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 fiancee, 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.
I have a lot to say about Everything We Keep. But let me start by quoting the 1st line in the book: "On our wedding day, my fiance, James, arrived at the church in a casket." How's that for a grabber? And it never lets up. This is an intricately plotted book that holds together. Things happen that you don't usually see in a novel. But they all make sense in this context. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Let me list some elements of the book that stood out for me:
1. I connected emotionally with Aimee as early as page 5, and really got hooked by page 8.
2. I very much enjoyed Aimee's two best friends, Kristen and Nadia. And I really liked the 3 of them together.
3. I had a large amount of tears (some heavy) and chills which always makes me like a book more. In fact, there's one scene early on where I got double chills. Maybe I was outside in the cold when I read that part? Nah.
4. Kerry creates a lot of tension that is based on relationships, not on lurking/hiding/shadow-y people.
5 There is a moment of self-discovery/realization that is so cool.
6. Kerry can write. On back-to-back pages she refers to vomit as "acidic stew" and compares it to a "toppled can of paint." Pretty expressive, I would say.
7. I can favorably compare Kerry's writing to Sarah Jio and Karma Brown, 2 of my favorites (as all/some/none of you know).
8. I can also compare it to another smash hit - Gone Girl. In that one, I enjoyed the 1st half and absolutely loved the 2nd half. In Everything We Keep, I liked the 1st 1/3 and couldn't put the last 2/3 down.
And I just found out today that there is a sequel (but I'm not going to tell you which character is the star of the next one) coming out this July 4. I will be at the front of the line for that one. It's called Everything We Left Behind.
P.S. Kerry has agreed to come to the RBC on September 13. I know that's down the road some. But I'm really looking forward to having her there.