BY HALEY DICK
Gull Life Editor
In “Everything We Keep,” author Kerry Lonsdale keeps the reader captivated page after page through a dense plot filled with unexpected events, romance and strong character development.
It is an adult fiction novel listed as a top Amazon bestseller of 2016 and a Wall Street Journal bestseller that breaks the reader’s heart just to build it back together again, only to tear it right back out by the next chapter.
Lonsdale sets the stage in the first chapter with heavy heartbreak, in which the protagonist, Aimee Tierney, is attending the funeral of her fiancé, James Donato, whom she had been dating since she was eight years old. Talk about a tear-jerker.
Later in time, Aimee discovers that James is indeed still alive and the reader follows her in uncovering the mystery of what happened to James at the hands of his dysfunctional family, as well as the journey Aimee takes through her loss and recovery from love.
The novel’s strengths lie in its unique plot twists that leave the reader both relieved and irritated as the story comes to a close. The journey to the end of the book pieces the characters together in an invisible web that makes sense once the conflicts are resolved, though some may argue that the ending is too much of a cliffhanger.
While the novel is impressive, it does have setbacks. The author provides too many obvious clues that can leave the reader guessing what is going to come next, but she does still leave the element of surprise in some instances.
The title itself, “Everything We Keep,” reflects the major theme of secrets that is present throughout the storyline, for most of the characters in the novel grapple with something or someone they have lost in the past.
The sequel, “Everything We Left Behind,” will be released in July 2017, and will continue the tale of what happens after the epilogue of “Everything We Keep.” The question readers are asking will hopefully be answered: will Aimee be tempted to fall back into the arms of James?
This book is ideal for mature readers, as some of the conflicts pertain to situations college-aged readers can grasp. Some of these concepts include career obstacles and medical diagnoses. The characters in the novel, especially Aimee, teach the reader lessons on how to overcome uncertainty, set and accomplish goals and continue forward after losing someone foundational.
The Flyer gives “Everything We Keep” a 9/10.