Dancing in the Dark

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth is a fictional novel about a 38-year-old woman named Anna who has early onset Alzheimer’s disease. As soon as she is diagnosed, Anna leaves her husband and moves into an assisted living facility. Having no children of her own, she plans to live what remains of her life somewhere safe.

Due to the subject matter, this is a difficult story to read. In addition, the way the story is told through the perspectives of several characters, I found it even more confusing. The author relates the story via Anna’s thoughts, Eva, a woman who works in the facility where Anna resides whose husband recently committed suicide, and Eva’s little daughter named Clementine. On top of that, this turns into a love story when Anna falls for another dementia patient around her age and Eva, the single parent/widow, falls for the gardener/coworker. The manager of the facility is skimming money.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this novel!

There were things I liked about the book; in particular the authors portrayal of someone battling Alzheimer’s. What I didn’t like about the book was that it bounced back and forth between characters too often for me. I thought there were too many things going on which made the basic storyline all too confusing. I kept getting lost myself! Perhaps the author did this purposefully, but kept feeling like I missed something.

I’m unable to recommend this book even though there are some good points, the structure of the novel was too confusing for me.

About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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