Lark Wainright, 23, has nightmares. She used to be fearless. But while overseas for her nonprofit employer, she was kidnapped and held at gunpoint in a dusty shack. Everyone has an opinion about what might have happened to here there, but she’s not saying much. She’s too consumed by guilt to talk about it.
When her best friend offers her a stay at the Shipley orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps into her little car and heads to Vermont. Unfortunately, the night terrors don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret from those who know her best, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of Orange County, Vermont, to calm her down when her dreams prove too much.
Zachariah, 23, is a survivor of a different kind. It’s been three years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult out west, and the only home he’d ever known. In Vermont, he’s found a peaceful place in the bunkhouse at the Shipley’s farm. He’s good with animals, and he’s good with his hands. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. And he doesn’t always know what to make of a world where apps and movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV. He’d never spoken on the phone.
Actually, there are still a lot of things he’s never done.
Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she shoves Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he’s good for more than farm labor.
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
By now you’d think I know better than to start a Sarina Bowen book after 10 PM. Here I was thinking to just read a couple of chapters of Keepsake before going to sleep. Then I actually started reading, and before I realised it, 1 AM has passed. There were plenty of opportunities to stop for a while, as the story is divided in three parts, but I just sailed right passed those.
Sabrina Bowen’s writing is just too addictive. Whenever I start one of her books, it’s impossible for me to put it down. I have to know what comes next. The flow of Keepsake feels so natural, you barely realise time has passed.
The dialogue, the characters, the plot development, it’s all right up my ally. While the setup seems so out there (the girl got kidnapped, and the boy grew up in a cult), Sarina tells it in a way that feels real. You don’t question where these people come from, your focus is on the here and now.
Seeing Zachary and Lark come together is pure joy. This young inexperienced man, falling for a broken young woman will make your heart happy. Him finding that happiness is bliss to read. While seeing Lark deal, or rather not deal, with her horrible ordeal will break your heart. Though her finding comfort in Zachary, and slowly coming to terms with what happened makes you believe all will be right.
Reading Keepsake made me happy, and really that is all that I can ask for, though it gave me a so much more. Some parts were sad, and some made me angry. Others made me wishing all virgins were as good in bed as this one, and wonder where I could find a farmer of my own. It made me crave some delicious cider, and thinking that maybe Autumn isn’t such a bad season after all. Though mostly it made me forget I was reading a book as I got completely swept up in the world at Shipley’s farm.