What would you keep of your mother’s after she dies? What secrets would you keep from your family? Serena is dealing with these questions while balancing grief, a scientific career, motherhood, and not hating her spouse. You know, the typical easy life of a woman.
There is one thing Serena thought she knew. Her mother hated her. But now Serena must come face to face with the truth she learns after her mother’s death. Maybe her mother didn’t hate her, but loved her so much that she changed everything for her.
Average rating from 16 members
The Things we Keep is a journey you might not expect. Emotions aren’t easy to navigate when you confront all you’d prefer to avoid. Julee Balko is spot on here.
Complex relationships can really take a toll on us and it is often the complex ones that mean so dear to us and we stand helpless not knowing how to deal with it. The author has brilliantly written about such a mother-daughter relationship in this story that I adored.
The Things We Keep by Julee Balko 4 stars / 5 This is a story of family dysfunction, grief, and the pressures of modern motherhood. So, it feels odd to say I enjoyed it, but I am glad I read it. Thank you to Gen Z Publishing for an electronic advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The story goes back and forth between Serena’s past and present. In the past, we see Serena’s mother Barbara through Serena’s eyes - a mother who seems to be indifferent to her at best, and often uncaring and cruel. In the present, Serena’s mother is dying of cancer. The birth of Serena’s daughter Maggie improved the relationship somewhat, but the way Serena relates to her husband Tom and the wider world are impacted by the way she grew up. How Serena grapples with grief, serious problems in her marriage, society’s high expectations of mothers, and the aftermath of a family secret revealed makes for a realistic and compelling read. I found myself rooting for Serena and her family, hoping each person would make what I considered to be the “right moves” to bring them back together. This would be a very discussable read for a book club.
This was a good enjoyable book! Things I liked.... The writing was so well done! I couldn't stop reading! The characters wow were well developed I was hanging on every thing they did! This was a beautiful book and the author did an amazing job with this book! Thank you NetGalley and GenZ Publishing for this advance ebook copy!
I really found this book to be captivating. The characters were very relatable. There was an element of suspense that made me keep reading long into the night. I have never read a book that examined the the effects of a lie in quite this way. I was compelled to try to understand the motives of the characters.
This story explores nostalgia in families, family relationships, grief and parenting. It was an interesting read, and one that I would recommend. It navigates through different stages to depict the past and present in Serena's interactions with her mother. It was painful and emotional to read at times, but thought provoking. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.