Everything We Keep
by Kerry Lonsdale
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 fiancé, 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.
A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.
“Heartfelt and suspenseful, Everything We Keep beautifully navigates the deep waters of grief, and one woman’s search to reconcile a past she can’t release, and a future she wants to embrace. Lonsdale’s writing is crisp and effortless and utterly irresistible—and her expertly layered exploration of the journey from loss to renewal is sure to make this a book club must-read. Everything We Keep drew me in from the first page and held me fast all the way to its deeply satisfying ending.” —Erika Marks, author of The Last Treasure
“In Everything We Keep, Kerry Lonsdale brilliantly explores the grief of loss, if we can really let go of our great loves, and if some secrets are better left buried. With a good dose of drama, a heart-wrenching love story, and the suspense of unanswered questions, Lonsdale’s layered and engrossing debut is a captivating read.” —Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away With Me
“A stunning debut with a memorable twist, Everything We Keep effortlessly layers family secrets into a suspenseful story of grief, love, and art. This is a gem of a book.” —Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son
The door closed behind them and a hush fell across the room as though all noise had been sucked out with them. For an instant, Lacy and I seemed separated from the rest of the world, hovering within the vacuum of space. No sound existed. Then suddenly, the noise returned, powering back into the restroom. Air vents hummed, music played, water flowed from the faucet in front of me. It also felt like something else had come inside when the women left, forcing its way into me as one thought. James isn’t the missing person. You are.
I felt the full impact of his words. They raced up my arm from where he touched me, electrons charging my skin.
… he surveyed his camera, adjusting the lens and settings. I watched the moonlight ripple on the ocean, the clicks and beeps from Ian’s camera background noise. A faint smile touched my lips. I would always associate those sounds with him.
He was hard where I was soft, strong where I was weak. He was my friend, and I couldn’t stop myself from falling for him.
I sniffed the liquor and took a hesitant sip. Edgar tapped the bottom of my glass, angling the crystal higher against my mouth. I gulped quickly. Whiskey burned a ditch in my throat and dug a hole in my belly. Edgar laughed, shoulders twitching. ‘You’ll need more of that if you want to survive the family you’re marrying into. Might as well start now.’
Everything We Keep was brilliantly written, expertly and maddeningly paced and totally consuming. How can this be the author’s first work? I. Am. In. Awe. The plot was compelling and well crafted; I was quickly drawn in and remained tightly wound and intrigued throughout. I didn’t want to put my kindle down as the storyline kept moving and was somewhat eerie at times, digging me in deeper and deeper. Was James really dead, was it a scam, was the psychic for real, was the death staged, who covered it up? Had James really been as honorable as she remembered? Of course, I had my own wild theories, but then an even older incident wrapped up in deep shame also surfaced, which put a different taint on things. Ms. Lonsdale has mad skills and turned in a masterful and polished performance. More – please!
Kerry Lonsdale believes life is more exciting with twists and turns, which may be why she enjoys dropping her characters into unexpected scenarios and foreign settings. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, an online community of authors located across the globe. She resides in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an aging golden retriever who’s convinced she’s still a puppy. Everything We Keep is Kerry’s first novel.