Monday, January 16, 2017
The Things We Knew- Catherine West
Description: 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.
My Thoughts: Lynette and Nick are pretty interesting characters dealing with the scars and pain of their pasts, along with the struggles of their present. I wanted them to find happiness and for their lives to be whole, even though there was a lot going against them.
However, I felt that the story could have started about fifty or so pages later. Most of the initial scenes felt unnecessary and the important information could have been condensed into one or two scenes or else added later on. The story really didn't pick up until Lynette's family started returning to the island, and even then I didn't really like most of her family.
Once the siblings showed up, there was a lot of conflict. Each of them had their own baggage and issues to deal with, along with different memories of the past. These memories often conflicted and West did a good job of showing how their ages affected their perspective of the same events. Yet the number of siblings was a lot of keep track of. While the story was enjoyable, it would have done better to have been spread out over multiple novels, with the ending further developed. As it is, The Things We Knew is a decent read if you have the chance but not one that I will rave about.
I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of this book through the Fiction Guild.