The Things We Knew by Catherine West is a story about a boy and a girl. When they start to discover that they may love each other life interrupts and choices are made. What makes this such a pleasant read is the story of how they find each other again.
Lynette Carlisle grew up in a wonderful family, not a perfect family, but they loved each other. That is until the night her mother died. 12 year old Lynette watched the rest of her siblings grow up and leave Nantucket to find their way anywhere but at home. She is left with the pieces.
Even the boy next door who promised always be there for her disappears into the world with no explanation. Nick Cooper was like family, his family life was at best tolerable, at worse... well it just is hard to explain why is father seems to hate him.
Lynette is trying to keep her head above water with a father who is loosing his grip on reality and a house that is falling down around them. No one seems interested in helping them or believe her when she tells them it is bad. They all just go one with their lives.
I think that is what is most interesting about this life. Every one of the characters seems to think that they are living life well, but each one has a flaw. Each one needs the others and yet they all seem to want to stay apart. This makes these characters so very real.
Catherine does not make light of any of the baggage she gives her characters. She doesn't give pat answers to the problems, like if you just believe and pray all your problems will go away. She makes them struggles, everyday struggles. Something that is dealt with every time you wake up in the morning until you sleep at night.
If you like books that are not wrapped in a neat little bow at the end with all the problems solved and happily ever after on the doorstep, then I suggest this book. I found that when the book ended, even though the boy and girl were not married or perfectly happy at the end, I was happy with the conclusion as it left the door open for them to live lives like the rest of us. Normal, well as normal as we all are.