Book Review : Everything We Left Behind (Everything, #2) by Kerry Londsdale

Genre : Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Page : 348 pages
Published : 4th July 2017

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 fiancée, 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.

(This book is the sequel to Everything We Keep)

“Sometimes, the best gifts in life are those we didn’t know we needed.”

I did not know that this is a second book to Everything series. I bought the book thinking it is a stand alone book and I thought this is a gripping suspense mystery in which I must say, I was wrong. Rather than mystery, I would say the romance is thicker than the mystery. Besides, the mystery is not like what I expected. It’s not a suspense mystery but a rather clueless man trying to find his place and identity in the foreign place.

James Donato wakes up one day to find he has two sons and a deceased wife. He is confused with the state he was in. For six years, as he is under a fugue state – a disease which made one’s to forget our own identity, he lives under the name of Carlos Dominguez and build his own family and peaceful life away from people he used to love.

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At first, I find the story to be very confusing. I do not understand the story and I always need to return to the chapters before to re-read again to understand it fully what situations does James involved himself into. Carlos Dominguez, has expect this situations would come sooner or later, is keeping track of all his memory and hand-written diary in a box for James Donato to explore.

I read some reviews on Goodreads when I rate the book and I found lots of good review like how the readers have been waiting for the second book and the warning that states we should read the first book to avoid the confusion. So I recommend you readers to read the first book, Everything We Keep, to keep track of what is going on in the book.

The story is not confusing once you understand fully what is actually going on with James Donato. I even found it to be enjoyable reads about hope, love and family. I don’t really get the mystery part. This book is more about feelings. The longing for the people we used to love or still love, the love that grows in our heart for people who actually care for us and the realization that we can’t go back and change the past no matter how much we want to.

The book is getting intense when Phil is finally released from prison and start to search for James Donato. What I could say is I did not expect the ending and it just seems too simple for me. Don’t get me wrong. I love the ending but It’s too easy? Anyway, aside from the genre and all, I love the way Kerry builds her characters. They all seems so real and so is their distress and heartbreak.

This book can be read as a stand alone book if you would love it too. The ending is a real end, which means no cliffhanger. Although it’s quite confusing when I start the book, I come to love the plot and the characters. I would suggest to read from the first book to understand more of the story. Anyway, this book has a good story.

“Dying is a whole lot easier than coming back to life.”

Author : Celine

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