Monday, August 28, 2017

Review: Everything We Left Behind by Kerry Lonsdale (audio)

Title: Everything We Left Behind
Author: Kerry Lonsdale
Series: Everything We Keep, #2
Narrator: Timothy Andres Pabon
Published: July 2017, Brilliance Audio / Lake Union Publishing
Length: 9 hours 14 minutes / 348 pages
Source: Audio - Brilliance Audio / Print - Lake Union Publishing
From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes the highly anticipated sequel. Told from one man’s two perspectives, Everything We Left Behind effortlessly blends suspense, mystery, and romance in an exploration of loss, resilience, and the compelling need to protect the ones we love at all cost.

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancĂ©e, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

My thoughts: This book is a sequel to Kerry Lonsdale's Everything We Keep, which I absolutely adored, and I have been waiting for this sequel to come out! But, I can't stress this enough - if you have any plans of reading that one, read it first! This is the type of series where there are minor spoilers in this second book about the first book, enough so that it ruins the enjoyment of the first book. You also might not want to keep reading this review if you still need to read the previous book!

I wasn't sure what to expect with this sequel - after finishing the previous book, I knew there was going to be follow-up, but I didn't know who's story it would be. Would it continue with Amy now that she knew what had happened to James or would we be given James's story? I was pleased to see that Kerry Lonsdale decided to give us James's story, but picking up where we left off after Everything We Keep leaves off. Again, this is why you really need to read that book first!

I really liked the way this story is told, though I do have to admit, it takes a bit of getting used to. And, since I was listening to it, it took a lot of concentration! This book jumps back and forth in time - from the present day to the past. The present day is where James has come out of the fugue state and is trying his best to sort out what the hell is going on. The past is where he is living in Mexico as Carlos with his young sons. 

I loved that this book really keeps you on your toes. Not only do we find out James's perspective of what happened, but we get to learn a little more about his family. I really felt that I had a better understanding of all that happened and this in conjunction with Amy's story in Everything We Keep is just quite a tale! I loved that these two are told this way - I really don't think this all would have worked had it been done in one story - too much would have been left out. This story in particular is really about acceptance and family. And it wouldn't have had the same impact had it been combined with Amy's story. I really think each side needed it's own book, so brava Kerry for giving each character their own book - I think that was a very smart decision! I really felt invested with each character this way.

This book really shows just how talented a writer Kerry Lonsdale is - the way she crafted this, which to me had a much different feel from Everything We Keep - is mind-boggling! I loved them both and am so excited to know that there is going to be a third book in this series...I can't wait to get my hands on it and am so curious as to who it is going to focus on!

Audio thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Timothy Andres Pablo narrate a book and I think he was the perfect narrator for this story. He was able to really bring James/Carlos to life, using the right accents when necessary and giving the other characters distinct voices as well, even the children. His pacing and tone were great and I think he really did a good job with this naration!

Books in this series:
  1. Everything We Keep
  2. Everything We Left Behind
  3. Everything We Give - due out Summer 2018


  1. I've seen the first book on Amazon and was curious about it. I think I will go ahead and get it. This sounds really good and you make it sound even better too. Great review.

  2. Yes, read book 1 first. Good advice. I also listened to the second and enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next book!


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