This lovely book arrived at my workplace on a Thursday morning and, despite having several other books that were already waiting to be read and which were coming out sooner than this one, I started reading it at lunchtime and hardly put it down for the next three days. I took a break only when the feelings it evoked became too intense and I needed to breathe for a little while before diving back in.
The central character in Keepsake is Trish, a woman whose husband has divorced her, whose older son has moved in with his girlfriend’s parents, and whose younger son is in danger of being removed from her home by Child Protective Services, all due to the extreme amount of clutter that has taken over her home. Afraid of how his little brother Jack would survive a separation from their mom, Drew goes to see his mom’s sister, Mary, and begs for her help cleaning up the house.
Although Mary’s environment is completely the opposite of Trish’s, it soon becomes apparent that both sisters are stuck, unable to move forward from the events of the past. Having grown up with a hoarder for a mother, they have reacted in different but equally unhealthy ways to the difficulties of their childhood and the pain of their mother’s untimely death. Mary does come and help Trish, not realizing that digging through the layers of accumulated stuff in her house will reveal secret pain from not only their own lives, but from their late mother’s as well. Trish is also devastated to realize that Jack has followed in her footsteps as he fights the cleanup even more than she is.
I can so relate to these sisters and the difficulty they have in facing their pain. Although I am not a hoarder like Trish or a obsessive cleaner like Mary, I have an intense need for control of my surroundings and my relationships with others which fluctuates depending on the day and how I am feeling. Walking through the process that takes place in this book was actually therapeutic for me in a way, helping me see that whenever we arrange our lives in such a way that it pushes people away from us, we are only making things worse in the long run.
With Keepsake, Kristina Riggle has approached an emotionally-charged topic with grace and sensitivity, without ever forgetting that, first and foremost, she is telling a story. Her characters are true-to-life and the narrative and dialogue are equally natural and readable. This novel is one I would highly recommend to all of my friends.
We have a copy to give away to one of you (U.S. and Canadian shipping addresses). Just leave a comment if you’d like to win, and we’ll announce the winner in our book giveaway column on July 4. This giveaway is now closed.
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Trish loves when a book challenges her ways of thinking, especially about herself. When she isn’t reading, she is taking care of her son and blogging at In So Many Words.
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Oooh..sounds like a great summer read!
I know, this almost never happens, but the number 1 came up on the random selector and you won this book! Please reply to this email with your address so that we can get it out to you.
Stacie Gorkow says
I had marked this one to read as well.
Sounds great…Count me in. I am so behind anyway and surrounded by clutter, books and one obsessive compulsive cleaning mom! e both might enjoy this one!
Barbara H. says
This definitely sounds intriguing.
What a wonderful giveaway. I would enjoy this greatly. Many thanks.
Jennifer \\ Blogful of Books says
It sounds really interesting. Count me in!
Carol M says
This sounds really good! Thank you for the giveaway!
Cariol Wong says
This one I think I can relate to. My mother started hoarding when our family moved to California. I think that she had trouble coping with the loss and wanted to hold on to her memories. Thank you for the chance to win this book.
Ruthie B says
I love the watching the hoarder show…it makes me really clean out my home! Count me in & thank you!
This sounds like a very interesting book! Thank you for a fun giveaway!
Linda Kish says
When my mom passed away, we had to go through all of her things to decide what to do with them. She had kept every card, letter and envelope she received for over 45 years. It was kind of fun going through them. There is a sort of history to them. Of course, then we had to let them go.
lkish77123 at gmail dot com
Beth C says
Keepsake is a book I definitely want to read!
I would love to read this book, it sounds really good.
Barb: 1SentenceDiary says
I think I’m going to have to look for this one. It may hit a bit close to home…
Sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks!
Angel S. says
I really enjoy your reviews. I am interested in this book!
Valerie Smith says
This book sounds wonderful!! So many complex issues.
Sounds interesting. I hope I win!
definitely want to read this one
Lori D. says
This book is for me, wondering what happens next.
Jilleen Hays says
THis sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!
Seasidebooknook at yahoo dot com
This does sound fascinating!
Good book, my ex wife had a real hard time parting with things.
Sandra K321 says
I don’t usually watch a lot of reality shows, but the ones on hoarders catch my attention. The reasons these people hoard can be common, but the result can be devastating. I would love to read this book.
I have an Uncle that has this problem, it’s really sad because no one ever goes to visit him any longer.
I’m interested in the sister’s relationship – especially since they are not all that young.
Anita Yancey says
This book sounds very interesting. I have never known a hoarder before but have heard stories from others. I would love to read the book. Thanks for having this giveaway.
Alison S. says
Sounds interesting book with lots of food for thought.
I’m pretty sure my wife would enjoy reading this.
Jessica T says
Looks good! Add to my summer book bag!
I enjoy reading books about familial relationships and especially, sister…
Many thanks, Cindi
This book really drew my attention, would like to read.
I am very interested in this topic.
Just came through a year of decision-making, sorting through things that survived our house fire. Then this week started working with daughter to declutter and pack. Can be emotional.
Staci A says
It sounds like a great book. I would love to read it!
Angela E. says
I would love to read this book.
Hailey L. says
Very interesting! I would love to read it!
We have an ex daughter in law that has a problem with this subject.
I bet this book can shed some light on people whom have this problem with clutter.