Description: A tragedy from the past resurfaces in this tale of family secrets and reignited love.
After her mother's death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother's death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can't remember a bit of it.
But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother's best friend and Lynette's first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can't.
But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn't want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.
As their father's failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface—secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.
Catherine West has created a beautiful novel of family, love, loss and forgiveness in “The Things We Knew”. The Carlisle Family, owner of the once beautiful family estate called Wyldewood in Nantucket have known their share of happiness and sorrow. Once a vibrant and warm place to call home, the tragic death of their mother changed all that. The home that was once beautiful and full of happiness is now in disrepair leaving the youngest daughter Lynette to deal with the upkeep, failing finances and her aging confused father. With no emotional and financial help from her siblings Lynette is at her wits end. In addition Lynette is having memory lapses about the night her mother died and is now using her paintings as a form of expression of repressed memories.
Seeking advice from an old childhood friend, Nick advises her to think about selling the estate. In order to do that her mother’s will states all family members must be involved in a joint decision. Getting all the sibling together is not an easy task, but Lynette manages to accomplish the impossible. However, her siblings are not without their own personal and emotional baggage and Lynette’s old feelings of infatuation for Nick further complicate the situation. Under the same roof again, all the siblings must find a way to save the family estate, help their ailing father and Lynette, while solving their own personal crises of the heart.
What I particularly liked best about “The Things We Knew” was the complex characters the author has created. Each character had their own story to tell, but they were intertwined so beautifully. Older sibling’s Liz and David appear all together, but their appearances are deceiving. Ryan the faithful brother remains the consummate peacemaker but due to his ministry work and living abroad has been out of the family loop for quite some time. Grayson, the rock star, whose new sobriety and old feud with childhood buddy Nick leaves him angry and broken personally and financially. The interaction between the family and the aging father is touching and difficult at times. Their relationship with their sister Lynette is complex too. She has been holding down a job and caring for her father and failing estate, yet she is treated like the baby sister they have all loved, pampered and protected in the past. Only Nick sees her as she truly is, a talented, caring and beautiful young woman. A young woman he is finally allowing himself to love after all these years. As the love between Nick and Lynette is rekindled and sparks fly the past rears its ugly head and a future together is beginning to look more and more uncertain. As the family rallies around all questions about the past are finally answered, but at what cost.
“The Things We Knew” is beautiful Christian Fiction and a great summer read filled with a heartfelt storyline and characters you will love. Do yourself a favor and fix yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine, pick your favorite chair and curl up for a spell and enjoy the warmth and love Catherine West offers in her newest novel. You will not be disappointed.
I appreciate being given an advanced copy of Catherine West’s “The Things We Knew” from NetGalley for a fair and honest review.
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