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Archived Group Reads - 2017 > June Book of the Month - The Things We knew by Catherine West

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message 1: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 3038 comments Mod
The Things We Knew by Catherine West

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.

Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.


message 2: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 3038 comments Mod
I am about halfway through this book. The writing is excellent; but so far the story line hasn't captured me.


message 3: by Jolyn (new)

Jolyn | 24 comments I just requested this book from the library. The one copy in the library system is due back on June 8. Hopefully it will be returned on-time so I will have time to read it and participate in the discussion this month.


message 4: by Chantel (last edited Jun 02, 2017 10:19AM) (new)

Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments I have this one siting on my desk right now. Well, I'm still reading Wildflowers From Winter, but I think I'm going to break it up with a happy book before I start this one. I'm totally excited to read it. :-)


message 5: by Chantel (new)

Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments Loraine wrote: "I am about halfway through this book. The writing is excellent; but so far the story line hasn't captured me."

Oh man! I've had that happen with the few books I've read in the past. Hopefully it turns around for you Loraine.


message 6: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 3038 comments Mod
It did improve in the second half Chantel, but I just am not into depressing books right now with my health issues. I am trying to stay with more upbeat and hopeful books.

I don't want to give anything away, but I swear I read a book in high school with a very similar storyline especially the second half.


message 7: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2202 comments Mod
It took me a while to warm up to the story line as well, but I did enjoy it in the end. I thought she did a good job of handling a heavier topic without it being too bogged down with sadness.


message 8: by Karin (new)

Karin | 183 comments I read this in one day this week doing a reading challenge and liked it better than I expected I would when I first started reading it (a bit like Beth). Now I just have to remember enough it when we finally get to start discussing it!


message 9: by Melody (new)

Melody | 12 comments I actually liked Gray's story better than the main story line. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped...


message 10: by Karin (new)

Karin | 183 comments I liked this book. The writing wasn't brilliant, and naturally it's very difficult to come up with a story that is completely original (there are millions of novels!), but it was a good enough 3.5 star read for me that I rounded it up.


message 11: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 3038 comments Mod
I apologize for not getting discussion questions up in a timely fashion. I am buried under an avalanche of getting ready to sell our house.

Please feel free to answer any or all of the discussion questions, post a question of your own, or just comment. Please use the html link above the comment box if you are going to post a spoiler as some may still be reading.

1. In The Things We Knew, Lynette's attachment to Wyldewood, the house she grew up in, is very strong. Why do you think she feels this way. Have you ever felt so attached to a particular home or place?

2. Change is often unavoidable. Lynette's life is changing dramatically, and she's doing her best to keep uo. Have there been times in your live when everything seemed to be changing too fast and you just wanted it to stop? How did you handle it?

3. Which character/s in West's book did you relate to most and why?

4. At the beginning of the story, Nick is conflicted over his feelings for Lynette, and his attachment to the Carlisle family. Do you thing he made the right decision in not telling Lynette the truth about what he knew?

5. What do you think you might do if you were in Nick's position, knowing that the secret you keep might do irreparable damage to so many people you care about?

6. Grace is a prevalent theme through the story. It's of ten the most difficult thing to do, show another person grace, especially when you think they don't deserve it. Have you ever been in a situation where you chose grace over judgment? How did that make you feel? Have you been on the receiving end of somebody extending grace to you?

7. Estrangement and fractured family relationships are common in our communities, but so difficult to navigate. What do you think the Carlisle siblings might have done different to stay closer during their turbulent childhood years? Why do you think they all chose to go their separate ways?

8. Was there a particular scene or chapter in the story that resonated with you? Why?

9. Gray's life choices have led him to a place of no return. How hard to you think returning home to his family, knowing all his failures, would be?

10. Were you challenged in any way by this story? Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not?


message 12: by Karin (last edited Jun 17, 2017 08:04AM) (new)

Karin | 183 comments Yes, I've been attached to a particular place, but never a house; I have never lived in one long enough to be like that (my parents moved a number of times and also built 3 houses on the same hill* before the got the one they've been in since I was in late high school.) The changes, NOT for the better, of my favourite place will never stop to bother me, but I don't live there so it's not in my face the same way. Nor could I have done anything to stop it.

As for the choice between grace and judgement, yes, if you meant legalistic judgement as in pronouncing a sentence or as the noun of the verb to judge. That said, in another use of that word, I believe that showing grace is often a great use of judgement (as in the cognitive process of reaching a decision or drawing conclusions.

While ultimately only God can give true grace, I think that showing grace is a wonderful witness and way to win people. But since my teens have tried to use mercy and grace as a way to escape just consequences that are a part of Godly parenting, I am a bit careful in how I use it now ;). !

I didn't directly relate to any of the people in this book, but I have known people who are similar to a number of them. I thought the challenges quite realistic, and one of the best parts of this book for me was that it dealt with real-life situations in a realistic way and yet in a realistic way that a Christian would experience it. This helped tip my rating up. While there are times a lighter, more "fluffy" Christian book can be relaxing, it's important to have more pithy Christian books.

*hill where I come from can also mean the side of a mountain, depending on what definition of mountain you use. Where I grew up it's only considered a mountain if it has snow on the top year round.


message 13: by Loraine, CFD Momma (last edited Jun 17, 2017 10:40AM) (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 3038 comments Mod
I have always felt particularly attached to the home I grew up in. I lived in it from two until I was married at 22. Our little neighborhood only had 3 streets. Everyone knew everybody and every parent disciplined all of the children, and we were expected to mind any of the adults. All of the families grew so close that all the children called the adults Aunt so and so and Uncle whatever the name. I have been away from the area for almost 50 years, but many of the children who have gone far and near still keep in touch. We all went to the same high school even though some were older and some were younger and keep in touch through our high school facebook page. My parents have both passed but I can't help thinking of them and the warm, wonderful memories I have of growing up and getting married from that house.


message 14: by Chantel (last edited Jun 17, 2017 06:11PM) (new)

Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments I just started this one today I'm trying to hurry up so I can be in on the discussion. I just finished chapter 1 and I feel so bad for Lynette's dad.


message 15: by Christine (new)

Christine | 455 comments I finished this a couple of days ago. It was definitely a heavier read than I'm used to, but not overly so. I loved the different characters and though it took me a bit to get into the story, when I did overall I enjoyed it.


message 16: by Jolyn (new)

Jolyn | 24 comments I checked this book out from the library but have had a hard time getting motivated to actually read it as it hasn't really caught my interest. I think I will probably just move on to the July book now since I know I am interested in that book and June is now officially over. My copy of "The Things We Knew" isn't due until July 11 though so I might change my mind and try to get it read before then. Will have to see how the next week goes.


message 17: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 3038 comments Mod
Jolyn it definitely did start out slow but it got better further into the story.


message 18: by Karin (new)

Karin | 183 comments I liked it, and if anyone's interested, here's my review - no spoilers there!


message 19: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 3038 comments Mod
Good review Karin. I agree definitely dealt with some meaty stuff.


message 20: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Dean | 22 comments I enjoyed this book. It definitely made me think, and I enjoy books that have more meat in them. I find that a lot of Christian books tend to be "fluffy" and not have a lot of depth to them.
That being said, I might have read it a little too fast, because I was half way through the book before I realized his name was Gray and not Gary. :)


message 21: by Melody (new)

Melody | 12 comments Cassie wrote: "I enjoyed this book. It definitely made me think, and I enjoy books that have more meat in them. I find that a lot of Christian books tend to be "fluffy" and not have a lot of depth to them.
That ..."


I agree. I enjoy a fluffy and light read from time to time, but I love books that tackle though subjects and that make me think.


message 22: by Karin (new)

Karin | 183 comments Loraine wrote: "Good review Karin. I agree definitely dealt with some meaty stuff."

Thanks. I purposefully look for meatier Christian novels at times. While I like lighter novels, too, I'm not much into romance, and so many Christian novels seem to have a LOT of romance in them.


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