Anna Forster is thirty-eight years old and has started to suffer from the early stages of Alzheimer's. She knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to an assisted living facility. But best can still hurt. What she also knows is that there's just one other resident her age at the facility - Luke.
As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to all that's left. What remains are her feelings for Luke. Before long the pair fall in love, despite the forces that are set against them.
But when a tragic incident occurs, Luke and Anna's families decide to separate them. There is one person at the facility who can help the pair, but only if she's willing to risk everything for them . . .
The Thing we Keep is the first book I have read by Sally Hepworth and I wasn’t too sure if it was going to be my kind of book if I am completely honest and yet as soon as I started to read the first page I was totally hooked and couldn’t wait to read the rest of Anna’s story.
The storyline is told from three characters points of view all who are all going through a difficult time in their lives. Anna suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s and she has made the decision to move into an assisted living facility but she isn’t the only young person living there ,Luke also suffers with a form of dementia and before long the pair form feelings for each other but not everyone is happy about it. Eve has recently started working at the assisted living facility and after the devastation she has just lived through she is routing for Anna and Luke and will do what she can to help them both. We also get to hear from Eve’s daughter Clementine who although is in a very vulnerable situation at the moment she brings light to the residents at the home.
I have read a number of books this year that focus on the topic of early onset Alzheimer’s and they all do a wonderful job of raising awareness to what people assume is an old person’s disease but they all tackle this subject in a different way so the storyline of this book was very interesting.
Anna was a wonderful character whose humour shines through on her good days and you could see the frustration she feels when in a situation that makes her uncomfortable. Seeing things through her eyes was an eye opener from not being able to remember the words for things but also not knowing where she is such as when she was in her room and not knowing how to get out because there were three doors one of which was a cupboard.
I enjoyed having the background of Eve and Clementine weaved into the story, they have also been through a difficult time and are learning to adjust and I looked forward to hearing from them just a as much as Anna.
The issues surrounding the relationship in this book is one that may divide people at the beginning of this book but because we can read Anna’s thoughts as well as her and Luke’s family’s thoughts on the matter it soon makes you see things from both perspective.
I loved the flow of this authors writing style she manages to pull you in from the first chapter and keep you captivated right until the final page. There are emotional highs and lows and I found it to be a thought provoking read. I will be sure to pick up the authors previous book The Secrets of Midwives next.