Sunday, August 28, 2016

Book Review - The Things We Knew by Catherine West


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

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

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

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

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


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

This book just gripped my heart and the characters even more so. I loved this family with all their dysfunction, love and loyalty. 

This is a great read for pulling you into the story and being a page turner. Like me, I'm sure you'll see yourself or one of your siblings in this family. That's what I loved - this was a real family and not a contrived, supposedly, perfect family. 

I love how West lets us get to know each person individually. So many times, the book will focus on one or two characters without letting us really get to know the others. She shows each person as an individual with good and bad qualities. The things they are struggling with are each their own. There is also a real element of mystery in this story that kept me turning the page and more and more secrets are revealed.

I loved Lynette, the caregiver of the family, as she tries to pull everything together yet is plagued by nightmares and trying to figure things out from the past. Her relationship with Nick is very sweet and makes a great romance. 

There is so much to this story and I loved that it was not just a typical romance. There is much to love here and I highly recommend it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

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