Books from the Backlog #293

Posted November 23, 2023 by Carole in Books from the Backlog / 6 Comments

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

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This week’s neglected book

Books from the Backlog #293The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published by Gallery Books, Simon and Schuster Audio on August 3, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age
Length: 11 hours 8 minutes
Pages: 384
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |


“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 Awareness

Little 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).

Why did I add The People We Keep to my bookshelf?

I was so excited to get a copy of this book in my Book of the Month box last year. I put it on my shelf, and there it still sits. I even picked up a copy of the audiobook when I caught it on sale so that I could get to it quicker (spoiler alert – this hasn’t happened yet). I love the sound of the book, and the reviews appear to be overwhelmingly positive, so I think I will enjoy it. Hopefully, I can get to it sometime soon.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it?

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6 responses to “Books from the Backlog #293

  1. OMG, Carole! This book touched my soul. I loved it. The found family is the best element because I found myself wanting the MC to find people to love her the way she deserved. I hope you love it

  2. I like Whelan’s narration and this book does look good. I’m so tempted by Book of the Month but have put it off because I’m awful about reading books off my own shelf!