The Things We Keep by: Sally Hepworth

The Things We KeepThe Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You don’t waste time with regrets. In the end, you just remember the moments of joy. When all is said and done, those are the things we keep.

Alzheimer is a wicked disease but the stories behind the disease are worthy to be told. There is beauty in the pain. This prose is beautiful and lovely. Told in three voices, I loved each voice.

Anna at 38 years old has checked herself at the Rosalind House where a nice variety of characters have taken residence in assisted living. You experience how she was before Alzheimer and during. Her battles and her victories. Her depression and her longing to hold on to what she knows. It is beautiful struggle. I loved her words…I think I’d have felt better about my prognosis if my doctor would have reworded a little. Something like, The brain is like a filthy, stinking pile of crap. When the sun comes out, it stinks worse than you can imagine, and when it’s cold or cloudy, you can barely smell it all. Then there are days that, if the wind is coming from a certain way, you might catch the cold scent of a spruce for a few hours and forget the crap is even there. With that analogy, at least we’d have been calling a spade a spade. Because the truth is, if you have dementia, your brain is crap. And even if you can’t smell it right this minute, it still stinks.
She is witty, sassy and she is in a fight that you are fighting along with her.

Eve Bennett is now starting all over again with her young daughter Clementine. After suffering from her late husband’s scandal, she is left with nothing but an opportunity to cook and clean for the residents of Rosalind House. Her voice is one of compassion and strength. She has the gift of seeing others and drawing from what she sees.

Clementine is my favorite voice. A 7 year old that is trying to make sense of her world by changing her name every day. She is trying to understand what happened to her father and not listen to the voices that speak against the father she love and adored. I loved her introduction to the residents. My name is Clementine Harriett Bennett, she says. Very pleased to meet you all. The residents faces, blank a moment earlier, start to upturn. I am seven years old and I am in second grade. I’m also very good at Irish dancing, would you like me to show you? Is a frog’s ass watertight? says a gray blond lady with a Southern accent. “Go ahead young lady.”
Clem shifts uncertainly..perhaps waiting for me to reprimand the lady for using the word ass but she recovers quickly. Okay, but I don’t have my music here, so I need you to clap. …

These three are tied together by tragedy and hope. Where there is love, hope overflows. Each of them gives that to each other and more! I loved it. A definite favorite for 2016 read.

A Special Thank You to St. Martin Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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