Life has not always been easy for Karla. After losing her parents at a young age, Karla and her two sisters, Heather and Grace, are sent to live with their maternal grandmother Anna. Karla never felt close to Anna and often was jealous of the bond Anna had with her two sisters.
It is out of obligation that Karla returns home to Anna when she falls ill. Anna is suffering from congestive heart failure and solicits Karla's help with putting her affairs in order. Early on Karla makes sure Anna knows she only agreed to help her because she's the oldest daughter and she feels responsible for Anna's well-being. While Anna simply wants to bury the past and try to mend their relationship during the little time she has left.
In Things Remembered, Bockoven wonderfully illustrates the dynamics of a not-so-perfect family. Each sister has her own personal struggles, insecurities and dreams. Birth order, letting go of past hurts and perceptions, and starting over are recurring themes in the novel. Bockoven created two flawed and stubborn characters that the reader can easily sympathize with. I really liked both Anna and Karla and wanted to see them repair their relationship.
This is not the first book I read by Bockoven. I thoroughly enjoyed The Beach House and will continue to read more of her collection. Recommended.