Saturday, July 10, 2021

Book Review: "The People We Keep" by Allison Larkin

Allison Larkin's upcoming novel, The People We Keep, is a beautiful, emotional, hopeful look at the impact people have on our lives even for a short time, and the impact we can have on theirs.

I’ve learned that when my friend Lindsay raves about a book on my TBR, I need to drop everything and read it. That certainly was the case with this book, which broke me and put me back together, left me with smiles and with tears.

“I say that it’s amazing how much you can miss people you only got to be with for one tiny little perfect bit of time; how a place where you barely got to live can be the closest thing you’ve ever had to home.”

April is 16 years old and living alone in a dilapidated motor home in upstate New York, since her father moved in with a woman and her young son. She finds joy in playing the guitar, singing, and writing songs, and when she sneaks into a club to perform one night, she is hooked.

After a bad fight with her father, she leaves town, taking his car and driving with no destination in mind. She winds up in Ithaca, lonely and desperate to find a connection, when she stumbles upon a cafe. It is there she makes friends who change her, but she never fully allows herself to enjoy what her life has transformed into, so she leaves before they can hurt her.

The book follows April’s journey over three years, traveling the East Coast, making connections but always leaving just before they stick, in an effort to protect herself (so she thinks) and those around her. But a few major events show her just what an impact she’s had on people, and makes her realize she needs to trust in those who care about her.

Although it started a little slowly, The People We Keep hooked me completely and wouldn’t let me go until I finished. It’s a powerful and poignant book that made me think of those who have drifted in and out of my life through the years, and what an impact they’ve left. I really loved this.

The People We Keep publishes 8/3!

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