From the critically acclaimed author of Real Life & Liars and Things We Didn't Say comes a timely and provocative novel that asks: What happens when the things we own become more important than the people we love?
Trish isn't perfect. She's divorced and raising two kidsso of course her house isn't pristine. But she's got all the important things right and she's convinced herself that she has it all under control. That is, until the day her youngest son gets hurt and Child Protective Services comes calling. It's at that moment when Trish is forced to consider the one thing she's always hoped wasn't true: that she's living out her mother's life as a compulsive hoarder.
The last person Trish ever wanted to turn to for help is her sister, Marymeticulous, perfect Mary, whose house is always spotless . . . and who moved away from their mother to live somewhere else, just like Trish's oldest child has. But now, working together to get Trish's disaster of a home into livable shape, two very different sisters are about to uncover more than just piles of junk, as years of secrets, resentments, obsessions, and pain are finally brought into the light.
About the Author
Kristina Riggle is a published short story writer and coeditor for fiction at the e-zine Literary Mama. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, two kids, and dog.
“This story of two sisters...is as unflinching as it is compassionate. I was pulled in from the first page, as Trish and Mary reckon with the devastations of loss and the bonds of family, and as they make their hard, brave, often funny journeys toward hope and wholeness.”
-Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Falling Together
“An involving portrayal of the obstacles confronting today’s families.”
“...this delectable read is both irresistible and fulfilling...hope-filled, honest and remarkably raw tour-de-force. Things We Didn’t Say is a beautiful account of modern family that resonates, restores and charms.”
“Backed by Riggle’s trademark unflinching honesty and imbued with heart and hope, The Life You’ve Imagined is a terrific novel about love and loss, letting go and holding on. A book to share with family and friends—I loved it.”
-Melissa Senate, author of The Secret of Joy
“An entertaining, challenging story with the potential to change us if we let it.”
-Grand Rapids Press
“A seemingly celebratory gathering brings joy, frustration, love and disappointment to a midwestern family in this wonderful debut novel. These are characters we know and care about from our own lives.”
-Denise Taylor, manager, Schuler Books and Music
“Riggle crafts a moving and accomplished first novel about a family coming to terms with change. The characters are familiar but not stereotypical, and the quaint setting of Charlevoix, Michigan, a beachfront town, adds to the nostalgic feel.”
-Booklist on Real Life & Liars
“Kristina Riggle addresses the difficult turf of the hoarder with compassion and understanding. With its contrasting sisters-one unable to let go of things, the other unable to allow clutter into her life-Keepsake immerses us in the complicated world of family and love.”
-Meg Waite Clayton, bestselling author of The Four Ms. Bradwells and The Wednesday Sisters
“Touching and timely”