Friday, November 29, 2013

Keepsake by Kristina Riggle

I added Keepsake to my library hold list after reading Sandra's teaser. Since Keepsake had kept her up until the wee hours of the morning, I figured Keepsake was a good read. I wasn't wrong. There were a few nights I stayed up a little later than I intended reading Keepsake.

Trish is a single mom of two boys. She tries her best but "Mommy's not perfect". When her youngest falls and injuries his shoulder, Trish gets a visit from Child Welfare. Since her son fell and buried under a pile of Trish's hoarded belongings, the state isn't sure Trish is a fit mother. Trish's oldest son seeks out his aunt, Mary, who he hasn't seen in years for help.

Both women grew up with a mother who hoarded. Trish seems to following in her mother's footsteps and Mary is fastidiously clean. As a social worker, I talk to a lot of people about hoarding issues. More the family members of hoarders. I don't treat hoarders but I sometimes need to find resources to help people. Everyone wants to do what Mary and the rest of Trish's family wants to do: toss everything. In Keepsake, their family had done that to their mother. When they talk about the way that her mother grieved her lost belongings, I understood that many people don't see hoarding as a mental illness. As like depression and schizophrenia, hoarding requires counseling and sometimes medication.

I really enjoyed Keepsake. I loved how Riggle showed each of their sisters and how their lives had shaped them to who they were. I also liked Trish's ex-husband, Ron and Mary's college friend, Seth. Both Mary and Trish were so focused on what they lost, they didn't see what they had in front of them. I enjoyed watching the characters grow and develop. I'd recommend Keepsake. Others who shared their thoughts on Keepsake: S.Krishna's Books, Memphis Reads, and Devourer of Books.

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