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The Things We Keep

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  14,960 ratings  ·  2,044 reviews
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
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Hardcover, 338 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 5th 2016)
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Sarah There is a smattering of bad language, but nothing too over the top. The sex scenes are very minimal, mainly implied. There are a number of mentions o…moreThere is a smattering of bad language, but nothing too over the top. The sex scenes are very minimal, mainly implied. There are a number of mentions of sexual activity but it does not overpower the book and is appropriate in the context. (less)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  14,960 ratings  ·  2,044 reviews


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Sally Hepworth
Jun 06, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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
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Inge
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 woul
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Angela M
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 st ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
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,
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Debra
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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 Cle
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
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, ar ...more
Diane S ☔
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 event
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Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
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.
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Linda
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
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Esil
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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 ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.com

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 unti
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Sharon
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Pamela
"I like it when people remember that I'm a person, not just a person with Alzheimer's."

Beautifully bittersweet. A novel that celebrates the many facets of love: mothers and daughters, friends and lovers, dreamers and realists. And with all the 'feels'. Joyful amidst the sorrow, hopeful yet tragic, humor amongst the somber. At times funny - at times not. Moments of laughter were offset by drama and the reality of aging and Alzheimer's - at times, oh so sad. But yet in a warm fuzzy way, the love s
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Kimber Silver
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 n
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Jennifer
Nov 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
"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
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Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
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 m
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Natalie Monroe
"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
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☮Karen
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Dale Harcombe
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Katie B
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018, fiction
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
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Elaine
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 a ...more
Lisa
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
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
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Judy D Collins
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 W
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Kerri
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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Elizabeth
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
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 ...more
Brooke
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 PO
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Linda
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful story dealing with a sad subject, early onset Alzheimer's disease. I found myself crying silently at times and unexpectedly smiling at others. I thought of Still Alice when reading although the main character in this book, Anna Forster is only 38 when she's diagnosed. The author covers two subjects, the anguish of dealing with Alzheimer's and the anguish of grief and childhood bullying, this is done flawlessly. A look at human nature, hope and love.. Anna and Luke are charact ...more
Judy
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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!
Sue
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it

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 giv
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Lori
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having a grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer's I was fascinated by this book. I used to sit in the room with her and think to myself "what I would give to know what is going on inside her head..does she know me and if so what is she wanting to say to me?" I'm thankful to Sally Hepworth for writing this sweet story and giving me just a glimpse inside the brain of an Alzheimer's patient.
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review of book 6 45 Sep 28, 2017 07:09AM  
Around the Year i...: The Things We Keep, by Sally Hepworth 1 24 Aug 03, 2016 05:07AM  
Love Never Forgets: Truth and Outcomes-- Were you surprised? 2 17 Jun 21, 2016 01:23PM  

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Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of six novels, most recently The Mother In Law (2019). Her forthcoming novel, The Good Sister, will be available in early 2021.

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
...more

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