This is the book that helped me complete my reading challenge for 2016!! I challenged myself to read 35 books this year. And I did it!!! Well some of them I listened to but we still count that as reading. It just means that I read while I washed dishes and cooked. Or waited in the car for kids to arrive. A great way to read. And this book was one of those books I listened to, for the most part. I also read the last few chapters!
This review is going to have spoilers. So, if you don't like spoilers then you might want to stop reading pretty soon. I'll tell you when. The reason for the spoilers is just too 'freaky' for me not to tell you about it.
Now about the book.
Everything We Keep is the story of Aimee and James. They have always loved each other. From way back when they were just kids. Before either of them even knew what love was. Aimee has her whole life figured out. She will marry James, take over her parent's restaurant, have kids, James will paint and they will live happily ever after.
Except none of that happens. First of all, Aimee is burying James on the day they were to be wed. He had died while on a trip in a foreign country. But Aimee has trouble believing he is dead. Especially when she is approached by a psychic at the funeral who tells her James is alive. No one believes this psychic however. But it sure puts a sliver of doubt into Aimee's mind.
Then she finds out that her parents have sold their beloved restaurant and she will not get to own it. She had always planned on taking it over. And now it is gone. With several twists and turns she opens a small coffee shop she calls Aimee's! She also meets a photographer who falls in love with her. But she has to find out if James is really alive before allowing herself to fall for Ian.
Now is when you might want to quit reading if you plan to read this book for yourself.
Last night (Thursday) I had reached the part of the book where Aimee locates a man in Mexico who she is positive is James. But his name is Carlos and he is speaks fluent Spanish. He owns an art gallery and has the same initials as her beloved James. He paints, just like James, and signs his paintings in the exact color of paint that James uses. She sneaks into his gallery and discovers paintings of James's that were stolen from her garage. She also discovers paintings of herself. Not exactly like James would paint them. But close.
At this point I take a break from reading and switch the TV to OWN (you know, Oprah's channel). There is a re-run episode of 20/20 Extreme Affliction. The episode is about a young couple who are in love and get married. His best friend is in a horrible accident following the wedding. Triggers much stress in the bridegroom. As you can imagine. When they are leaving for their honeymoon, while at the airport, he has forgotten his wallet and leaves her with the baggage while he goes to fetch it. And he disappears. They look and look and he is finally found three days later at an abandoned motel. He is dehydrated, bug bitten, and very confused. He does not know who he is. He doesn't know who his new bride is. He doesn't know his own mother. He doesn't even know what a wife or a mother was. He knows nothing!! He was diagnosed with dissociative amnesia. His new wife stays with him and tries to help him find out who he is and re-discover everything he once knew. At the end of this episode, I pondered this type of amnesia as being a very weird and unheard of condition, I picked back up the book Everything We Keep. James/Carlos has dissociative amnesia!!!! What the heck. Believe you me I had goose bumps on top of goose bumps. The new bridegroom eventually gets his memory back. You can read more about this story here.
I won't spoil the very end of the book for you. I am thrilled to know there will be a sequel in the summer of 2017. I loved this book. Maybe because I listened to it. I loved the characters in the book. I am giving it ****. I won't forget the story. But, probably because of the 20/20 episode it will be more memorable.