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Keepsake: A Novel

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  970 Ratings  ·  195 Reviews
“This story of two sisters, each broken in her own way, is as unflinching as it is compassionate. I was pulled in from the first page.”
—Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Falling Together

For her previous novels (Things We Didn’t Say, The Life You’ve Imagined, Real Life & Liars), author Kristina Riggle has garnered fabulous reviews and establishe
ebook, 384 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jul 17, 2012 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a whole lot of pain going on in this book and this makes it difficult to read. In a review of another book, the reviewer described the mental illness of the character as something "gnawing at their souls". This statement describes my feeling about Keepsake quite well. Here lie characters with a disorder that is “gnawing at their souls”.

I've never watched the show "Hoarders" but the show has a huge following. I know most of us on the outside looking in are curious and even have some kind
Liz Waters
Jun 15, 2012 Liz Waters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never knew much about hoarding until I read this novel, and now I think I understand how it works. The tragedies that triggered both mother and daughter who succumbed to the hoarding compulsion were real and identifiable, but clearly require the hand of a professional to neutralize. The dual narration is something I have never really liked, but in this case it really does work. Both daughters of a woman who died in a fire in her home where things were stacked floor to ceiling and jammed tight ...more
May 25, 2012 Zinta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A mother’s fear: a knock on the door from family protective services talking about taking away your child. What good mother wouldn’t turn somersaults to keep her child home and her family intact? Any good mother would—but in Kristina Riggle’s novel, Keepsake, doing just that is especially demanding. The reason that social worker is standing at the door ties directly into her addiction—hoarding. Hoarding is the inability to throw anything out, to the point of filling one’s living space with items ...more
Jul 07, 2015 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
well I could certainly identify with these characters siblings the victim and martyr and the one trying to pass as normal. interesting take on the hoarding issue. some people just can't let go. This is family at a breaking point-fix the mess or lose the kid but its not always just that easy! I very well done story of people in crisis!
Jul 15, 2012 susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-fiction
I'm surprised that so many people rated this a four or five. The characters are flat, the plot is slow and the writing is uninspired.
McGuffy Morris
Oct 02, 2012 McGuffy Morris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Kristina Riggle definitely has a gift for writing about serious issues. This novel deals with some difficult situations.

Trish is a single mother. She has built a secure world where she feels safe. She is surrounded by all of the things that make her feel comfortable. Trish is a hoarder.

This all comes to light, as a crisis when Trish’s son is injured. Children’s Services is called in to investigate, with every intention of removing him from the home.

Trish needs help. Her sister, Mary, is her extr
Beth Pearson
May 31, 2014 Beth Pearson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I have to say had this book not had the bad words marked out, I wouldn't have been able to give it such a high score. I really enjoyed the story but if all the whited out spaces had the F-bomb, it would have been too harsh to enjoy.

The cleaned up version was enjoyable, however. At the end of the book, Kristina Riggle mentions an Oprah episode on hoarders that fascinated her and she eventually wrote Keepsake dealing with a competent, successful, organized person who is also a secret hoarde
K.E. Garvey
The book wasn't horrible, but it tends to become dull in places. Trish is a hoarder. I got that from the beginning. After a while, I grew tired of hearing about the stacks of storage containers, or how she resisted parting with anything. I felt the emotion in the book was what carried it through. the family tensions and dynamics were well done, but the repetitive hoarding sequences wore on me. I never liked the television show for the same reason. Once the camera panned the piles of 'stuff' it w ...more
Jul 25, 2012 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found Keepsake to be a fairly enjoyable read, although it seemed to me that the ending was a bit abrupt.

Keepsake tells the story of Trish, a single mom, who is forced to deal with her problem with hoarding when she is faced with potentially losing custody of her 8 year old son, Jack, to the authorities due to the hoarding. She is reunited with her estranged sister, Mary, when Trish's older son, Drew, contacts Mary to enlist her help with Trish's hoarding problem.

The story unfolds with the sis
Aug 03, 2012 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trish is a single mom doing her best to raise two kids while working full time. But Trish also has a big problem: Trish is a hoarder. She managed to hide the problem from outsiders until her youngest son, Jack, was injured when a stack of things toppled over on him. The doctor reported Trish and now she's faced with cleaning out the clutter or facing court and possibly losing Jack. Her oldest son, Drew, has already left because of the mess and Trish can't bear losing both of her boys. But as muc ...more
Jul 28, 2012 Ariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: womens-fiction
Thank you to Book Club Girl for proving me with a copy of this novel. Please check out her bogtalk podcast with author Kristina Riggle for an insightful interview about the novel. The novel is told in alternating chapters in the voice of the two main characters, sisters Trish and Mary.

Trish is a single mom with a young son Jack. She thinks she has everything in her life under control although it may be telling that her catch phrase "I'm not perfect". W
Jul 05, 2012 Inga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review:

I would like to start with the book cover. It's beautiful! If I wouldn't know what the book is about, then deciding only from the cover of the book you expect the content to be something else. It's a classy picture to put on a book which is about hoarding. Slightly misleading on the first sight, but elegant cover in my opinion.

Keepsake by Kristina Riggle is a wonderful book about family ties and relationships, different disorders people are struggling with, about pain, hope and love. K
Sue Wargo
Apr 21, 2013 Sue Wargo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookgroup
This is Trish's story. She's a single mom with a problem. Her family mantra is "mom's not perfect,". But the dirty secret is that she is a hoarder. When her son is injured in an accident at home, family services gets involved and Trish must face the hoard or lose her children. This book is more than about hoarding or being a bad housekeeper. It's about fractured families and fractured souls. It's about secrets that lie buried among the stuff. The characters are well written and Trish's anguish o ...more
Jul 21, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest the writing in this book was very standard. This isn't what I would consider a masterpiece, nor would it rate among my favorite books of all time. This being said, the book merited a four star rating to me because I found myself relating to both Trish and Mary. To me this story boiled down to how we as people deal (or don't deal) with pain and trauma. While I am neither a hoarder or a neat freak, I felt like I could relate to both Trish and Mary, finding aspects of each of their per ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Scorpianmuse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trish is a single mother of two boys. She is also a hoarder. Because of this, she is facing the removal of her younger son from her home by Child Services because her home is deemed hazardous. (The older son has already removed himself from the house.) In desperation, she allows her estranged sister, ex-husband, father and her sister’s friend to enter her home to deal with the mess and prevent her child from being removed.

On some levels I liked this book. I think it dealt fairly well with the ho
Feb 28, 2014 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hoarding has become a popular subject since the reality shows bombarded us with images of absolutely filthy and unbelievably dirty homes that exist in our nation. This book seeks to capitalize on it with a story that gives you insight in to a hoarder's life.
Trish and Mary are sisters who were raised by a hoarder mom. Mary left at age 15 to go live with her dad and Trish has never forgiven her for it. The story opens with Trish being confronted by a social worker after her youngest son is injure
Emily Livingstone
Keepsake made me think about humans and how we try to cope with the difficult things in our lives. I've never watched shows that have to do with hoarding and haven't thought a lot about it, but Keepsake presents this topic in a context that shows how hoarding is just one of many ways humans deal with problems. Moreover, the "hoarder" character is not dealing with only her own baggage and problems. Just as family and friends come together to help her, we see how they all have their own (often int ...more
I read this book first of all because of its main topics, hoarding, the impact it has on families and Hoarders themselves. I feel it does a good job of depicting some of the tell tale behaviors and patterns of hoarders in addition to the impact hoarding has on a family.

However, the story follows the stereotypical plot lines for explaining mental illness and its "resolution". A mysterious tragic event hinted at in the 'victims' past and finally its discovery. This in turn facilitates the recovery
Loni Spendlove
May 21, 2014 Loni Spendlove rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story with layers of emotion as deep as the hoarding piles, this book was like stepping into the minds of two sisters as different as peanut butter and orange juice as they struggle with the loss of their mother and the effects (and origin) of her Compulsive Hoarding Disorder which is both abhorred and inherited by one of the sisters.

Warning: There is some foul language (including quite a few f-bombs), but if you borrow the book from my mom, she's whited out MOST of it for you :P and I am gra
Feb 25, 2016 Zoe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty interested in the main topic of this story - Hoarding.
Having said that and despite enjoying this for the most part, I absolutely hated the two sisters in this story. One being hugely 'clean' and the other being a cluttered hoarder - both were downright awful and I didn't care for either one of them. I'm also unsure as to the relevance of the 'romance' that was thrown in between the 'clean sister' and a man she used to know in College. It just seemed totally random and not needed. A
Dec 08, 2015 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping portrayal of hoarding, set within a complex sister bond. One sister hoards, the other is obsessive-compulsive about neatness and cleanliness. The heroine's feistiness keeps this book from ever becoming patronizing or critical. I learned a lot about how hoarding impacts relationships, depression, and hygiene and came to a greater understanding of some people I have known. The book also dealt compassionately with the way that mothers feel after they have lost a child. Excellent descript ...more
Apr 19, 2015 Kristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book on the discount tables at BN and am glad I picked it up... It was certainly interesting to take a glimpse into the life of a hoarder as the chapters of this book alternated between Trish (the hoarder) and Mary (her perfectionist sister).

This book helps readers to gain insight as to why hoarding may be triggered in a person and the backstory behind the individual. The author points out that on the surface, the problem may seem like a simple accumulation of stuff gone out of con
Just in time for Spring Cleaning! If "Keepsake" doesn't motivate you to clean your whole house and put back that sweater at Marshalls that you really don't need, you may want to read it again. But seriously, this novel was excellent and if you know anyone that struggles with an addiction, of any kind, this is a great read, especially to help you understand their train of thought. The novel talks about OCD being the driving force behind the main character, Trish's, actions, but I saw her as a cut ...more
The scariest thing about this book is the difference in opinion – that Trish could not see all of her “stuff” as a problem, even when her son was injured, but anyone else could walk right in and keel over from the smell and dirtiness of it. How can there be that big of a discrepancy; where does one lose the ability to distinguish between a little messy and an outright pigsty?

On the other side you’ve got Mary, who’s become the anti-Trish; the woman who will have a heart attack over a pinch of dus
Apr 16, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the subject matter of this book is a little disturbing, the story itself was really compelling. Trish is on the verge of losing her son after he's injured at home as a result of her hoarding. As her various family members step in to help her clean up, it's not just garbage and junk that is exposed to all. Family secrets are revealed, relationships are renewed, and truth comes out.

If you like the A&E show "Hoarders", you'll like this book. This story is essentially the fictionalized ve
Jun 18, 2012 Trish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 5-star
This lovely book arrived at my workplace on a Thursday morning and, despite having several other books that were already waiting to be read and which were coming out sooner than this one, I started reading it at lunchtime and hardly put it down for the next three days. I took a break only when the feelings it evoked became too intense and I needed to breathe for a little while before diving back in.

The central character in Keepsake is Trish, a woman whose husband has divorced her, whose older so
Jul 19, 2012 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Behind closed doors, families hide their secret pain in a variety of ways. For Trish Dietrich, the pain is muffled and pushed down behind the objects she hoards.

Her secret is hers alone, she believes, but when her son Jack is injured by a falling tower of objects, she is rudely awakened to its impact on others. And when a social worker appears, bringing the intrusive world of Child Protective Services into her life, Trish is alternately angry, belligerent, and reeling from denial.

A seemingly ins
Karen & Gerard
Keepsake by Kristina Riggle is an interesting read about how hoarding affected the whole family. Trish and Mary are sisters but different as night and day. Trish is a hoarder to such an extent that social services came to her house threatening to remove her 7-yr. old son from his home if she didn’t get the house cleaned up—clutter and junk was everywhere! Trish’s older son left home and lives at his girlfriend’s house because he couldn’t stand all the clutter. On the other hand, Mary is a single ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me start by saying that I have never seen any of the shows out there about hoarders. We don’t have cable or satellite service, so it’s never been on my radar. What interested me was just the description. It sounded interesting. Based on what I’ve liked as of late, it sounded like something I’d like. And I was right. This is very, very good.

My favorite thing about this book? It sure makes me feel a LOT better about my less-than-perfect domestic skills … (I’m kidding – OK, half joking here!) I
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Kristina Riggle lives in West Michigan, where she writes character-driven novels about complex personal dynamics. Her debut novel, Real Life & Liars, was a Target "Breakout" pick and a "Great Lakes, Great Reads" selection by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. Her latest novel, Vivian in Red, is a story of 1930s Broadway and today about a lyricist, the clouded history of his m ...more
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