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The Pieces We Keep Paperback – November 26, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Pieces We Keep

"An expertly woven and richly satisfying work of historical fiction that will touch any reader who has experienced love, loss, tragedy, or the impact of family secrets."
     --The Boston Globe

"The Pieces We Keep reminds us that throughout history, everyone puzzles through the great questions in life, in search of love and a sense of belonging." 
     --The Bellingham Herald

"McMorris' strong pacing keeps the two stories zipping along and all its many strings connected for a gratifying conclusion." 
     --Kirkus Reviews


"Readers will have a hard time putting this absorbing book down." 
     --RT Book Reviews

"The past collides with the present in this sensitive and multilayered story where the discovery of long-held family secrets leads to healing." 
     --BETH HOFFMAN, New York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt 

"A compelling tale with memorable characters, written in McMorris' elegant and captivating prose. I didn't want this novel to end."
     --ERIKA ROBUCK, bestselling author of Call Me Zelda


Praise for Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

"Impeccably researched and beautifully written."  
     --KAREN WHITE, New York Times bestselling author of The Time Between

"A poignant, authentic story of Japanese and American lovers crossed not only by the stars but by the vagaries of war and their own country's prejudices."            
     --JENNA BLUM, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us 


Praise for Letters from Home

"An absolutely lovely debut novel." 
     --KRISTIN HANNAH, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Propelled by the epic sweep of world war... this story will linger in the reader's memory long after the last page is turned."  
     --SUSAN WIGGS, #1 New York Times bestselling author

About the Author

Kristina McMorris is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of Letters from Home and Bridge of Scarlet Leaves. She lives in Oregon.

Saskia Maarleveld is an experienced audiobook narrator and voice-over actress based in New York City. Raised in New Zealand and France, she is highly skilled with accents and dialects, and many of her books have been narrated entirely in accents other than her own. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; 1 edition (November 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758281161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758281166
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kristina McMorris is a critically acclaimed author published by Kensington Books, Penguin Random House, and HarperCollins UK. Her works of fiction have garnered more than twenty national literary awards and appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestsellers lists. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her novels include LETTERS FROM HOME, BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES, and THE PIECES WE KEEP; her novellas are featured in the anthologies A WINTER WONDERLAND and GRAND CENTRAL.

Prior to her writing career, Kristina worked as a host of weekly TV shows since age nine, including an Emmy® Award-winning program, and has been named one of Portland's "40 Under 40" by The Business Journal. She lives with her husband and two young sons in Oregon, where she is working on her next novel. For more, visit http://KristinaMcMorris.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Book Preview Review on November 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
Book Description:

“Two years have done little to ease veterinarian Audra Hughes’s grief over her husband’s untimely death. Eager for a fresh start, Audra plans to leave Portland for a new job in Philadelphia. Her seven-year-old son, Jack, seems apprehensive about flying—but it’s just the beginning of an anxiety that grows to consume him.
As Jack’s fears continue to surface in recurring and violent nightmares, Audra hardly recognizes the introverted boy he has become. Desperate, she traces snippets of information unearthed in Jack’s dreams, leading her to Sean Malloy, a struggling US Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan. Together they unravel a mystery dating back to World War II, and uncover old family secrets that still have the strength to wound—and perhaps, at last, to heal .”

Oh. My. Goodness. This book is certainly going to generate a lot of buzz when it hits the shelves. Truly.

McMorris weaves a completely riveting and gripping narrative both fascinating and yet emotional. Each chapter leaves you hanging and wanting to know more. I dare you to put this book down!

While chapters alternate from present day to the past, so too does the font change. I personally found this helpful when resuming reading immediately knowing which tense and time period I was in.

You become so engrossed in the plot and the chapter would suddenly end. You think, WHAT?! WAIT…..I need more. You immediately turn the page eager to find out what happens next and you are suddenly thrown into present day. Or back to the past. For the first few sentences, you are still thinking about what just transpired. McMorris skillfully captivates you into whichever tense and you become quickly drawn into the current situation.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Maryellen on December 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book takes two stories from different decades told in alternating chapters and deftly ties them together so convincingly that you’ll be left breathless at the pinnacle.

In the story of this decade we find Audra Hughes still grappling with the death of her husband two years ago whilst raising her 7 year old son Jack. Audra is questioning every single choice she makes and feels the strain of being a single mother. Jack is quiet and withdrawn and begins having night terrors. Soon Audra is summoned to Jack’s school to look at drawings that he’s done that depict horrific and violent scenes including fiery plane crashes and swastikas. Jack has never been exposed to such things. It is inexplicable that he could possibly have this knowledge.

Yet he does.

In 1939 London, Vivian meets Isaak and they fall in love. On the cusp of WWII, these lovers will be torn apart. Will Vivian ever come to know what happened to Isaak? And how do these two stories of a young Mother and her son and two young lovers become so intertwined that pages blur by while your heart rate quickens.

Believable characters fill this book. From Audra’s desperation to reach her son and help him to stop living someone else’s nightmare to Vivian pining for a man she left in war-torn London. There is love, loss, betrayal, forgiveness and healing brilliantly represented in the alternating chapters of this book.

It has been days since I finished this book and I struggle to put together a review that will help any of you to grasp what this author has accomplished. Typically when I close one book I have no difficulty opening a new book within moments.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Caren on December 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved this book. It is lovely, poignant, and masterfully crafted. Past and present are intricately woven into a beautiful whole. It flows nicely and her writing is phenomenal. I didn’t want it to end. It has been days since I finished and the story and characters are still in my thoughts. To my thinking, that alone is worth 5 stars.

The characters and their stories are compelling and memorable. I didn’t connect with Audra immediately but as she changed and opened up, I grew very fond of her. It was Vivian’s story that truly captivated me. I found myself anxious to get back to this part of the story often but it did not take away from my enjoyment of the story as a whole. I am partial to historical fiction, after all. The link between the two stories was evident but I was surprised by the ending and that impresses me.

This is a must read book. I am so glad that I had the chance to read it. This is the first Kristina McMorris book I have read but I am now a fan. I plan to read everything this lady writes. I think it will be worth my time.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Book Reviewer TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Pieces We Keep by Kristina McMorris with its World War II setting, exceptional love story, comfortable writing style, and a beautiful ending makes it an enjoyable read. It is a marvelous book that traces two seemingly unrelated stories shifting time periods in alternating chapters. One story happens in the present day while the other story takes place during the World War II.

Many readers will understand the dilemma confronting veterinarian Audra Hughes, a young single mom and widow, who is trying to board a plane with her 7-year-old son Jack to go for a job interview. Jack's fear of flying quickly gets the situation out of hand, and Audra is forced to cancel her trip. She ends up embarking on a different journey, one that is transfixing and which has the possibility of changing her life.

Audra's story set in 2012 is an emotional one. She had lost her husband two years earlier, and it is not easy caring for her young son, Jack, who experiences violent nightmares. She has no family to help, and her in-laws seem to be up in arms against her. Her life appears to be at a crossroad.

The other story is that of Vivian James, the daughter of an American diplomat in London as World War II is about to break out. It is about her relationship with Isaak, an American of European descent. Vivian returns to New York when the war eventually breaks out and is on the verge beginning a new relationship when she is required to make a choice that has far reaching effects that reverberate across generations.

The Pieces We Keep by Kristina McMorris is a beautifully written story.
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