EVERYTHING WE KEEP: A NOVEL, BY KERRY LONSDALE
PUBLICATION: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING; AUGUST 1, 2016
About the book:
A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.
Sous Chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.
As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.
Have you ever read a novel and when finished you realized that you both loved and hated it at the same time? That basically summarizes my feelings regarding Everything We Keep. Let me start with my positive thoughts…
This novel started out very promising with the idea of her fiance dying on a fishing trip and his remains being buried on their wedding day. Not positive like I was glad he died, but it seemed to predict a great suspense/thriller. Secondly, after James’ funeral and a mourning period, Aimee decides to realize her dream of opening her own coffee/bistro place, as well as, meets the handsome, talented and uber patient photographer Ian.
There were numerous flashbacks to Aimee and James’ childhood providing a backstory to their longtime love, as well as, what kind of family James had. These flashbacks only strengthened initial opinions I had about their long-term love and what creepy people were in his family – but all of this was relevant to the story.
Which brings me to some issues with this novel… I apologize, but it will require bullet points… ***These may be considered spoilers, which I never do, but be forewarned.
- Two years passed between the time the psychic, Lacy contacted Aimee and when Aimee finally went to Mexico to look into whether or not James was alive. Why wait so long and why go after that much time?
- Ian was super hot and talented and so forth, why keep hanging around hoping for one little chance that Aimee would get over James?
- Why in the hell were Aimee and Ian’s flights from California to Mexico 19 and 22 hours? Often, I will overlook things like this but come on… I live in Roanoke, VA and could fly there in less time. It didn’t take that long to get from Roanoke to Hawaii last time I went. This is just sloppiness in my opinion because all the author had to do was google flight times.
- Immediately after Aimee is raped, James literally applies her mascara for her so she will be presentable to go see their parents to announce their engagement? Umm, excuse me, if you propose to me and one of your family members rapes me a few minutes after, do not attempt to fix my make-up, take me to the hospital and then the police.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. Honestly, I was unable to put this book down after I started it. Despite the itemized list above, I could not stop reading it. But there were too many side stories and questions left unanswered to make me love this book. I truly feel that Kerry Lonsdale had a fantastic story idea with this one, but things went wrong in several places. Considering I have already been approved for the follow-up novel, Everything We Left Behind, I will read it with high hopes. But I’m sorry to say that if I would have read this last year when released, I would not have given it a second thought.
*Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.