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 blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.
Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.
As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.
This was a great introduction to a family I can't wait to read more about. And while West introduces us to several characters, this story centers around Lynette, Nick and the mystery surrounding Lynette's elusive memories. She does a wonderful job of balancing the primary and secondary plots and characters, leaving the reader with a complete story yet small pieces that will pull us back for more. I'm hoping for a sequel!
Lynette and Nick's story is one that--if you read romance--you've seen before. Girl reunited with her first crush. Crush now falls for her. But West finds a way to add her own small twists and intrigue to what could otherwise be an overused plot. This keeps the pages fresh for the reader, pulling you through to the satisfying end. Plus, Nick and Lynette are meant for each other, easily evidenced by their interactions. One of the many things West does well is authentic conflict and dialogue. She writes both dramatic moments and comedic moments, peppering them in so neither is heavy handed. It simply feels like the flow of real life.
And while the characters and their stories were enough to keep me entertained, I also love the setting of this story. I've always wanted to travel out East, so reading about it completely intrigued me. I'm only more determined to get there now! West does an amazing job settling the reader into Nantucket.
I happily give The Things We Knew 5 out of 5 stars and you can purchase it here.