Everything We Keep
- Aimee is caught off guard when lacy approaches at James’s funeral. Initially, she doesn’t believe Lacy. How would you have reacted in a similar situation?
- On several occasions, Kristen encourages Aimee to open up about her emotions, to talk to someone. Do you think she sensed Aimee was hiding something? Did you suspect Aimee was hiding something?
- Per James’s request, Aimee doesn’t take down the meadow painting, her and James’s special place and the site of Phil’s assault. What does this say about Aimee? Do you think her inability to discuss the incident ran deeper than keeping her promise to James?
- Had James not disappeared, do you think Aimee would have gone through with the wedding? Would their relationship have lasted or would the incident with Phil have come between them?
- What do you think helped Aimee more with her healing? Opening her cafe or searching for James?
- Imelda describes Lacy as an “enigma.” She remains a mystery to the very end. Both Ian and Aimee interacted with her in their own way. How do you think Lacy connected them in their quest pursuing lost loved ones?
- What was your impression of James before the flashback to Phil’s assault? Did it change once you learned how he reacted after the assault?
- What do you make of Thomas’s confession? Were his revelations surprising? Did he really have James’s best interests at heart?
- Do you agree with Aimee that James kept the truth about his relation to Phil secret because he was ashamed? How do you think Aimee would have reacted had James been honest with her from the beginning? Do you think a relationship can last when one person has a deep, dark secret?
- This story has many themes: letting go, healing, forgiveness, and love. Which theme resonated the most with you? Which theme had more impact on the story?
- Until the end, Aimee never removes her engagement ring. What symbolic role does the ring play? How does it connect to the story’s themes?
- The story ends with James coming out of the fugue state. What do you think happens next?
- Aimee’s life changes in many ways she didn’t anticipate–losing her fiance, opening her cafe without him, the traveling thousands of miles to find him only to leave him behind–but her journey is internal. How is she different at the end of the story?