The People We Keep is a breathtaking, heartfelt, beautiful novel about the people we meet along the way and the impact that they have on our lives, and our impact on theirs.  With every turn of the page, this book pulled me deeper and deeper into April’s story and kept my emotions at an all-time high.

April Sawicki didn’t live a charmed life.  Barely getting the necessities to survive, she grew up lonely, impoverished, and craving the simple things that most people take for granted.  If any character deserved a hug, it was April.  My heart broke for the young girl who was left to fend for herself.  Her mother had left her and her father when she was quite young, but even though she still had her father, he was more absent than present.

Right from the very beginning of this book I was invested in April’s life and wellbeing.  It was a heart-wrenching story, but I couldn’t tear myself away.  I needed to know what was going to become of this girl.

With a few garbage bags filled with her personal belongings, she left her small hometown in a stolen car in search of a new life, a place where she could belong.  Her journey was filled with a multitude of interesting and colorful characters.  Every stop she made, she made new friends and acquaintances.  Some became more important to her than others, some felt like home, some she would sooner forget.  April had a handful of people who became very dear to her.  These were the people who mattered the most, the ones who filled her life with friendship, compassion, and love.  They were her family, her chosen people. 

The people and places she encountered could always be found in a tune or song that she had written.  Music was the one thing that was a constant in her life.  It was not only a way to make some money while she was out on the road, but it was also what fed her soul.

My heart ached for April.  I wanted nothing more than for her to be safe, cared for, and loved.  I wanted her to finally find her own slice of happiness.  Throughout the novel, I was filled with apprehension that left my nerves frayed.  The mother in me worried about this young lady out on her own.

This book was an absolutely incredible reading experience that I won’t soon forget.  I highly recommend it to any reader who is looking for an emotional journey that will stay with them for a long time.  This is definitely a favorite for 2021.



*5 Stars

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The People We Keep
By Allison Larkin