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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

the things we keep by Sally Hepworth

This was another stupendous read. I have been ever so lucky in my choice of books over the last few weeks. Each one is as good as the previous one. Trying to keep up with the reading and the reviewing is the problem. Am reading these end November but reviews are coming up only in February/March. I would have loved for the review to come up immediately as I feel the book is so newsworthy!

 Anna has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers at only 38. Installed in a comfortable residential care facility here she will be looked after well and will not be a danger to anyone including herself, Anna's situation deteriorates very fast. The sadness that envelopes her twin brother who tries to maintain a bold facade whilst at the same time extending his love and support to his sister is heartbreaking as you feel the pain he is undergoing on her behalf.

Eve is now a single mother, ostracised and hated throughout the community. Her husband has cheated literally thousands of people out of their monies and she knows his name is one that is likely to cause people to turn on her and her only little girl, and they do. Forced to move out of very comfortable surroundings to a place which is very uncomfortable, she takes up the post of cook cum cleaner at the facility just to make sure her address will enable her to keep Clementine in her present school. Both Clementine and Eve face immense problems from people around them.

There are two stories here. The story of Alzheimers and the heartbreak of those living closest to the person and who have to watch the sure deterioration of someone like Anna who was full of joie de vivre and was with a full career as a paramedic  To be helpless and not to be able to do a thing.To watch Anna not being able to remember what a vacuum cleaner was, what was the green thing in the garden (grass) and worst of all not to know a very loved nephew's name.

Then we have the social ostracisation of a person. Eve was an adult and knew she would have to face the music head on even though she was not guilty of the charges against her. Her husband was the cheater but Then we have the social ostracisation of a person. Poor Clementine, just a little girl in pre school had to face the taunts of children who could be much crueler than adults, who eaves dropped and retold stories told at home about Clementine's Dad, her Mom and even herself.

The story telling was superb, the characterisation even more so. A must read.

Sent to me by Netgalley courtesy of St. Martin's Press for an unbiased review.