Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Everything We Keep

Title:  Everything We Keep
Author:  Kerry Lonsdale
Publication Information:  Lake Union Publishing. 2017. 304 pages.
ISBN:  1503935310 / 1503935310

Book Source:  I received this book as a publisher's galley through NetGalley free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "On our wedding day, my fiancĂ©, James arrived at the church in a casket."

Favorite Quote:  "... I learned not to let go too easily of the people I want in my life. Friends, people I care about a lot."

As a reader, everything we have to leave behind in in this book is disbelief. Just go along for the ride.  Mystery, mysticism, medicine, business, criminal activity, family, and love all play a part in this debut novel. Keep in mind, this book is the beginning of a series (or has at least one sequel). So, don't expect everything to be all wrapped up by the end.

Overall, though, this book is about endings and beginnings. Aimee Tierney is a pastry chef working in her parent's restaurant and getting ready for her wedding to the love of her life, her childhood sweetheart, James Donato. Sadly, the book opens with a funeral instead of a wedding. The church, the guests, and even the flowers planned for the wedding become the backdrop for James Donato's funeral. It's an ending to everything Aimee has ever dreamt of. It's an ending of life as she knows it.

From the beginning though are signs that all is not as it appears. A stranger approaches Aimee at the funeral suggesting James may not be dead. So begins Aimee's story. Hers is a story of beginning again and moving into the future and of reflecting on the memories of the past as it ends. Aimee works at her parents' restaurant which is set to change hands. Aimee mourns this ending, but it leads to a new beginning and new dreams. She mourns for James and the life they shared and the life they still had yet to share. His death, however, forces life in a new direction.

The book also becomes the story of a search for closure. What happened to James? Is he or is he not dead? That is the mystery of the book. The answer to that question is no real surprise, but the "how" is the point of interest. The "how" involves a lot of moving parts fitting together just so. Not the most believable story but a fun journey.

The one point that is of concern in this book is that a rape occurs, and it is covered up by both the victim and someone who loves her. That is not okay. I understand that it happens in real life, but in a fiction book, I disagree with the message being sent particularly when the main story is not the terrible impact of those actions. Rape and a cover up are not okay. That is never okay. Also, the incident seems to be compartmentalized in the victim's life. Other than an abiding dislike and distrust of the perpetrator, it seems to not have had a lingering effect. That to me undermines the seriousness of that crime and its devastating effects in real life. Again, that is not okay.

Suspend disbelief is my recommendation for this book. Coincidences and leaps abound. The love story is sweet and sappy. However, with a relatively sympathetic character at the heart of it, it makes for a quick enjoyable read. In that, the book becomes a perfect beach or rainy afternoon read.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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