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The Things We Keep
Cover of The Things We Keep
The Things We Keep
A Novel
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Anna Forster is only thirty-eight years old, but her mind is slowly slipping away from her. Armed only with her keen wit and sharp-eyed determination, she knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. But Anna has a secret: she does not plan on staying. She also knows there's just one another resident who is her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

Eve Bennett, suddenly thrust into the role of single mother to her bright and vivacious seven-year-old daugher, finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke, she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them. Eve has her own secrets, and her own desperate circumstances that raise the stakes even higher.

With huge heart, humor, and a compassionate understanding of human nature, Sally Hepworth delivers a page-turning novel about the power of love to grow and endure even when faced with the most devastating of obstacles. You won't forget this book.

Anna Forster is only thirty-eight years old, but her mind is slowly slipping away from her. Armed only with her keen wit and sharp-eyed determination, she knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. But Anna has a secret: she does not plan on staying. She also knows there's just one another resident who is her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

Eve Bennett, suddenly thrust into the role of single mother to her bright and vivacious seven-year-old daugher, finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke, she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them. Eve has her own secrets, and her own desperate circumstances that raise the stakes even higher.

With huge heart, humor, and a compassionate understanding of human nature, Sally Hepworth delivers a page-turning novel about the power of love to grow and endure even when faced with the most devastating of obstacles. You won't forget this book.

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About the Author-
  • Sally Hepworth is a former event planner and human resources professional. A graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, Sally started writing novels after the birth of her first child. She is the author of Love Like The French, published by Random House Germany in February 2014. Sally has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the U.K., and Canada, and she now writes full-time from her home in Melbourne, where she lives with her husband and two young children.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 2, 2015
    Hepworth’s second novel (after The Secrets of Midwives) explores issues of self-determination and identity through an unconventional tearjerker of a love story. Diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at 39, Anna has made the difficult decision to move into a residential care facility. Though she’s mostly surrounded by senior citizens, there’s one other self-described “young person, old mind”: Luke, who suffers from frontotemporal dementia. The two immediately bond over their unlikely shared circumstance, and eventually their friendship moves into romance. But as Anna’s condition worsens, the question of whether she is capable of relationships, or of falling in love, comes into question, and her family insists that she and Luke be kept apart. The home’s new cook, Eve, is charmed by Luke and Anna’s tale of star-crossed love, and she vows to help them at any cost—but her understanding of the potential dangers is incomplete, and facilitating their romance could put more than just her job in jeopardy. The story’s nonlinear structure, designed to mimic Anna’s disorientation, cleverly obscures a few reveals that color the reader’s perception of the dilemma at hand, and while none of these reveals are particularly surprising, they’re no less heartbreaking. A supporting cast of quirky old folks and Eve’s precocious daughter add levity to a poignant and nuanced story.

  • Kirkus

    October 15, 2015
    A woman suffering from early Alzheimer's finds romance in an assisted living facility while an abandoned wife restarts her life in the intertwined narratives that make up this second novel. At 38, Anna is an energetic, tart-tongued, motorcycle-riding paramedic. Actually that's who she was, just before she starts telling us her story. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Anna leaves her husband and winds up in a residential facility in New Jersey called Rosalind House, which caters to frail old people and a couple of memory-challenged younger ones. Anna's voice feels very true; particularly in the early chapters, she's still cogent enough to describe her deterioration, and her descriptions are precise and harrowing. The second voice we hear belongs to Eve, 35, who finds employment as a cook/housekeeper at Rosalind House after her highflying financier husband flames out a la Bernie Madoff. Eve and her young daughter, Clementine, must adjust to drastically reduced living circumstances and endure the slings and arrows of those who know what Eve's husband did. (Clementine narrates a few chapters in a voice that seems less authentic than the other two.) At work, Eve takes a shine to Anna and eventually risks her job to allow Anna to pursue a relationship with Luke, an attractive, young fellow patient. Eve also finds a love interest, a development you'll spot miles away. Though likable and sympathetic, she's far more two-dimensional than Anna. Perhaps Hepworth, who got some positive attention for her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Midwives (2015), feared this book would be too grim with Anna as the main focus. A lot happens here--too much really, especially in the last, somewhat improbable chapters--but it's a definite page-turner. It's also uneven, with genuinely poignant moments brushing up against cheesy ones.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    August 1, 2015

    These days, Grim Reaper Charley Davidson isn't nudging lost souls toward the light; she's working in a diner in upstate New York, having lost her memory. (Could the blazingly handsome fry cook watching over her be her beloved Reyes Farrow, the son of Satan?) She's puzzled about being able to see dead people and senses danger around her. But when a stranger shows up claiming that he's been sent to kill her, her powers are set seethingly on the rise.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    St. Martin's Press
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Sally Hepworth
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