Review of THE THINGS WE KNEW by Catherine West

Publisher: Thomas Nelson | Published: July 12, 2016 | Format: eBook and Paperback (352 pages) | ASIN: B01864DXE6 and ISBN: 9780718078102 | Origin: Author 


Cover: Courtesy of Thomas Nelson



THE THINGS WE KNEW by Catherine West launches us into rough waters as we sail through the chaotic life of Lynette Carlisle, daughter of renowned painter Drake Carlisle.

Now, as Lynette tackles work while being the only caregiver to her father during his quick descent into Alzheimer’s disease, his physical and financial needs quickens her pace to unpack her family’s dysfunction while keeping her nightmares at bay!

The large Carlisle family had grown up within grand style inside the luxury life that does exist on the island, as her father’s works had become well known and even appreciated in her lifetime. Her childhood memories are like painted pictures of yachting, private beaches, country clubs, and parties. Alternatively, those same things could be to varying degrees the reasons her family has come unglued.

Most brothers won’t return her calls, a sister barely has time to speak with her, and no one comes to visit their father.

Meanwhile, Lynette’s losing hope, could lose her home, and is trying to survive while her father is wandering off without knowing it. Between the lack of sleep, extra duties, extra hours, and trying to uncover the root behind the horrid nightmare she has been living with in silence, she’s beginning a mental move into a darker space. Her past, a faceless figure, and her deceased mother’s words gnaw at her about something, but the question always ends in the same confusing way. Is something or someone out here that makes her siblings stay out of reach? What or who?

Meanwhile, her father’s drifting has brought a long ago friend back into their life in the middle of the night.

Nicholas Cooper had not seen Lynette in some years, and he certainly wasn’t expecting her to cross his path in this manner. By the time he could comprehend this situation she found herself in, his former attraction to her not only sprang to life but also grew through instant respect. This woman had loved her family enough to put her own life and dreams on hold. He, on the other hand, put his dreams on hold for a totally different family reason.

In the space of a minute, he knew what happened this night connects him to his neighbor on a more tragic course than either spoke of or could connect to each other. Nick doesn’t want it to connect to her out of protection, fear while Lynette wouldn’t even know how their shared history intersects through guilt, and shame so long ago.

As a young man, he couldn’t change anything, but he can help now.

The churning of fame, fortune, and family will carry the Drakes and the Coopers into a riptide driven by their illnesses, pain, anger, and flaws. As family drama crashes into friendship and romance, leading with mystery and suspense, it sends tingles down your spine. You will begin to doubt whether hope is actually alive or on life support and could healing ever be possible.

This author’s masterful use of the combination of setting, tragedy, mystery, and loss along with secrets and grief becomes a women’s fiction tale that you do not want to end, allowing me to recommend this well-crafted read!

***This opinion is my own.***


Author Catherine West brings together a tragic past and a messy present inside THE THINGS WE KNEW!

Lynette Carlisle sees her past slipping through her fingers at an alarming rate leaving her sad, confused, and woefully overloaded with responsibility. It was over a decade ago that her mother’s death disintegrated any family ties leaving bare threads behind. Most siblings keep far away from their Nantucket roots leaving Lynette alone with her dad, burdened, and confused. Since the age of twelve, she does not remember much about that day, but the faceless fear that plagues her sleep. However, she had tried to dismiss this part of grief away, but there does seem to be something connected to it that has kept her out of reach to her family. What?

Now, she’s in a crisis, and her faith is shaky. Nevertheless, she is learning how not to be so mousy around others. Her father is depending on her to do what needs doing.

What he thought previously was unthinkable had happened. Nicholas Cooper returned home to Nantucket, and though he knew it would be inevitable to face at least one of the Carlisle family members, he was not quite ready to come face to face with Lynette. While growing up she was just a kid sister of a friend, until one day she wasn’t anymore.

After a brief time, he had believed that goodbye would be permanent as he went off to college. Soon, she would leave the island too, and the ocean of reasons why a relationship with her could never happen always held a rough current underneath.

However, this beautiful woman in the early morning hours appeared. Looking ragged and worn, she took away a buffer zone that he believed existed between them. She’s never left the island and her father’s illness seems caught up in the riptide that endangers two families. These two neighbors growing up sharing in so much and in too much all at the same time.

He had to do something about it now, but so much could get in the way.

As lessons are learned, pain burns anew, and healing or forgiveness can seem so out of touch, many question whether a broken family can ever be mended!