Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: The Things We Knew by Catherine West

About the book:

The Things We Knew (Thomas Nelson, July 2016)

A tragedy from the past resurfaces in this tale of family secrets and reignited love.

After her mother's death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother's death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can't remember a bit of it.

But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother's best friend and Lynette's first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can't.

But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn't want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.

As their father's failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface---secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.

Purchase a copy:

My Review

The Things We Knew by Catherine West was a brilliant novel.  It was a well-done family drama with secrets aplenty but the love the family had for each other was coming right off the pages.  This is a family that has a lot of skeletons in their closet.  We have five adult siblings- all different and dealing not only with the past they have not laid to rest, but their very turbulent present and their uncertain futures.  Lynnie is the youngest and at 12 years of age her mother died, and it is a day that no one talks about and Lynnie can’t even remember.  She is also the one who is still living at home taking care of their father who is losing his memories as well, but looks like he has Alzheimer’s.  So Lynnie, calls in her siblings as she can no longer be the sole caretaker of her father, nor keep the house that has been in her mother’s family for generations from falling down around her and the finances are just not there.

The cast of characters is absolutely fascinating, and so much can be said about them.  We have David, the oldest brother, husband and a father to a set of twins, and with problems of his own.  Liz, Elizabeth, is the next and the sister who seems to have it all together, if not a bit bossy and cynical, she is a lawyer and hiding some major relationship baggage.  Ryan, the preacher and missionary who is somewhere in the wilds of Africa and nobody knows where.  Then there is Gray, closest to Lynnie, and he is a famous musician with the problems of fame, drugs, and more.  Wow!  All of them find their way home to help their baby sister and father, but also finding the mercy, grace, and forgiveness they all so desperately need.

Let’s not forget Nick, the next door neighbor, former best friend of Gray, and the man Lynnie is in love with.  His family ties to theirs are quite heartwarming and sticky at the same time.  He is also the hero, the one trying to save everyone if he can, even his own father who has been anything but.

There are other characters who are very well represented as well.  That is what I think that surprised me the most about this book.  The storyline drew me in of course, but just how all the characters, main and supporting each had his and hers own individual voices that moved the story along.  No one’s part was too small that didn’t make an impact on all these lives, either past or present.  I really hope more books are coming about this family.  I look forward to reading more about them.

I received a copy for an honest review through Litfuse Publicity and the TNZ Fiction Guild.  The opinions are my own.

About the author:

Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children.

1 comment:

  1. Hello

    I'm working with Heather Blanton at her site She has a novella coming out September/October 2016 and I am trying to get the word out with bloggers that would be interested in hosting her for a Q&A or guest post.

    I am also trying to set up some book reviewers to read her novella, entitled Ask Me to Marry You, a MALE-Order Bride Story. I would have pdf files available soon but nothing else is out yet.

    Here is her Amazon site:

    If you are interested, please let me know THANK YOU!

    Diane Estrella
    dianemestrella at gmail dot com