fallen for Luke, the only other person her age. The family and other staff feel it is better that the two are kept apart, but is this the right thing? I loved the clever way in which the author depicted the progression of Alzheimer’s. It is hard enough to face the disease “in real life”, and we approach reading about it with the same misgivings. However, this was creatively done, with a simplicity that was beautiful.

I was nervous to read about a fairly distressing topic, and was therefore surprised when this turned out to be a page turner of note. The love story unfolded in a subtle way, and was sensitively handled Three points of view told the story - Anna, Eve and Eve's daughter. I was left with a tremendous sense of hope after finishing the book, and shed many tears along the way.

The only negative was that the timelines were confusing. I learned to not worry too much about where I was in the story, and let it piece itself together later, which was fine, but perhaps I would have enjoyed it more, had I not had those questions.

A truly beautiful read. Sensitively handled. 

4 stars

ISBN: 9781250051905

With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers, who provided me with a copy in exchange for my honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion of the book.

You may also enjoy Still Alice by Lisa Genova and Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. Or what about The Secrets of Midwives, also by Sally Hepworth?

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