Published July 12th, 2016 by Thomas Nelson.
When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?
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 be 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. (Goodreads)
The Things We Knew by Catherine West hits almost all the right marks. It is set in Nantucket, a tiny, isolated island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The perfect summery scene. However, it was by no means a light-hearted contemporary read. It was riddled with secrets, nightmares, a father’s failing health, financial concerns, shattered relationships and fragile friendship. It speaks of a family who is down on their luck rather than a wealthy family strolling through high-end boutiques. As the story is told from multiple points of view the characters individually come alive and tell their story which unfolds into the greater plot. The Christian undertones are woven in nicely.
Although Lynette seems to be the story’s centerpiece her siblings, cute neighbor, and of course her father is integral to the story. The Carlisle family home is on the brink of falling apart and needs to be sold because unbeknownst to her siblings Lynette has been struggling to make ends meet and care for her father and manage the maintenance on the house. The problem is Lynette doesn’t want to sell their childhood home, the house her mother used to love so much and is determined to save it somehow. But with her life constantly changing and the past resurfacing she calls on her brothers and sister to rally at Wyldewood estate and settle matters. When the siblings start arriving they are shocked at how run down the estate and their father is, but they also have issues of their own and bring those to the mix as well.
The plot was multilayered. Are they going to find a way to save Wyldewood? Is Lynette going to remember what happened to her mother on the night she died? What is going on with Nick, the cute neighbor they grew up with? Will the family remain united? While the storytelling flowed nicely leading up to the end my only critique was it seemed wrapped up a bit too quickly. I am happy with the outcome I just wish a bit more time was spent on the unveiling of all the secrets.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.