Friday, December 22, 2017

Review: Keep Her

Title: Keep Her
Author: Leora Krygier
Page Count: 264
My Rating: 4.5 TURTLES: A really great read, I highly recommend!
*I have given an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Destiny doesn’t factor into seventeen-year-old adoptee Maddie’s rational world, where numbers and scientific probability have always proven to be the only things she can count on as safe and reliable. Still, Maddie is also an artist who draws on instinct and intuition to create the collages she makes from photographs and the castoff scraps she saves. But when her brother falls in with a Los Angeles street gang, Maddie loses her ability to create art.

Then fate deals Maddie a card she can’t ignore: Aiden, a young filmmaker she meets when a water main bursts inside a camera store. Aiden is haunted by the death of his younger brother, and a life-changing decision he must now make―whether or not to keep his baby daughter. Caught in a whirlpool of love and loss, Maddie and Aiden find that art and numbers, a mission to save endangered whales, and a worn-out copy of Moby Dick all collide to heal and save them both.

I have been a fan of Leora Krygier’s for a while now, so I was very excited when I heard she was releasing a new book! There is something achingly magical about her stories I can't quite put a finger on. Most of the time for me, the plot is the most important part of the story and the writing is vehicle to carry the plot, but Krygier’s writing is so beautiful, both in its descriptiveness and how it seems to tow a unique line between straight fiction and magical realism, that it takes on its own importance for me besides driving the story forwards.

I also love how she interweaves letters with the narrative and how we really get to see inside the minds of the two main characters. This author is not afraid to explore different themes of family in her books. In Keep Her, she focuses particularly on adoption, both from the perspective of the child and birth and adoptive parents, but also familial grief and forgiveness. I really appreciated the complexity and nuance she brought to these topics. I think often they can be treated a little tritely, but this book does not do that. With the themes of cultural identity, art, and environmentalism on top of family, Keep Her is incredibly multi-faceted and manages to pack a lot in in a relatively small amount of space.

One of the few things that jumped out at me that did not seem to be on par with the rest of the book was that the subplot around Maddie’s relationship with her brother seemed a bit rushed. The pacing of the rest of the book was good, but then a conflict that she had had with him since before the book started resolve within a few pages. I would have liked to see more of his journey since between when Maddie sees him earlier on in the book to two they meet and work things out, he seems to be a completely different person. And while, his explanation for why that is makes sense in the story, it is still abrupt.

I highly recommend this book. If you haven’t read anything by this author before, I would especially suggest you take this chance. It is one of those books that is not well-known, but reads like it should be, which are some of my favorite types of books to review.

If you have read this book or any books by Leora Krygier, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments!

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.

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