Tag Archives: drama

The Things We Keep

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I found “The Things We Keep” to be an emotional adventure. Months after finishing it, I still think about the main characters and what happened to them, especially Anna. See what you think…

Coping with Alzheimer’s is hard enough with adults over the age of 65. In The Things We Keep, the main character Anna, realizes in her late 30’s that she has a form of the disease, and decides she should live in an assisted care to avoid harming herself or her family. While there she meets Luke, another younger person facing a different form of Alzheimer’s, and the two develop a relationship, much to the surprise and dissatisfaction of her twin who is not affected by the disease. Anna and Luke’s friendship slowly evolves while her capacities deteriorate, adding some unexpected dimension and plot lines to the story.

A separate storyline involves a woman named Eve, who is facing her own obstacles after her husband defrauded people through a Ponzi Scheme. Facing life after privilege, finding a job, a new home, and trying to raise a daughter while coping with the aftermath are all pretty tough. Eve finds work at the assisted living care facility where Anna lives, and eventually, their lives intersect.

The book’s chapters alternate between the two different stories, as well as in the past and present, which gives the reader insight into the main character’s decisions, actions, and behaviors. I liked each plot, though as I was reading each, it was at times hard when a chapter ended, and I had to switch gears for a different character or time period. Emotionally, I felt awful for Anna, Eve, and Eve’s daughter. The losses they faced were not caused by anything they did, yet they had to deal with the fallout. There is a sense of injustice throughout the book, yet it is largely resolved by the end.

I think this book would be very good for book clubs, as well as for someone facing adversity or unexpected challenges. The author does a good job conveying feelings, and the reader leaves satisfied.

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Baby, Not Tonight

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Feeling awful after a nasty breakup of a five year relationship while living in Paris, France, Milla returns to the US to start over. She is a chef and finds work in a kitchen that offers stable hours and salary, if not the glamour of a five-star restaurant. While she figures out how to begin again, both personally and professionally, she is also stuck in the past, harping on why her relationship failed. To help her move forward, her best friend and co-worker Jake, encourages her to meet someone new, to get on the horse, so to speak. And so enters Hunter, a handsome single man with his own pile of baggage. The two begin a relationship based on mutual attraction and half-truths, and when reality hits, it hits Milla hard. With her lack of coping skills, she does not know how to handle her growing feelings toward Hunter or his evasion about significant members of his past.

Tied into the relationship story, are some noteworthy side characters, including the afore mentioned Jake, as well as Hunter’s brother, mother and best friend, Ivy. There are also some characters who are briefly mentioned but not developed, such as Milla’s family, which does create a little hole in the plot. Jake also has his own side story and though interesting, I found it a little distracting. Overall, the main romantic story and how Milla and Hunter figure out their feelings for one another is a solid read. There are good hints for communicating with someone you care about too. If you are looking for a romantic comedy, b/c there are a few laugh out loud moments in the story, with some depth too, then Baby, Not Tonight is worth checking out.

(A copy of the book was provided in exchange for an unbiased review.)

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Filed under fiction, romance