Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review: "Everything We Keep" by Kerry Lonsdale + GIVEAWAY

Everything We Keep Kerry Lonsdale
Published: August 1, 2016
ISBN: 9781503935310
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours

You might enjoy this book if you like: Slightly thriller-ish stories, Stories about women re-creating their lives

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.

A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us. 

My Thoughts:
When I say this book is a "solid debut," I mean that with all the loaded subtext that term has.  This book was solid--for a debut. It wasn't perfect, but the problems I had with it were ones that I'm sure Lonsdale will correct with experience. On the flip side, this book did something for me that few books written by successful, established authors have not been able to do.

There is a lot of this book that is almost text book.  The structure of the story is very straight forward and organized and the pace worked along with the story.  All that is a credit to the book.  Now, Lonsdale's voice is very much the same.  It is textbook perfect and measured and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  However, I wish that she had just a bit more finesse with it--I think if she had just "loosened up" a bit, there would have been more life in her prose.  This, however, is something that I think will correct as she continues to write.

There were some niggling little things that bothered me--mostly details that were thrown in that didn't make much sense. For example, I had a hard time believing that an established professional photographer who travels the world, would take a job as a barista just to be around a girl.  Sometimes, things like this were just too convenient.

Now, here is what made the book for me.  Since I've been reading critically, I almost always know what the "answer" is in books, and I know pretty early on.  This one, however, had me guessing all the way to the end--which is delightfully unique.  I will admit that, even though it was surprising, I found the ending a little underwhelming.  However, it doesn't look like that is the end of the story and I'm confident that later books (if there are any!) will build on that.

So, when I say this is a "solid debut" I mean that it isn't a perfect book, but the good outweighs the bad and the potential in this book and with this author make it worth reading.

About the Author:
Kerry Lonsdale believes life is more exciting with twists and turns, which may be why she enjoys dropping her characters into unexpected scenarios and foreign settings. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, an online community of authors located across the globe. She resides in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an aging golden retriever who’s convinced she’s still a puppy. Everything We Keep is Kerry’s first novel.

You can connect with the author on her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review.  I received no other compensation for this post.

Do you want to know what other bloggers felt about this book?  If so, I invite you to check out the other stops on this blog tour.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I have a copy of Everything We Keep to give away to one of my readers.  To enter, just enter the rafflecopter below.  The giveaway will be open until midnight (Pacific Time) on August 23rd and is open to readers in the US and Canada.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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