The Things We Knew by Catherine West (review by Kristi)

The Things we Knew

About the book: 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.

Paperback 352 pages                                                Published July 12, 2016 by Thomas Nelson



My review:  I thought I was really going to enjoy this book. The opening scene grabbed my attention and had me interested in the story. However, the more into the book I got the more I found myself being bored and not really connecting with any of the characters.

I like to read stories that have a strong female lead. I don’t mind her being vulnerable or having some sort of weakness but I found Lynnette to be too weak and not strong at all. I soon grew tired of how she let her siblings run over her and almost ignore her. And speaking of siblings, this was one messed up family! There were too many issues going on with the dad and all the siblings that I thought it weighed the story down too much. One or two siblings having issues would have been enough for me. Nick was the bright spot in the book for me. Even though he had problems of his own to deal with he seemed the most grounded and well-developed of all the characters in the book.

I think this story is supposed to contain a bit of a mystery but it was fairly easy for me to figure out the plot twists before they happened. This didn’t make or break the book for me but I would have liked to have been a bit more surprised as the mystery was revealed.

I would have given the book a higher rating except I didn’t like how the story ended abruptly. Once Lynnette realized what her memory issues were about the book was basically over. I would have liked a bit more closure for the characters. To me, the ending was too rushed.

Readers who like stories full of family conflict and issues are bound to enjoy this book but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Not a bad book but not what I like to read.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion which was given.


About the author:  Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine’s novel, Bridge of Faith, won the 2015 Grace Award. Her latest novel, The Things We Knew, released July 12th, 2016, through Harper Collins Christian Publishing.


Connect with Catherine West:    Website   •   Facebook


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