Cover Image: The Things We Knew

The Things We Knew

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Member Reviews

The shadows of the past are long and can easily reach into the now.
There are secrets and things unspoken within the Carlisle family. Some of the are well-known, like than their Dad had been a heavy drinker. Some are unknown. 
But there is time to recover them, to speak about them, to - maybe - get free of them. To show one other the grace, even? 

This novel is a thing of beauty. Both quality literature and the story ladden with values (and these values are put there with a light, careful hand, so they are not accompanied by pathos or any stifling heaviness). 
This kind of story happens more often than we would think of - there are skeletons in the most families' wardrobes. And their burden, while hidden, might have the reach into our hearts and ways of behaviour. Like the family benjamin, Lynnie, who is desperately trying to protect their ailing Dad and practically unlivable family house. Like Liz, always too ambitious, who might be living with the wrong man. Like David, the solid firstborn, who might have problems of his own. Like Ryan, following his religious calling to Africa. Like the rockstar black sheep, Gray, on his way out of addiction. And like Nick, the practically adopted guy from the neighbourhood, suffering from a hurt of his own. They might be blocking the hurting stuff, running from it with their own ways of coping. But the financial crisis and father's illness has brought them together, to the memories both sweet and tainted. 

I loved this. Catherine West, welcome on my pantheon together with Charles Martin, Julie Lessman, Denise Hunter and couple of other auto-reads authors! 
I loved the motif, the characters (with an especially soft spot for Gray, but then I have always liked bad guys with broken hearts), the gentle yet persistent way of uncovering the truth, the love they (still) have for each other. The recognizing that much good has been mixed with much bad stuff. The understanding of love both gentle and tough (the latter one much needed for some characters). The ending, because while there is love, it is not addressed the saccharine way! The understanding of the way the hearts move. 

Beautiful, true, hope-giving read.
Very recommended. And I am off for the next Ms West novel!
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Unfortunately, I was slow in downloading this story and it was archived before I had the chance. I'm sure it is a wonderful read.
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I enjoy this book because the characters came alive for me. Their struggles are so relatable. The author did such a great job revealing the siblings complicated relationship. I would recommend this author and book to everyone.
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Good read. Entertaining and interesting characters. Good story flow. Liked the conversations and the character interactions. Thoughtful and reflective.
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West’s book is a contemplative tale about family secrets. It’s puzzling as to why everyone is so overly protective of Lynette when she is an adult with serious responsibilities. A quicker reveal of the mysteries would have moved the book at a faster pace. Overall, it’s an engrossing and ultimately moving novel filled with mystery, romance and drama.

Lynette Carlisle has been caring for her aging father, who seems to be more confused each day. She’s struggling to take care of their sprawling Nantucket home by herself while keeping an eye on him. After discussing finances with Nicholas Cooper, the “boy next door” who just returned home to help his own father, she calls together her siblings to decide if they should sell the house. Lynette also tries to remember the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death, and why her father is so against Nick and his help.
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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of The Things We Knew.

The story begins a little slow but quickly progresses. Lynette is a sibling of four who is trying to hold her family together by saving their home. She cares for her father whose health deteriorates. The story picks up when her neighbor Nick moves back next door, and all her siblings show up to deal with their father’s situation.

It’s a quick beach read.
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The mysteries of Lynette Carlisle’s mother’s tragic death seemed to haunt many people in community of Nantucket. Her four brothers eventually left home, as well as neighbor and good friend Nick Cooper. Several years later when Nick returns to Nantucket, the past and its secrets begin to surface. And now their dad’s health and financial issues bring the four brother back home, and more of the past, more secrets caused the family to face secrets and issues they never wanted to think about. Will this family find the answers they need? Will the relationship between Lynette and Nick suffer because of the secrets that surface?

I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction, and I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Things We Knew’. Lynette is a sweet character that has a very difficult time because of being left to take care of her father alone, and the past that she can not remember. Nick moving in brought tension to the story because he didn’t want to say anything that would come between he and Lynette. But what did he know about her mothers death? You will need to read The Things We Knew to find out! I loved this book, and I think you will too! Be sure to check it out.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of The Things We Knew.

Lynette has a lot on her shoulders.  Since her mother's death, she has taken on the family household, as well as the care of her father who's mental health is deteriorating.  Her life gets turned upside down when an old childhood friend Nick enters the scene, as well as her wayward siblings who have come home to "help" decide to do with their childhood home.  

For a sunny sweet fluffy read, this is perfect.  It has romance, family drama, a bit of mystery.  I just don't know if it's for me.  I don't mind having a Christian theme in a book, but overall I felt the story was just a bit bland and formulaic.  It reminded me of several movies that I've seen throughout my life.
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Apparently, Catherine West heard the advice to give your characters secrets and took it to heart. Wow. Every person in this large and tangled cast has a secret or two - or more! And they are doozies!

Well-written, engaging, and suspenseful, this story of neighboring Nantucket families pulled me in right from the start. A real and raw tale with endless opportunity for grace and mercy with a heartwarming romance at its center.

The Things We Knew would make a great beach read, but I enjoyed it at home, imagining the majestic Atlantic coast and the beautiful home that was a backdrop for so many memories - good and bad.
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I'm sorry but this book wasn't for me. The writing style was not something I could get into and felt like parts were overwritten.
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What had seemed to be an idyllic childhood in Nantucket ended with their mother’s death. All grown up, all but one of the children have moved on with their lives away from home and rarely return. The youngest child Lynette seems to be stuck there caring for their home and failing father and suffering from nightmares that hint of something she can’t quite remember about the day her mother died.

“The Things We Knew” is a beautiful yet sometimes difficult to read story about family and friendship that delves into several uncomfortable subjects including addiction, adultery, dementia, abusive relationships, etc. Personal secrets, both past and present threaten to interfere with already tenuous relationships and fear allows them to fester. But God had other plans for the Carlisle family and Nicholas Cooper and little by little as they learned to trust Him and each other, His grace touched each one in just the perfect personal manner .

Reconciliation and redemption abound in this poignant tale that touched me as I read. The romance between Nicholas and Lynette was an added bonus but was not what I considered to be the meat of the story. I enjoyed “The Things We Knew” very much and hope to read more by Catherine West soon.
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