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A Review of The People We Keep

By Jenni Cooper

“I wonder if maybe all you do is meet people and lose them and your smile fades the further you go because you have to carry the space they leave. Maybe it all just turns into old pictures on a bookshelf, engraved rings, memories of sticking stars to a ceiling, and maybe the space gets bigger and heavier every year.”

--Allison Larkin, The People We Keep

I read The People We Keep by Allison Larkin, and it was one of those books that makes you go, “Oh. Yeah. I feel all of those things too.” I felt the pain and disappointment of the protagonist, April, and I felt all of her desires and joy too. I think Larkin did a really nice job creating a character that was relatable. April was relatable not necessarily in her worldly experiences but in her hopes and fears. Larkin highlights the small, scary parts of being human in her writing, and she shows you through her characters something you didn’t even realize you wanted to. You want someone to love you no matter what. You want the feeling of family and the knowledge that they’ll be there for you no matter what. Whether that’s something you have and possibly take for granted or something that you don’t have and pray every night to find; this book will speak to you and ring true in so many ways.

Larkin beautifully depicts the difficulties of family and the magic of found family in her novel, The People We Keep. If you’re searching for a book that will affirm your deepest heart’s desires, and show you characters that are open and warm; this is your book. I hope you give yourself the pleasure of reading it.

“We have people we get to keep, who won’t ever let us go. And that’s the most important part. That’s what’s true.”

--Allison Larkin, The People We Keep

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