The Things We Knew by Catherine West

 "Home is where you come to heal..." (132)

Title:  The Things We Knew
Author: Catherine West
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  July 12, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction

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.

Verity. Truth. The Things We Knew by Catherine West brings together a scattered family running from the truth, while suppressing what that truth ultimately cost them. As readers, we are challenged to think about the things we know or think we knew, and how that have brought about our life's decisions. Layered with rich, compelling characters, topped with a story line within a story line, The Things We Knew filled every page with meaning that at the right moment, revealed itself.  

How I love turning each page, knowing that there's more to explore, more to learn about each of the characters in The Things We Knew.  No one was a filler. Each one have something to give and in all, giving us the intricate dynamics of a once happy family to what happened. Gray's story held strong onto my heart. His fall, his fight, his mistakes, his reasons to run, to his admission, his redemption and his strive to do the right thing - all spoke loudly throughout. His emotions can easily jump off the page. (Chapter 32 may honestly be my favorite chapter in the whole book!) Yes, Gray was all there, but Lynette's emotional struggles to repressed memories and feelings tugged something in me as well. She's not my favorite character, but there's something of her past and her dreams that makes me want to root for her. Yet, it's also Nick that I want to root for too. I don't know what to say, but I guess I can root for all of them, all the Carlisles (and honorary Carlisles).  That's what The Things We Knew can do to you. It grips your mind and your heart in wanting to know more about this family, their home, Wyldewood and its history. Along with being set in the beautiful town of Nantucket, you'll be transfix to its story and to its characters for a good long time, even after you've finished it. 

Strong personalities run wild in The Things We Knew.  However, the strength of the faith message may very well outshine them all. It's not simply thrown in there at the end, tying everything in a neat bow. Faith was once present in this family, but as days passed, as each one ventured away, it too was lost. What is so lovely is how the author weaved it in throughout their lives, sometimes reminding them of God's presence unexpectedly, and ultimately allowing a way back into their lives and hearts.  The themes of forgiveness, grace and truth held onto and wrapped this dysfunctional family individually and together. 

The Things We Knew is more than a typical inspirational novel. It has it all - romance, mystery, developed characters, plot and a message that will have you reflect on the things you knew as well. This is one book NOT to miss.  

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own. For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Catherine West is an award-winning author writing inspirational stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management. Having previously published three popular romance and women's fiction titles, Catherine will publish her first novel through Harper Collins Christian Publishing in July, 2016.

CONNECT WITH CATHERINE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest




  1. Haha. It's perfect. I love it! Thanks for a great story and for dropping by CATHY!

  2. Beautiful review, Annie. This books is on my MUST read list.

  3. this sounds super interesting! will echeck it out :3

  4. I have this book on my shelf right now. Can't wait to read it. I love the cover.

  5. Great review! It really makes me want to read it!


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