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The Things We Keep

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With honesty and true understanding, Sally Hepworth pens this poignant story of one of today's nightmares: early-onset Alzheimer's.

Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one other resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.

338 pages, Hardcover

First published January 5, 2016

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About the author

Sally Hepworth

17 books37.4k followers
Sally Hepworth is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels.

Sally's books have been heralded “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally's novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 20 languages.

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,744 reviews
Profile Image for Sally Hepworth.
Author 17 books37.4k followers
December 3, 2015
Dear Reader,

Five years ago, I watched a news segment about a woman—a newlywed—who was pregnant with her first child. She had also recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 31 years old.

More recently a friend of mine, who is a nurse at a dementia facility, told me about an elderly man and woman who held hands in the communal living area of the center every day. They came into the facility as strangers. Their memories were less than five minutes long. They were both non-verbal. Yet every day, they sat next to each other. Every day he reached for her hand, and every day she allowed him to take it. And for them, every time was the first time.

As I researched this book, I heard the story of a woman who didn’t remember that she was married, but who began to cry when she saw her wedding dress. The man who didn’t recognize his wife but gravitated toward her whenever she visited, often asking if she’d like to "take a walk sometime"—the very line he used when he asked her out the first time, sixty years earlier. The story of a grandfather who shielded his granddaughter from a dog, though he couldn’t have recalled who she was, let alone her terror of dogs.

Dementia isn’t the only place that memories are found to be flawed—people find out they can’t rely on their memories every day. People blindsided in relationships. People who find out their truth is a lie. People pulled from trauma. People awakened.

I wondered: If you can’t use memories to steer your life, what can you use? I didn’t know. It was why I had to write this book.

I hope you enjoy it.

Sally xox
Profile Image for Inge.
347 reviews886 followers
September 5, 2019
Whenever I think of true love, I think of my grandparents.

My grandfather married my grandmother after six weeks. Six weeks. If someone proposed to me after six weeks, let alone suggest we get married right away, I’d run for the hills. But, you know, different times and all that. Six weeks, and they were married for sixty years, until grandpa finally succumbed to Alzheimer’s.

Growing up with a grandfather who had Alzheimer’s was difficult. I had to sit back and watch as my grandfather, whom I would play minigolf with and eat pancakes with whenever I stayed over, went from treating me like his little girl to not knowing who I was.

In the earlier stages, we would go for a walk and he would know that I was family, but he wouldn’t know my name or that I was his granddaughter. Still, he felt the need to get a conversation going with me. And so he asked me questions. Many questions. “What do you study?” “Is it mixed ed?” “What sports do you play?” I would answer his questions patiently, no matter how many times he’d asked.

My mom visited more often, so he remembered her for longer. Sometimes he would just see her as family, other times he brightly greeted her with her name. He still knew we were part of him somehow, though. Whenever we would visit and go for walks, and mom and I would drift from the path to look at a store window, he’d look around and go, “Where did the others go?”

Eventually, though, he further declined and we brought him to a home. My grandmother visited him every day and I honestly believe she kept him alive for as long as he was. She would feed him a pudding cup and an orange, for extra calories and vitamins, every single day. At his funeral, my uncle had calculated roughly how many pudding cups and oranges my grandmother had fed him over the years – the numbers rose into the thousands, and it was something that made us all laugh through our tears.

Grandpa forgot everyone over the years – his three children, his five grandchildren, his brothers and sisters and other friends and family.

Everyone except grandma.

He was smooth as hell about it, too. My grandfather was a charmer, you guys. One time, he took her hand and asked her, “Will you marry me?” Grandma laughed and went, “Darling, we’ve been married for sixty years!” To which he replied, “Oh, I’m so glad you said yes.”

Now that’s a lot of smooth.

My other grandfather knows where it’s at, as well. He once won 10 euros, so I asked him, “So are you going to buy yourself some pancakes with that?” And he simply said, “No, flowers for grandma.”

My grandfathers, ladies and gentlemen.

Grandpa declined more and more, but he would never forget about grandma. He would absently reach over to hold her hand, or say things like “Je t’aime”, or pour beer into her tea (“I’m drinking tea!” “Well, now you’re drinking tea with beer.”).

And when that day came and grandpa had a heart attack, he breathed his last breath with grandma by his side, the only person he still remembered and loved.

And that’s why I love this story. Because Alzheimer’s doesn’t mean you can’t love.

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a copy
Profile Image for Angela M .
1,286 reviews2,204 followers
December 20, 2015
This is an incredibly sad story and yet I felt good at the end . I could say it's because there was a feeling of hope and there was . I could say it's because it ended in the best way that it could have and it did . But it wasn't just the ending . It was the characters I fell in love with and how they manage to survive the difficult things that happen because of the people around them . I could say it's because it's a beautiful love story and it was . Actually there are several beautiful love stories in this novel.

At the center of the novel , is 38 year old Anna , who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's and the relationship that develops with Luke , a 41 year old man who has a form of dementia known as frontotemporal dementia. As her dementia progresses , Anna refers to Luke as Young Guy because she can no longer remember his name . It's Young Guy because they are the youngest residents in this home primarily an assisted living facility for the elderly.

A second storyline emerges with Eve. She is dealt a blow by her husband's criminal actions and is forced to take on the job of chef at the home , instead of a restaurant where her culinary skills were meant to shine . Eve is asked to do so much more like cleaning the residents rooms in addition to her cooking their meals . She does so much more as she comes to care about the residents, especially Anna and Luke . She becomes their friend . I immediately fell in love with her 7 year old imaginative daughter , Clementine and I guarantee she will steal your heart just as she did the elderly residents of the home . It was heartbreaking at times as we see her struggle with things that are almost impossible for a 7 year old to grasp.

The narratives alternative with section by Anna , Eve and Clementine and the time line is an interesting one as Eve appears on the scene . It is through Anna's sections which move back in time from present that we learn what has happened in the last year and a half . Some may see this as a heart tugging, tear jerker just meant to grab your emotions. I thought it was more than that . This is about losing loved ones not just to death but to the person they become when they no longer remember. It's about coming to terms with those losses, about caring , compassionate people who are willing to take risks to help people who can't help themselves . I thought it was a wonderful story .

Thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley.
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday is (reluctantly) on hiatus.
1,975 reviews2,042 followers
March 14, 2019
EXCERPT: Fifteen months ago. . .

No one trusts anything I say. If I point out, for example, that the toast is burning or that it's time for the six o'clock news, people marvel. How about that? It is time for the six o'clock news. Well done, Anna. Maybe if I were eighty-eight instead of thirty-eight I wouldn't care. Then again, maybe I would. As a new resident of Rosalind House, an assisted living facility for senior citizens, I'm having a new appreciation for the hardships of the elderly.

'Anna, this is Bert,' someone says as a man slopes by on his walker. I've been introduced to half a dozen people who look more or less like Bert: old, ashen, hunched over. We're on wicker lawn chairs in the streaming sunshine, and I know Jack brought me out here to make us both feel better. Yes, you're checking into an old folks home, but look, it has a garden!'

ABOUT THIS BOOK: With honesty and true understanding, Sally Hepworth pens this poignant story of one of today's nightmares: early-onset Alzheimer's.

Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one other resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.

MY THOUGHTS: I have to say - I Loved this book.

Sally Hepworth has done a wonderful job of humanising Alzheimer's patients and the elderly in general. I have read and enjoyed other books about people with Alzheimer's, most noticeably Still Alice by Lisa Genova, which was extremely informative about Alzheimer's, but I learnt a more humanitarian lesson from The Things We Keep.

Anna Forster is only 38 years old and has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. She has elected to be placed in a care facility following an accident which could have claimed the life of her favourite nephew Ethan. There is one other resident of a similar age in Rosalind House, Luke, who suffers from a different variation of dementia. Anna has gone there to die, she doesn't expect to fall in love with 'young guy' (Luke, Luke, Luke - if she says his name three times she night just remember it). As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

Sally Hepworth's writing is beautiful, lyrical, never soppy, never sentimental. She shows great perception, great empathy, great understanding.

' If I don't remember, will I have been here at all? ......Maybe it doesn't matter what you remember. Maybe if someone else remembers and speaks your name, you were here.'

'I might not remember this, but I'm glad I got to live it.'

Her characters are complex human beings. They have problems of their own; their own back stories, their own triumphs and tragedies. Hepworth reminds us that elderly people have lived and loved, that they deserve our time, our respect, our affection.

The Things We Keep is a keeper for me. It is on a very short list of 'Never delete this book from my Kindle'.


THE AUTHOR: Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives (2015), The Things We Keep (2016) and The Mother's Promise (2017), and The Family Next Door (Feb 2018). Sally's books have been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally's novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 15 languages.

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Pan MacMillan Australia via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,580 followers
October 15, 2020
The Things We Keep is one of the earliest books written by Sally Hepworth, but I've been reading them out of order. They are not a series, yet I like to grow with writers in the launch trajectory of their careers by reading in publication order too. That said, I really liked this book, and it tugs on your emotions easily... but it wasn't my favorite of her collection thus far. I still highly recommend it, just felt it was missing a bit in the way of connection and all out balling / tears. Perhaps I also prefer things tidier, and with Alzheimer's, that's not going to be possible.

The book changes POV from Anna to Eve consistently. Occasionally, Eve's seven-year-old daughter, Clementine, has a few chapters too. Eve's husband was at the top of a Ponzi scheme, and then he killed himself. She's now a social pariah. Anna is in her thirties but has developed early onset Alzheimer's. The novel takes place in an adult care facility, mostly specializing in older patients. Anna feels weird around the others, but then she meets Luke, another younger guy with a similar disease. Eve gets a job working there as a cook, and from there, they learn how to help one another through all their problems. Even Clementine gets a lesson from the supporting cast.

The characters in this book are brilliant. They feel real and have strong personalities, but they also are missing a few elements -- just like real people. The story is simple... love, revenge, loss, trust. So many situations define as human beings, but what happens when your memory basically resets every day? You can't be left on your own, but sometimes your family tries to take things away from you because they worry about your safety. Eve knows this, and she was innocent in all of it, just like the patients at the facility. No one asks for the disease; it just rains down on them.

I loved this story and what it is trying to accomplish. I was hoping for a stronger finish, but it just sorta ends. I wanted a bit more darkness to the secret of why Luke and Anna were being prevented from seeing one another. I think maybe I've been reading too many suspense novels, but even when I try to separate from them, I see a few areas where this story could've shined more in the end. I yearned for a better moral lesson with some characters. I needed a more touching sense of what might happen next. And I craved a moment of realization from someone who knew how to fix everything. I didn't need a 100% ribbon-tying ending, but I desired more than I got. It's okay tho... still a very strong story and poignant writing will carry it quite far. I definitely recommend this book.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,296 reviews35k followers
November 23, 2017
Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Things We Keep is such a beautiful book about two women and their families. Their lives cross when Eve takes a job at Rosalind House a care facility where Anna lives. Anna has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. Eve's husband has defrauded his clients and left Eve and their young daughter, Clementine alone and having to fend for themselves in the aftermath of his crime. This book is tole in 3 voices: Anna, Eve, and Clementine.

Anna is taken to Rosalind House by her twin brother, Jack and his family. She has been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease at thirty eight years of age. At Rosalind House she meets many residents but one stand out for her, Jack. Jack also has a debilitating disease and together they find love. But as Anna's condition progresses, her brother does what he feels is in her best interest to care for her. Told in Anna's point of view, her story is sad and tragic. She is a woman who tries to remember and leaves herself notes to help her get through her day to day life. She finally finds love when she is losing herself. Her story is sad, but she is also tough, strong and tries her best to live with her disease.

Eve is a Chef who has to put her skills to use at Rosalind House in an attempt to provide for her and her young daughter. She uses her job to get her daughter into a good school. As she begins her job she meets Anna and other residents at the Home and tries her best to provide for them. She feels for Anna and her relationship with Luke. She tries her best to help them with their love life as she tries to have a love life of her own.

Clem, Eve's daughter suffers bullying at school due to the crimes committed by her father. Her Mother has tried to protect her and keep the "truth" about her father from her. As she is bullied she begins to have problems at school.

As the stories intertwine, we see into the lives of these 3 females and into their relationships with others. The book travels a little bit in time but if you read the headers the Author does tell you how long ago things happened.

I found this book to be beautiful, sad, heartbreaking and also uplifting at the same time. I think it takes a great deal of care and talent to pull all of those emotions off. Even as I felt bad for Luke and Anna, I was also shown their strength and determinations. This book is about many things but mainly about how the human spirit and how people try to do their best when they are given the worst. How does one cope when the unthinkable happens, when you are presented with a situation that cannot be controlled.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Perfect for book clubs. I highly recommend.

See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,738 reviews14.1k followers
November 29, 2015
What an amazing book. Not often that one can find a book about Alzheimer disease that can be found at all uplifting, but this one was. Of course there is much sadness as well, a young women of thirty eight with the disease can't be anything else, but the other people in the home she is in and she herself are wonderful characters full of heart and love.

Another part of the story is about Eve and her young daughter Clementine, seven. Eve becomes the cook at the home after a horrible string of events cause her and her daughter to lose everything. All characters affected by things in their lives that they have no control over but making the best of what they have left. The real people left after they lose what they had, from disease, aging, financial misdealings or whatever, they are still valuable, still capable of maybe more than we think. To take each day as it comes and to appreciate what is left, not dwell on what is lost.

I will admit this is a sentimental read, often going over the line on clichés but this book just shows the reader so much, the underlying messages valuable. The characters are almost all great and young Clementine is a joy, so many are unforgettable. Felt sad at the end of this but also joyful, I felt that I had experienced so much. Very touching read.

ARC from Netgalley.

Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
November 3, 2017
Anna, a paramedic in her late 30s, finds out that she has early-onset Alzheimer's. When it becomes too severe and endangers the people she loves, she moves into Rosalind House, a small assisted living center. There she meets Luke, who's also in his late 30s and has a type of frontotemporal dementia that affects his speech. As they get to know each other, Anna eventually finds to her surprise that she still has reasons to live. But others around them, particularly Anna's brother, her guardian, aren't at all sure that their relationship should be allowed to continue.

Anna and Luke's story is interspersed with Eve's, a once-wealthy young widow whose life has fallen apart (for more reasons than her husband's suicide). Eve is now working as a cook/cleaning lady at Rosalind House, trying desperately to keep her daughter Clementine in the same school by using the facility's address as their own.

The story alternates between the present and the past (starting sixteen months ago, when Anna first moved to Rosalind House, and slowly moving forward), and between three narrators: Anna, who is gradually losing her memory; Eve, who befriends Anna and tries to help her; and 7 year old Clem, who is hiding fears and troubles of her own.

Sally Hepworth effectively shows Anna's point of view: the searching for words that have been lost, the lack of recognition of familiar faces, the confusion, the frustrations, the suicidal thoughts.
"I'm sorry," I say. I concentrate on my words to make sure this comes out right. "It sounds horrible, what you said. I know I'm . . . not getting things right anymore, I'm getting confused and doing strange things. But I'm . . ." I pause to wipe my face. "I'm still here. It's just--you have to look a little longer and harder to find me."
Eve and her daughter, as well as Anna, have experienced a traumatic loss. Though their losses seem very different on the surface, Hepworth effectively draws out the similarities and ties between their stories. The things that we can keep in spite of these losses--self-worth, independence, and especially love--are of vital importance, no matter what our situation.
"When you get to my age," he says, his face softening, "you don't waste time with regrets. In the end, you just remember the moments of joy. When all is said and done, those are the things we keep."
It's hard for me to define this moving novel: it's got some romance, some interpersonal drama, and some sentimentality, but it shouldn't be solely defined by any of these things. It's well worth reading, and a poignant reminder of the bonds that connect all of us.

Content advisory: A few scattered F-bombs and non-explicit sexual scenes.

Many thanks to the publisher, St. Martin's Press, for a free copy of this book for review.
March 4, 2017
3.5 stars. This was an easy, enjoyable and educational read. It was a very sad story about early-onset Alzheimer's but there were many moments of happiness and hope.

I learned a lot about what it is like for family members looking after a loved one with Alzheimer's. This disease is absolutely devastating. The author, Sally Hepworth, also gives the reader a glimpse of what it might be like to live with this terrible disease as some chapters are told from the perspective of an Alzheimer's patient. The frustration and helplessness are heartbreaking.

The book revolves around the love story of Anna and Luke, two young residents at the Rosalind House, an assisted-living facility. Anna has early-onset Alzheimer's. Luke has early-onset dementia.

There are a couple reasons this book lost a few stars for me. I found several things throughout the story seemed a little too convenient and there were a couple things that were very predictable. I also found myself comparing this book with Lisa Genova's novel "Still Alice" which is one of my favourite books, also about early-onset Alzheimer's. Overall, I did enjoy the book, but not as much as I enjoyed Hepworth's previous novel, "The Secrets of Midwives".
Profile Image for Kimber Silver.
Author 1 book231 followers
September 19, 2022
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Once I realized that the two main characters (Anna, 38 and Luke, 41) were diagnosed with early onset dementia, I felt I’d made the wrong choice in reading material. But as I dove deeper into this book I found that, despite its sad start, this was also an account of love, human kindness and faith. On a personal level, the story’s ‘life is short’ message especially resonated with me.

The primary setting for this tale is Rosalind House, a care home for adults, and Eve, the newly-hired cook, finds herself having to deal with advanced dementia sufferers for the first time. She, though, is a natural and comes to symbolize how an ordinary person can see beyond the disease and into the heart of the patient, displaying a kindness more beneficial than any medicine.
Eve, and her daughter Clementine, a fiery seven-year-old, have their own set of life-altering problems, adding another dimension as their fates unwind alongside those of Anna and Luke.

I confess to being uncertain as to how I should feel, even after I’d finished the story, so took some time to think about what I’d read. Initially, all I felt was heartbreak. I couldn’t see how anything good could come out of two young people existing in a care home, suffering from a condition that bears no hope. But I was proved wrong. The author did an excellent job of presenting the glimmer of a silver lining in the darkness.

I’ve not dealt with dementia extensively, so can’t vouch for the authenticity of the story. The representation of the disease did seem plausible, and not there for the sole purpose of making the book entertaining.

Because of its subject matter, The Things We Keep was never likely to be a happy-ever-after story, but I wasn’t left feeling gloomy either.
Profile Image for Linda.
76 reviews172 followers
August 21, 2016
I spoke with an elderly bookseller, while living in San Francisco. I asked her where I could find a book on a particular subject. She said we never look for a book. The book will reach out to us. That's exactly how I came to purchasing this book.

I'm not usually drawn to love stories per se. This book, thankfully, is not in my opinion a love story. It's a book about people whom you will quickly come to love; it's about their individual, unconditional love; it's about the suffering and even anger that accompanies that love; and it's about forgiveness and starting to love once again.

I thought Ms. Hepworth did an amazing job creating such memorable, likable characters--people I'd want to know personally, most especially, seven-year-old Clementine. She was the glue that held the story together.

"the things we keep" is a heart-warming book that will have a permanent place in my library. I'm so grateful it called out to me.
Profile Image for Suz.
1,101 reviews566 followers
May 20, 2022
This was beautifully nice!

Anna and Jack are both too young to be afflicted with early onset dementia. But as we know this condition does happen occasionally within a younger age group, tragically so. And this is how this story goes.

A fictional aged care facility (I say fictional as my family are nurses, and I worked in a nursing home and this place was entirely different. It was a very small facility).

Here we see widow, Eve, join the staff as a cook (she has a great back story as a very skilled chef and an unfortunate story of a husband whom was an unscrupulous investor) and her beautiful daughter Clementine. Clem was wise beyond her years and had a beautiful way with the residents; she learned from them, and they learned from her.

Anna and Jack form a bond and need to fight all areas to be able to let this blossom. Anna's twin brother and the head of the facility. Who was a right pain in the bum, too!

Eve worked so hard here as she was now to support her daughter after losing everything with her husband's misdeeds. Clem became part of the furniture as she had to be with her mum at work before and after school. Eve became the advocate for the lovely bond of these two young people. Anna was sweet; she had been a paramedic. She called Jack 'young guy' as her memory faded. The lucid moments between these two young people was beautiful, and Eve fought to keep this alive.

There was a physical tragedy, but this was part of the heartbreaking love. This was a lovely book, and I so enjoyed the audio.
Profile Image for Esil.
1,118 reviews1,340 followers
December 3, 2015
3 1/2 stars. The Things We Keep has two story lines that are out of step by 18 months or so. The first one is told from Anna's point of view. Anna is admitted to a long-term care home at the age of 38 suffering from dementia. At that point, she can still form thoughts, but is forgetful and somewhat disoriented. Hepworth does an excellent job seeing the world through Anna's eyes. The second story line takes place 18 months later and is told from Eve and Clementine's perspective. Eve comes to work in Anna's long-term care home as a cook and cleaner, and Clementine is her 7 year old daughter. Their lives are in turmoil because Eve's husband has recently died after being uncovered as a fraudster. By the point Eve comes to work at the home, Anna's dementia is far more advanced, but slowly Eve comes to know, appreciate and help Anna. I've read a few other novels involving main characters with some form of dementia, and I enjoyed this one but it isn't a standout for me like Still Alice or An Absent Mind -- both really moved me to tears. There are nevertheless a few things that make this one a worthy read: Anna's age and circumstances put her in a different category, Hepworth does a good job exploring Anna's ability to have a relationship with another younger male resident, and Anna has a great voice including a good sense of humour. The Eve and Clementine subplot was more predictable, but they were likeable characters. A good read, but not a great one. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,635 followers
October 10, 2015

This book was so sad in so many ways, but there were bright parts as well.

Anna is only 38-years-old and has Alzheimer's. Her brother puts her in an assisted living facility for senior citizens, Rosalind House. But Anna isn't the only younger person there with dementia, there is Luke. He is 41 and has what is called frontotemporal dementia, this affects his speech and word production.

Anna and Luke hit it off and everything is working beautifully for them until the families try to separate them. This is where it gets sad and where I get so mad at people trying to ruin the lives of others. I know it's just a story, but still.

Then you have Eve who comes to work for Rosalind House after it's the only place she can work as a cook. Eve is actually a chef but due to some things her husband did, it's hard for her to get a job and take care of her and sweet Clementine, her daughter.

Eve starts to love it at the facility and that is only because of all the patients. She befriends some of them and so does Clem (her daughter). She also has a little romance trying to sprout with the gardener, Angus.

I loved the story so much. The people are so sweet and I loved the way the author wrote this book. There is also some evilness with bullying in school, which I can't stand!!!

I recommend this to anyone that wants to read something sweet, uplifting, sad, heartbreaking, and promising all in one book.

*I would like to thank NETGALLEY and ST. MARTIN'S PRESS for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.*

Profile Image for Sharon.
991 reviews192 followers
November 12, 2016
Anna Forster is only thirty eight when she and her family discover that she is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Although this has shocked Anna and her family, Anna recognizes that her family are doing what's best for her when they decide to take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility.

Having experienced first hand what a debilitating disease, Alzheimer's can be I found this story to be sad, but also uplifting. With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my copy to read and review. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
350 reviews393 followers
January 12, 2016
"I like it when people remember that I'm a person, not just a person with Alzheimer's." - Sally Hepworth, The Things We Keep

When I first heard about this book -- a love story of sorts about two young people with very early on-set dementia -- I was torn. I was both drawn to it, and simultaneously scared-off by it. A few of my family members have either had or currently have dementia so I've seen its terrible impact first hand. I was afraid this book might just hit too close to home for me to even finish it. Happily, I not only finished it, but enjoyed it.

Hepworth's writing is approachable and well-paced. Her two main characters, Luke and Anna, are believable and Hepworth treats them with humanity and compassion.

There is no doubt that the book is sad, but I've read other reviewers describe it as "uplifting," too. I'm not sure that's the word I would use, but perhaps would say that even in the midst of great pain there are still reasons to smile.

3.5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,729 reviews465 followers
February 27, 2019
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This book was wonderful. The story that it told is my worst nightmare in so many ways. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease can change so much about a person as the disease takes away memories. Early-onset Alzheimer's disease seems like an even crueler fate since the individuals being affected haven't had the chance to live a full life yet. I think that this book did a fantastic job of really making me think and more importantly making me feel.

Anna is in her late thirties and has early onset Alzheimer's disease. She has reached the stage where she and her family realize that a care facility is the best place for her so they find a facility with another patient dealing with early onset dementia. The author did a fabulous job of really getting into Anna's head and she is dealing with her memory loss. Anna's decline over the course of the story was also handled very well.

This book also tells a love story. Anna meets Luke at the care facility. Both are dealing with dementia at a very young age and they are drawn to each other. I really thought that they were so good for each other and it pained me that they didn't find each other until after they were experiencing memory loss. Anna never could seem to remember Luke's name but she always knew who he was and his presence seemed to bring her peace.

This book also deals with people trying to make the best decisions for those that they love. Anna's brother was put in the position of having to make decisions for Anna. There is no doubt that he loved his sister and wanted to do what was best for her. Unfortunately, Anna couldn't always share what that was.

We also get to learn Eve and her daughter Clem's story. Eve has just taken the position of cook at Anna and Luke's care facility. Eve hasn't worked for quite a while but is willing to do what it takes to care for her daughter. They have been through a lot after a scandal hit their family. I thought that their story was well done and interesting and I loved the way that Eve fought to help Anna get what she needed.

The narrators did a wonderful job with this book. I have listened to Therese Plummer quite a few times in the past and love her work but this was the first time that I have had the chance to listen to Barrie Kreinik's narration. There were three distinct points of view in the book and I really liked the use of multiple narrators to perform the story. I thought that they both brought a lot of emotion into the story and were very pleasant to listen to for hours at a time. I am glad that I decided to listen to this book.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I thought it was a really well-done story that I found very thought-provoking. I would not hesitate to read more of this author's work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.

Initial Thoughts
This was a beautiful story in so many ways. Yes, there were some equally tragic parts as well but I thought that there was a lot of hope to be found. Dementia is cruel to both the patient and their family. It is one of my biggest fears. The things that were happening to Anna broke my heart but the powerful connection that she was able to make with Luke was beautiful. Eve's story was also somewhat tragic but she had a great attitude and was willing to do what needed to be done to move forward in her life. Clem's voice was a surprise that added a lot to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this story about love, family, and trying to do what is best. I listened to the audiobook and thought that the narrators did a remarkable job with this story.
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,494 reviews9 followers
May 13, 2018
I felt a real connection to this story, to the characters, and to the assisted - living facility, having had family members diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's in past years. But I think I would have loved it even if that wasn't the case. This is especially touching as two of the facility's residents are just in their 30's when it sets in. Aside from the lovely story of Anna and Luke getting to know each other and falling in love (over and over again), there is another one about Eve, the new cook at the home, and her daughter Clementine, both reeling from the suicide of the husband/father after being exposed for running a Ponzi scheme. Sounds like a real downer of a book, I know...

..."Imagine that when you open your eyes, you're in a completely unfamiliar place. You don't recognize me, and you can't find anyone you know. You're scared and confused and disoriented. You ask to be taken home, and someone you don't recognize tells you this is your home and you're not going anywhere. Every time you ask for your mother, someone tells you she is dead. And because you can't retain that information for long, you have to hear it again and again and again. How would that make you feel?"

...but then there are so many uplifting moments that give one hope in the darkest of times. Of course, all lives come to an end, and I loved this quote from one of the older guys whose wife is dying, words to live by:

"When you get to be my age, you don't waste time with regrets. In the end, you just remember the moments of joy. When all is said and done, those are the things we keep."
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
593 reviews3,542 followers
March 3, 2016
"How can you love someone you don't remember?"

Sounds like the beginning of a cheesy Paranormal Romance, right?

The Things We Keep is a surprisingly touching look into the heads of those who suffer from Alzheimer's. It usually occurs when you're old and have to wear dentures, but the protagonist Anna suffers from early onset Alzheimer's and willingly goes in a retirement home of sorts for her own safety.

We see her gradual descent into dementia, and it's absolutely beautiful and tragic.

"He picked up his walkie-talkie and asked for the license plate number. When I looked blank, he smiled. "Make and model?"

It was such an easy question. But the more I tried to find the answer, the more it blacked out. Like a photograph with a question mark over the face, a criminal with his jacket over his head—something was there, but my brain wouldn't let me see."

My late grandma had Alzheimer's. She used to ask the same questions over and over again—"Have you eaten?", "Are you full?"—and I'd patiently answer "Yes, grandma." every time. She didn't have the foggiest memory of what she had for lunch, but go on for hours about acquaintances from fifty years ago. Despite her kind deposition, she had a mouth like a sailor and used to rant my poor grandfather's ear off when he gently reminded her she wasn't allowed to eat something. (My grandmother also had cancer and chemo shrank her windpipe to the width of a straw.)

My grandfather's still here, by the way, but his memory is going too. Coincidence or not, he started deteriorating after my grandma passed away. Make of that what you will.

I remember my grandma was in the hospital on her last day. It was something about her lungs or heart and she couldn't leave, and she was crying, begging my aunt to take her home. My aunt promised she would, tomorrow, as long as Grandma ate her pills.

My grandma went to sleep and the next day, the hospital called to say she was gone.

She had moments of lucidity right to the end. It reminds me of a quote Anna says near the end:

"I'm still here. It's just—you have to look a little longer and harder to find me."

Luke, the man Anna falls in love with in the home, is perhaps the sole irritating thing. He's a Maniac Pixie Dream Boy. Like Finding Audrey, he falls for Anna out of the blue and doesn't have much of a concrete personality of his own. His only function in the narrative is to convince Anna to hang on.

Other than that, it's pretty much perfect.

"These days, the most interesting conversations I have are about my favourite color or type of food. I like it when people remember I'm a person, not just a person with Alzheimer's."

ARC provided by St.Martin's Press (who are super awesome for sending a physical copy across the world)
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books298 followers
April 24, 2017
Four and a half stars.
Imagine being 38 years old and finding out you have early onset Alzheimer’s! But then Anna had long suspected that it could happen as she inherited the gene from her father. In an attempt to make life easier for her twin brother Jack and his young family, she elects to move into a care facility. After research Rosalind House is chosen. Most of the other residents are elderly but there is one other resident around her own age, Luke, or Young Guy as she calls him when she can’t remember his name. The other story running along with Anna’s is that of Eve. After the sudden and untimely death of her husband and the loss of her status and wealth, Eve takes on the job as cook at Rosalind House. But the job entails much more than just cooking.
The story is told from three points of view. Anna’s, Eve’s and that of her young daughter Clementine. This book got me in right from the first page and I quickly became involved in the lives of the characters. It is an emotive read but it is not all doom and gloom. They are light amusing moments and yet it is also heartbreaking. It’s a story of love, family and friendship as well as the drastic changes life can dish out. It also shows the nasty side of humanity in the way some of the other mother’s from Clementine’s school treat Eve and of another who uses the misfortunes of others to further his own ends. There’s a bit of bad language at times.
If you can get through this novel without tears, you’re tougher than me. But there were moments of smiles and laughter as well as anger at times. A thoroughly engaging read that I would recommend. This is the second book about Alzheimer’s I have read recently and loved both, though they are very different to each other.
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,294 reviews2,965 followers
November 2, 2018
This was a brutal read but not in a graphic sort of way, more like you just feel like you keep getting sucker punched in the heart. But yet just about every time I would start to feel like this was such a cruel and unfair world, there would be this beautiful moment in the story that really emphasizes what life is all about. I can't guarantee if you read this book you will love it, but I do think it will stir up some emotions especially if you have had someone close to you suffer from dementia.

At thirty-eight years old, Anna Forster is suffering from early onset dementia. She moves into an assisted living facility where she meets Luke, the only person who is even remotely close to her in age. And while time might not be on their side, they develop a connection and Anna knows she's going to have to fight to remember what is most important in life.

I apologize that my synopsis kinda sucks but it's tricky to really describe the plot as it has alternating timelines and also other character perspectives like Eve, the cook at the facility, and her young daughter Clementine who are both struggling to start over. So the book is unique in the fact that not only do you get to witness Anna as her memory begins to fade but also how her caretakers and family are dealing with it as well. By the end of the book you do feel like you also know the other residents in the assisted living facility as they each have an interesting backstory.

Love is such a powerful theme of the book and I'm not just talking about romantic relationships, but also the love you share with a child, parent, or sibling and even just plain, old friendship. This story really tugged on my heartstrings. There is so much sadness in the book , but even in darkness there is light. There are some special moments in the story that in my opinion make the book well worth reading even though it is a tough, emotional read.
Profile Image for Lisa.
753 reviews
May 15, 2019
Wow this book The Secrets we keep by Sally Hepworth is a novel about onset early Altzheimers between two families & how they cope with it. I must say Miss Hepworth did an amazing job & tought me more about this hideous disease its about hope, love & the trials & tribulatons one goes through.
I found this heartwarming, sad & at times happy ( i know that sounds silly) but when you have this you have to deal with it the best way you can & enjoy life while you still have it. 4 stars
Profile Image for Elaine.
604 reviews230 followers
December 29, 2015
This read is a bizarre mix of harrowing and uplifting moments, which really drew me in. It is set in an assisted living complex and the main story is that of Anna, a 39 year old who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. She meets Luke at the facility, a 41 year old who is also suffering with a dementia related disease. Is it too late in their lives to find love? I was fascinated by the questions raised by the author in this regard, the dilemmas facing the carers and families of Luke and Anna. Should they be allowed to carry on their friendship or would it be kinder in the long run and for their own sakes to separate them as much as possible? It was told in such a way that you really could see both sides of the argument and the awful position everyone was in.

The story is told over a few months in time from two other viewpoints as well as Anna’s. There is Eve, newly arrived cook at the facility who is escaping from a recent tragedy in her own life and her seven year old daughter Clem who is struggling to cope with the changes in her life.

However, my favourite voice was that of Anna herself. The author really put me right inside Anna’s mind which was a very sad place to be at times. It felt frighteningly realistic as I watched Anna’s cognizance slowly disintegrate over the months. My heart really went out to her with every word, phrase, name and face she slowly forgot over the course of the read.

It is a sad and moving story, sensitively told which still managed to leave me with a smile on my face. Many thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for the review copy.
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,585 reviews362 followers
December 5, 2016
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 5 Stars +

Top 50 Books of 2016!

The best since Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook and Lisa Genova’s Still Alice. In addition, fans of Diane Chamberlain’s Necessary Lies’ character Jane, will appreciate Eve’s tenacity, to cross the lines to help those in a life threatening situation.

Following debut, Secrets of Midwives, (5 stars) Sally Hepworth returns with another smashing hit -- THE THINGS WE KEEP, an enthralling story of lives which connect, in the midst of tragedy. Heartwarming, and compassionate--full of intensity, suspense, wit, unwavering love, loss, pain, joy, romance, and redemption. Prime movie adaptation material.

An excellent portrayal of early Alzheimer’s disease, and those who will risk it all to offer help to those in need. In a secondary storyline, another powerful story of a courageous young single mother shunned by her peers, and a daughter being bullied at school. Two extraordinary stories. Each could be taken from today’s top controversial headlines.

Love, love . . . the cover, the novel, and the author’s writing, passion, research, and humor. My Top Book List for 2016. We all need a special friend like Eve in our corner. Because you have Alzheimer’s doesn’t mean you cannot possess the ability to love. (Powerful stuff). Move this one to the top of your reading list!

As the book opens we meet Anna. Flashing back and forth from fifteen months ago, and days leading up to the present, we meet Anna Forster. She is afraid. She knows she is losing her independence, her mind, and her memories. She fears for tomorrow. The reason for writing notes to herself, so she does not forget.

Her mom also had the big A. She does not want to be one of those drugged out zombies, causing a burden. (Sad, but Anna is so funny sometimes). A closet, a bathroom, a hall? Which door to choose? What to wear – simple choices…one sentence, she cannot finish the next thought. She gets agitated, scared, confused. She cannot communicate her thoughts. Is it winter or summer? She does not have a clue. However, she may still know what the heart wants.

Anna is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old. She had to quit her job as a paramedic. Now at age thirty-nine she is going into a home. Her dad left home when she was a child when discovering her mom had Alzheimer’s. Unlike Anna, who left her husband when she found out she had the horrible disease. She made it her choice. An unforgiving disease that takes away memory and impacts a patient's independence.

Now single, with no children, Anna’s twin brother, Jack attempts to take care of her needs by moving her into his home. However, with younger children in the home, he soon learns they cannot trust Anna’s behavior—she is forgetful—no one is safe ----especially her five-year-old nephew, Ethan.

Jack talks Anna into the Rosalind House, (of course, she has no choice)—a small nice boutique assisted living residence for senior citizens. However, she is NOT a senior citizen. An old folks’ home. A day program for people like her--- and also people not like her. Only five percent of Alzheimer’s cases occur in people under the age of sixty-five.

The only positive note about this place is a guy, also with younger-onset dementia. A guy her brother had heard about through a support network. His name is Luke. Ah . Luke (loved him). He is good-looking, great attitude, charming, and has frontotemporal dementia. He has lost some of his speech (slurred) and stutters; whereas Anna has lost memories. He is also in his thirties.

We meet a variety of other residents, (all hilarious) from Bert (who talks to his dead wife, Myrna)—Clem likes him; Clara (Southern lady) in her eighties, and husband, Laurie; Eric, the center’s manager (not so nice), Luke the young guy, the handsome gardener, and others.

Anna’s doctor (Dr. Brain) her neuropsychologist-- explained memories tended to evaporate in reverse order. This meant her oldest memories would be the ones to hang around the longest, and new information, quick to disappear into the black hole of no return, in her brain.

Eve Bennett. Next we meet another main character, with her own drama. Eve lands at Rosalind House as a place to work. She notices the sign: A place which says, “Giving them peace of mind, and giving you peace of mind.” (their mission). Eve is in dire need of a job and some peace. She was a formerly the head chef at a hot NYC Asian fusion restaurant and a graduate of the finest culinary school. She is applying for the lowly cook position.

She has a seven year old daughter, Clem at the nearby elementary school, and needs this job at Rosalind House to use the address so her daughter does not have to change schools. Unfortunately, her former fancy job, millions of dollars, beautiful home, expensive cars, stylish clothes, and stock broker investment manager--handsome husband Richard is long gone.

A past life, since his Ponzi scheme, worse than Bernie Madoff. (we all know him well here in Palm Beach County). Richard is not here to help her with her problems and to raise her daughter. He was a good father and husband; however, got greedy. She loved him. She misses him. She is angry. She did not see it coming. He knew he would go to jail. She still feels guilt, to this day. However, she has a good attitude. The women do not like her now, that she has no money or status. She is trying to start over.

Eve is trying desperately to raise her young daughter, among a cruel bunch of little girls and judgmental mothers. Now her daughter is being bullied. She needs this job at Rosalind House and hopes the school does not question this as not her home address. She is trying to keep all the bad stuff from her daughter, to protect her. They live in a rundown old apartment and she has no friends left. Her family is now the Rosalind House.

She soon finds herself at Rosalind House, working as a cook; however, Eric the manager, is trying to save money (or so he says) and she has to clean toilets, rooms, and cook, while he seeks someone for the cleaning job. She only wants to cook, but takes the job, as she is desperate.

The gardener at first has issues with her, since his sister was a victim of her husband’s Ponzi scheme; however, as time goes on, they become friends and possibly a little more. She cannot seem to go anywhere without running into her past.

After Anna attempted to jump off the roof, (intentional or not?) –she and Luke start spending more time together. They are fond of one another and can relate. They understand one another. He gives her the will to live, to go on. They are just a few years apart. She calls him the Young Guy. They start going to each other’s rooms at night. However, Jack does not agree with this behavior, thinking his sister is not of sound mind to have a relationship. Luke’s sister thinks it could be a good idea.

Soon management is involved and the staff job is to keep the two love birds apart. They lock them in at night. They are not allowed to speak to one another as if they were teenagers.

In the meantime, with all the drama going on in Eve’s life, she risks her job to help Luke and Anna –in order for them to spend more time with one another. She thinks they deserve happiness. Eve befriends Anna. She sees Anna’s happiness and wants to give her hope. She was not able to help her husband, so she will help Anna, and her daughter, no matter what.

In the midst of Eve’s problems, and the tension between Luke, Anna, the families and the staff, there is a sweet little girl, Clementine (Clem), Eve’s daughter, who wins the hearts of all the residents at Rosalind House.

Compelling! In addition to the unwavering love, Hepworth conveys a message. Not only a love story, she highlights issues related to the caregivers, family members, and their tough choices. As in this story, it is always difficult knowing the right thing to do. Anna was unable, to say what she was thinking, often the case with patients--tough for all parties concerned, such as agitation, confusion, tension, and short tempers. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are strategies to delay progression, maximize function and maintain independence.

Overcoming adversity, challenges, and allowing people into our lives when it appears there is no hope left. Living the best we can with the cards we are dealt. Ultimately, a resilient couple, and a single mom whose love withstands illness and hardships. The emotions, and the intensity, will have you page-turning into the wee hours of the morning. You will fall in love with the characters - they tend to linger long after the book ends. Still thinking of the story.

Anna: “Dr. Brain once told me that an Alzheimer’s brain was like the snow on a mountain peak—slowly melting. There are days when the sun is bright and chunks drop off all over the place and there are days when the sun stays tucked behind clouds and everything remains largely intact. Then there are days—spectacular days (his words)—when you stumble across a trail you thought had melted, and for a short while you have something back that you through was gone forever.”

However, Anna would have preferred it this way:

“The brain is like a filthy, stinking pile of crap. When the sun comes out, it stinks worse than you can imagine, and when it’s cold or cloudy, you can barely smell it at all. Then there are the days that, if the wind is coming from a certain way, you might catch the cold scent of a spruce for a few hours and forget the crap is even there. With that analogy, at least we’d have been calling a 'spade a spade'. Because the truth is, if you have dementia, your brain is CRAP. An even if you can’t smell it right this minute, it still stinks.”

I enjoyed reading Hepworth’s inspiration behind the book. She nailed it. “Dementia isn’t the only place that memories are found to be flawed—people find out they can’t rely on their memories every day. People blindsided in relationships. People who find out their truth is a lie. People pulled from trauma. People awakened, as in Anna and Eve. I wondered: If you can’t use memories to steer your life, what can you use? I didn’t know. It was why I had to write this book.” ---Sally Hepworth

THE THINGS WE KEEP, is an accurate portrayal of the struggles of both patient and the caregiver. From sensitive decisions about the care, confusion, emotional, and agitated states of the patient, when they are giving up their independence, as well as losing the mind and memories. It also depicts the realistic emotional decisions family members face, when placing loved ones in a home and trust to provide adequate care for the patient. A time worthy piece with so many baby boomers having to care for their elderly parents as well as their own health. In this story, Eve was unable to save her husband; however, a desperate need to save Anna.

Look for The Mother's Promise Coming Feb 21, 2017! The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the power of love and forgiveness.

Profile Image for Ghazaleh.
159 reviews107 followers
November 1, 2018
از نظر من کتاب محسوب نمیشد! داستان تکراری و خسته کننده ای داشت، اصلا نمیدونم چرا باید جزو پرفروش ترین ها باشه؟!!!!!
Profile Image for Kerri.
980 reviews351 followers
February 10, 2023
I enjoyed this a lot and found myself rapidly turning the pages, more involved in the story than I had expected. It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking, as I suppose any love story involving two fairly young people with dementia would be.
I found Anna to be very compelling character, and it was fascinating and extremely sad to watch her struggle with her early onset Alzheimer's disease and lovely to follow her relationship with Luke, who lives in the residential care home with her, and has frontotemporal dementia. It's a sweet romance with quite a few obstacles, both the ones you would expect, and a few that took me by surprise.

My one quibble was that, although the difficulties around sexual consent between two patients with dementia was addressed, I was at times uncertain where I felt in terms of whether they were in a position to consent or not. I maybe would have liked to be a little more clear on this, but I suppose the nature of the disease means we can't be, so perhaps that was a deliberate choice?

The aspects of the story following Eve and her daughter Clementine, as they begin to rebuild their lives after a trauma was equally compelling. I especially liked the way Clementine was written -- she actually felt like a realistic seven year old kid, which you don't always encounter in books.

Overall I really liked this one and will be reading more books by Sally Hepworth.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
1,071 reviews27 followers
December 11, 2015
I really enjoyed this book - partially because of the storyline, but mostly because I believe the author captured the reality of Alzheimer's Disease. I wanted to read "The Things We Keep" because both of my grandmothers, my father and now my sister have some form of dementia and having it so close in the family makes me pray every day that it will not happen to me. Having it destroy memories is, to me, the ultimate death. That being said, I also wanted to read the story because it spoke to me of the lives of family and friends. I felt that Ms. Hepworth was very true to the reality of the disease - from having the disease occasionally make an appearance to it taking over.

The characters were wonderful. Luke, another patient at Rosalind Hill, was incredibly supportive of Anna, the main character. Eve, who had so many issues of her own, was amazing in the role of the single mother.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. Alzheimer's is not only a disease for old people. Anna was in her late 30's when she was diagnosed.

I received this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Brooke.
277 reviews137 followers
February 28, 2017
Such a sweetly sad story! The incorporation of Alzheimer's mixed in with a bit of romance was so well-done; I have Hepworth's MOTHER'S PROMISE on my TBR & will be bumping it up after this awesomeness.

Poignantly written, I found myself rooting for Anna & Luke the whole way. It was heartbreaking to see their families try to tear them apart, but I was happy to see Hepworth showing that love cannot be forgotten. I enjoyed the majority of the other characters including Eve & Clementine, the other POV's. These POV's add to the storyline, instead of subtracting which is not easily done. I cared just as much about Eve's life as I did Anna's.

I do not know anyone personally with the disease, but Anna's reactions appeared genuine & I had some tears as she was trying to remember Luke whilst having more of her memories deteriorate. I love the glimmers of happiness Hepworth sprinkled in here to defer the darkness. I do wish a few minor things were more touched upon, such as furthering Eve & Angus's relationship & possibly more of Luke's background but these things didn't take away my enjoyment of the novel in the slightest. Highly recommended; carry the tissues on you with this one!
Profile Image for Sue.
2,691 reviews170 followers
September 11, 2018

This was an amazing, poignant emotional read, but at the same time emotionally hopeful

I love hoe the author tried to express how it felt from the person who has Alzheimer’s as it can only make you think you know, or imagine what it’s like.

I’ve seen my own mother going through dementia although not exactly the same as Alzheimer’s it’s similar. It’s a horrible disease and for those caring.

We see this in this novel. The research has been tremendous and I love this book.

It’s defin insightful and gives a lot of love out pouring.

Although I’ve given this 3 and half stars it does mean I liked it and enjoyed it.

It did remind me of a couple of other books on this subject matter I’d read.

My thanks to St Martins Press via Net galley for my copy.
Profile Image for Judy.
93 reviews38 followers
January 30, 2016
I loved this book!!! It started out good right away. It was a very good story and I loved all the characters in the book. I am jealous of people that haven't read the book yet. Just read it, you will love it! I did!
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