Before you leave, be sure to let me know if you’ve read The Things We Knew and your thoughts. (Please no spoilers!)
About the Book
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A portion from the back cover:
”When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?
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.”
We get to see the impact of their mother’s death on each of the Carlisle children. Ms. West steps into the point of view of David, the oldest son; Liz, the lawyer; Gray, the rock star; and of course, Lynette and Nicholas. There were so many stories tugging at my heart strings. I wanted a happy ending for the entire family, not just Lynette and Nicholas.
How does a death in the family effect those left behind? Ms. West goes deep into the psyche with each character. No one is unaffected, everyone has been changed. She doesn’t sugarcoat life but covers it in the grace of God and shows how we can survive it. It’s gripping.
When the book was over, I was saddened. It seemed too soon. I wanted more of their story, more of the Carlisle family. I hope that one day, Ms. West revisits their family. I need to know what happened to David, Liz, and Gray. I hope to revisit Lynette and Nicholas to see how they’re doing. I’m sure the missionary brother, Ryan, has his own story to be told as well.
*I give this a 4 out of 5.
**I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
CW – I like to deal with those hard issues because to me, that’s reality. We all struggle with something, be it estrangement within a family, substance abuse, debt – nobody has a perfect life. But I try to weave hope through each storyline, because I know that even the most hopeless of situations can be turned around. God can do anything, change any circumstance. When my characters experience that turning point, it’s my prayer that my readers will also find that hope to hold onto.
2. The setting of The Things We Knew takes place in Nantucket. Have you ever been there or did you have to research like crazy?
CW – When I wrote the book I had not been to Nantucket. So I did a lot of research and spent plenty of time ‘walking’ around the island using Google maps, which was loads of fun! My amazing husband however, arranged a book signing for me on Nantucket the day The Things We Knew releases, so by the time you are reading this, I’m sure there will plenty of evidence on social media about the event!! I can’t wait to see it in real life!
3. What are your favorite writing snacks?
CW – I like to have a little bowl of nuts and raisins – sometimes other dried fruit – and mostly almonds or peanuts, on hand when I’m writing. Usually mid-morning requires a banana or smoothie. And I always have my S’well bottle filled with water nearby so I am constantly hydrated.
4. If you could write in a genre you haven’t…what would you chose and why?
CW – I am always fascinated by historical fiction. The only ‘historical’ novel I’ve written was Yesterday’s Tomorrow, which took place primarily in the 60’s in Vietnam, so I did a lot of heavy research on that book. While I enjoyed it, I’m not convinced I’d want to write solely historical novels. I always tend to just want to jump into the story and I think the amount of research I’d have to do might frustrate me more than anything. But there’s research involved in any novel, really, or there should be if you want it to be authentic. J So you never know, perhaps one day I’ll do a contemporary with flashbacks from the Stone Age or something! LOL!
5. What’s next for you on the writing front?
CW – We’re currently working on edits for my next release, which will be available March 2017. It’s also family drama, but this time the story is set in California, so quite a leap from the island setting of Nantucket. I’ll be sharing more about this book over the next few months, so stay tuned! After that, I’m not sure yet, but I have plenty more stories mulling around in my head. 🙂
About Catherine West
When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine’s next novel, The Things We Knew, releases July 2016, through Harper Collins Christian Publishing. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine (at) catherinejwest (dot) com.