The Pieces We Keep cover

Publisher Synopsis:

In this richly emotional novel, Kristina McMorris evokes the depth of a mother’s bond with her child, and the power of personal histories to echo through generations…

Two years have done little to ease veterinarian Audra Hughes’s grief over her husband’s untimely death. Eager for a fresh start, Audra plans to leave Portland for a new job in Philadelphia. Her seven-year-old son, Jack, seems apprehensive about flying–but it’s just the beginning of an anxiety that grows to consume him.

As Jack’s fears continue to surface in recurring and violent nightmares, Audra hardly recognizes the introverted boy he has become. Desperate, she traces snippets of information unearthed in Jack’s dreams, leading her to Sean Malloy, a struggling US Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan. Together they unravel a mystery dating back to World War II, and uncover old family secrets that still have the strength to wound–and perhaps, at last, to heal.

Intricate and beautifully written, The Pieces We Keep illuminates those moments when life asks us to reach beyond what we know and embrace what was once unthinkable. Deftly weaving together past and present, herein lies a story that is at once poignant and thought-provoking, and as unpredictable as the human heart.

My Recommendation:

I have been a long-time fan of McMorris’ popular war stories, and I was eager to read this multi-period novel set in the present day and during WWII. From the first page I was drawn into this story of family bonds, and the deep pain we feel when we are out of sync with those we love.

In the present day, Audra is a strong and struggling character, and while her obstacles are unique, the reader will identify with her complicated relationships. In the past, Vivian’s love affair with the mysterious Isaak, difficulties in her home, and the war make her happiness nearly impossible, but her passion and determination make a life she could not have imagined. Neither woman, however, can outrun her past, and the years and experiences collide in unpredictable and resonating ways.

McMorris uses language with elegance, and her prose is rich and sensory, captivating the reader and wholly immersing her in the book. Each chapter exposes new truths and ignites new questions, resulting in a fast-paced and satisfying novel of suspense. Fans of historical fiction and time-split novels will absolutely love THE PIECES WE KEEP. As much as I enjoy all of McMorris’ work, this might be my favorite.

For more on the book, please visit Kristina McMorris’ website:


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