by Bobbie Jean Huff
Publication Date January 18, 2022
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Women
An emotional debut for fans of Elizabeth Strout and Diane Chamberlain, The Ones We Keep follows the splintered lives of four family members in the years following an unthinkable tragedy, and the choices they must make to find their way back to each other.
One family. One tragedy. One incredible decision to change their fate.
A quiet lakeside resort in Vermont seems like the perfect summer getaway for Olivia and Harry Somerville and their three young boys. But in a single moment, their idyllic family retreat becomes a mother's worst nightmare. Returning from a solo hike one afternoon, Olivia learns from a passing stranger that one of her sons has drowned—but not which one.
In that moment, Olivia makes a panicked decision that will change her family forever.
If she never knows which son has drowned, can Olivia convince herself that none of them have? By shielding herself from reality, can she continue to live in a world where all three boys are still alive?
An emotional and heartfelt meditation on the nature of loss, the gift of recovery, and the bonds of love, The Ones We Keep tells the story of one family as they learn to face their grief and fight for hope.
Your next gripping book club read exploring the depths of a mother's love, the endurance of family, and the mind-bending paths we take to shield ourselves from heartache.
Four and a half Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭒
The Ones We Keep by debut author Bobbie Jean Huff is an emotional, and heartbreaking novel, and also a fascinating look into grief, and what it can do to a woman’s mental health.
Olivia and Harry Somerville and their three young boys take a summer vacation at a peaceful lakeside resort in Vermont. When Olivia takes off for a hike one day, she returns from the hike and learns that one of her sons has drowned. Not knowing which of her sons has drowned, she makes a panicked decision that changes her life, and the lives of her remaining family.
This book is sure to bring on very strong emotions from readers. The decisions, Oliva and the family make in the wake of such a tragic loss is as unfathomable as the tragedy itself. The brain sometimes does extraordinary things in order to protect itself, and this is one example of how far the brain can go to do that.
The book is very engaging and I had trouble putting it down as I wanted to find out how this family survives. Although reading about grief can be tough, I found that this author handled it in a very compassionate way, and one that didn’t have me bawling my eyes out. (although I did have a few sniffles).
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an emotional book. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Have you read this book? Do you want to? Please comment below!
I’ve been so interested in this book since you introduced it on your blog! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it. The story sounds incredibly emotional and it’s wonderful that the author handled it in a compassionate way. Thank you for sharing Wendy! I’ll definitely add this to my list!
Thank you! It was emotional, but not as sad as I thought it would be.
Sounds like a very engaging read. I’m not sure I could emotionally handle this book. I’m still on my journey through grief.
Thank you Kami! Yes, I can understand why this book may not be good for you at this time.
Wow, this sounds like a good read!
This one sounds so moving. It is definitely one that I have to be in the right frame of mind to tackle. Excellent review, Wendy!
Thank you, Tessa, it was emotional but more interesting than emotional.
What a heartbreaking situation! Sounds like an emotional read. I have to gear up for those. Happy to see you enjoyed it, Wendy!
Thank you Rachel, it was emotional but not as gut wrenching as I expected, more thought provoking than I expected.
This sounds like it would be emotional for me, but a good read too 😊
It was emotional, but less than I thought it would be.
Oh wow, I can’t even imagine! It sounds intense but good. Not sure if I could handle it though.
Thank you Cindy. I have a tough time with emotional books, but did ok with this one.
Great review, Wendy. I don’t understand how the mother could not know which son drowned. Where were the others? If that would be a spoiler, then don’t tell!
The Mother was hiking and some hikers told her that a boy had drowned. So, because she coudln’t bear to find out which one died, she just kept walking in the other direction so she wouldn’t find out. Not a spoiler as this happens early in the book.
Wow what a premise for this book! I haven’t heard of this one before and it sounds amazing but as a sensitive reader I’m not sure I’m up for the emotion of this one. Great review Wendy.
Thank you Jodie, I’m pretty sensitive too, but I did ok on this one. 🙂
This does sound like it will get me all emotional; I hadn’t come across the author before. Glad you reviewed this one
Thank you Mallika, I had not read anything by her before either.
Wow, this sounds like a powerful book. (Maybe especially for a mom.) Thanks for sharing.
It was! I liked it more than I thought it would.
This sounds like such a good read! Definitely adding it to my TBR
It was better than I thought it would be! I hope you enjoy it when you get it