Review: ‘The People We Keep’ is a search for family, meaning

“The People We Keep” by Allison Larkin (Gallery)

“The People We Keep” is not a book to pick up lightly — it will make you fall in love with the characters, it will break your heart, it will make you laugh and cry and feel all the emotions the characters feel through author Allison Larkin’s tremendous talent for bringing characters to life.

The heroine, April, is the kind of hard worker who deserves the world but can’t see that she deserves it. A fight with her oft-absent father that becomes physical pushes 16-year-old April to her breaking point. She dreams of performing and decides to leave Little River, the small town where a motorless motorhome served as her home for years.

Ithaca promises a new life. The New York college town opens the doors for April to finally have the kind of deep, meaningful relationships that Little River and her parents left her devoid of. But how long can it last?

“The People We Keep” is about a girl finding her place in the world. It’s about creating a family for yourself when your own family has failed you. It’s about learning to accept the love you never thought you deserved, and it’s worth every gut-wrenching turn along the way.

Interspersed with lyrics, Larkin’s writing is simple yet profound. The novel demands that readers pause to digest it in spite of the urge to keep devouring every word. April is a difficult character to leave behind, but “The People We Keep” gratifies readers with a keenly satisfying ending that feels real and beautiful and worth the tears shed to get there.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

Entertainment News

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up