On the day she was supposed to marry her best-friend, Aimee Turney attends his funeral instead. Her fiance, James, went on a trip to Mexico before their big day and vanished without a trace. Missing and presumed dead, Aimee must now attempt to pick up the shattered pieces of her life.
Her depression isn’t helped when her parents reveal they’re closing the family restaurant, leaving without the life she knew and counted on building.
With a hook like that, Kerry Lonsdale’s Everything We Keep boasts a strong opening and a great deal of potential. But once you get past the first quarter of the novel, things quickly begin to go awry. A mysterious stranger claiming to be a psychic warns Aimee not to give up on James. Meanwhile, there’s that mysterious new artist that catches her eye and Aimee slowly begins to explore the world of a relationship outside of James and the life they imagined together.
But something keeps holding Aimee back from fully embracing this new relationship as more than friendship. And it’s that something that drives the last half of the novel.
The story of a woman putting her life back together and figuring out who she is and what she wants should be a compelling one. The mystery twist of what happened to James (his body is never recovered) should add something to the story. And yet, as the novel progressed, I found myself become less and less interested in Aimee’s journey and less curious about where things were going. The new boyfriend has an infinite amount of patience, even as Aimee sends mixed signals to him. The questions surrounding James’ death quickly begin to mount and honestly, it was easy to deduce where things were going to go long before the story begins to reveal details of what happened.
It’s a shame really because this novel has a lot of potential in its early chapters. I found myself intrigued by Aimee and her situation. But the more time I spent with her, the less engaged I became by the story being told. I stayed until the end only to see if my predictions were correct and what, if any, type of happy ending we might get.