The People We Keep
Books | Fiction / Coming of Age
BOOK RIOT’S BEST BOOKS OF 2021 “This is a novel of great empathy, about connections and coming-of-age, built families and self-acceptance. It contains heartbreak and redemption, and a plucky, irresistible protagonist…[A] propulsive, empathetic novel.” —Shelf AwarenessLittle River, New York, 1994: April Sawicki is living in a motorless motorhome that her father won in a poker game. Failing out of school, picking up shifts at a local diner, she’s left fending for herself in a town where she’s never quite felt at home. When she “borrows” her neighbor’s car to perform at an open mic night, she realizes her life could be much bigger than where she came from. After a fight with her dad, April packs her stuff and leaves for good, setting off on a journey to find a life that’s all hers. Driving without a chosen destination, she stops to rest in Ithaca. Her only plan is to survive, but as she looks for work, she finds a kindred sense of belonging at Cafe Decadence, the local coffee shop. Still, somehow, it doesn’t make sense to her that life could be this easy. The more she falls in love with her friends in Ithaca, the more she can’t shake the feeling that she’ll hurt them the way she’s been hurt. As April moves through the world, meeting people who feel like home, she chronicles her life in the songs she writes and discovers that where she came from doesn’t dictate who she has to be. This lyrical, luminous tale “is both a profound love letter to creative resilience and a reminder that sometimes even tragedy can be a kind of blessing” (Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author).
Simon and Schuster
Community ReviewsSee all
"I have a very short list of people whose book opinions matter to me, that I pay attention to. And on this book, they are a mixed camp of “meh” and “one of my faves” so I almost didn’t read it. But really glad I did. It can be slow at times, has a number of difficult topics, but ultimately the shining strength of “the family we choose” really won me over. Recommend!"
"This is a coming of age/very character driven story of a young girl trying her best with what she has. Her life may be messy, but the people she meets and relationships she builds along the way keep her going. This is well written and demonstrates how people can truly make a difference in the lives of others. Friends become family and the people we choose to keep. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️"
"I loved this so much. ALL the feels. Heart wrenching and beautiful. "
"Absolutely loved. Daisy Jones and It ends with us had a baby and created this beautiful book about April. "
"Great characters. Made me laugh some and just a overall good story"