The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
BOOK RIOT’S BEST BOOKS OF 2021
In Little River, New York, 1994, April Sawicki finds herself living in a motorless motorhome, a prize won by her father in a poker game. Struggling in school and working at a local diner, she’s left to fend for herself in a town that never quite felt like home. When she impulsively takes her neighbor’s car to perform at an open mic night, she realizes her life has the potential to be much greater than her humble beginnings. After a heated argument with her father, April decides to leave for good, embarking on a journey to create a life that is uniquely hers.
Driving aimlessly, she eventually finds herself in Ithaca, where her only plan is to survive. As she searches for employment, she discovers a sense of belonging at Cafe Decadence, the local coffee shop. Yet, she can’t shake the nagging feeling that life shouldn’t be this easy. The deeper April falls in love with her newfound friends in Ithaca, the more she fears hurting them as she has been hurt before. As she navigates through life, meeting people who feel like home, she documents her experiences through the songs she writes, realizing that her past doesn’t define who she can become.
This lyrical and luminous tale is a testament to creative resilience and a reminder that even amidst tragedy, blessings can emerge. Prepare to be captivated by this profound exploration of self-discovery and the enduring power of love.
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