Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

August 22, 2016

The Things We Knew {Catherine West}

the things we knew 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 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:
This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions. The characters were so well developed I felt I had known them forever and immediately had a connection with each of them. I liked how the author brought the characters together little by little, and then slowly revealed details of their past to keep you engaged in their story.

As the story progresses, it is obvious Lynette is eventually going to figure out the truth about how her mother died. Knowing this information is going to come out makes this book so exciting to read. We can see how each piece of the family relationship and the past begin to come together to form the truth surrounding the details of the day the mother passed away.

Tucked inside the suspense of finding the truth is the developing love between Lynette and Nick. I loved watching this relationship unfold as the book progressed. It was obvious to me they were meant to be together and was so exciting to see them finally give into the truth and allow that relationship to take place.

God's love and forgiveness are also a huge factor in this story. The siblings have been apart for so long and seem to have an unspoken grudge between them they continue to hold onto. As they come together for the good of the family, it was so wonderful to see them let down their guards and let God work in their lives to make their family complete again.

I also really appreciated the author for not writing an epilogue for this book. I know that sounds a little strange, but I enjoyed letting my imagination decide where all these characters ended up and how the story ends for this family and the house that brought them all together.

I think this is an amazing book and one you will want on your shelf to read over and over again.

Award-winning author 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 or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine’s novel, Bridge of Faith, won the 2015 Grace Award.

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