The Things We Knew


What had seemed to be an idyllic childhood in Nantucket ended with their mother’s death. All grown up, all but one of the children have moved on with their lives away from home and rarely return. The youngest child Lynette seems to be stuck there caring for their home and failing father and suffering from nightmares that hint of something she can’t quite remember about the day her mother died.

“The Things We Knew” is a beautiful yet sometimes difficult to read story about family and friendship that delves into several uncomfortable subjects including addiction, adultery, dementia, abusive relationships, etc. Personal secrets, both past and present threaten to interfere with already tenuous relationships and fear allows them to fester. But God had other plans for the Carlisle family and Nicholas Cooper and little by little as they learned to trust Him and each other, His grace touched each one in just the perfect personal manner .

Reconciliation and redemption abound in this poignant tale that touched me as I read. The romance between Nicholas and Lynette was an added bonus but was not what I considered to be the meat of the story. I enjoyed “The Things We Knew” very much and hope to read more by Catherine West soon.

Copies of this book were provided for review by LitFuse Publicity and The Fiction Guild.


A tragedy from the past resurfaces in this tale of family secrets and reignited love.

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 harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother’s death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can’t remember a bit of it.

But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother’s best friend and Lynette’s first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can’t.

But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn’t want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface—secrets 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 all they ever believed in.

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Catherine WestCatherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children.

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