In the fall of 2010, Peter Elkins returns to his grandfather’s coastal farm near Ophelia, Virginia. After a tumultuous decade in New York, Peter finds himself without a job, without prospects, and without a spiritual center. His wife, Spencie, has recently recovered from a complicated pregnancy that resulted in a miscarriage. Peter and Spencie are both hollowed-out, empty and on edge, but now they are prepared to rebuild and to try once more to start a family.
As Peter and Spencie adjust to a simpler life, Peter is reminded of his isolated childhood in rural Virginia. Haunting images of Peter’s mother’s mental illness, his father’s near-permanent absence during the Cold War, and his grandfather’s cancer are everywhere. Despite their best efforts, Peter and Spencie can’t escape the memories of their life in the city and the two affairs that nearly destroyed their marriage.
When Andy (a mutual friend and Peter’s business partner) visits for the weekend, he brings with him the same deeply rooted air of abandon and decadence that preceded their exodus from New York. Soon, the already-fragile fabric of Peter and Spencie’s new life together is strained to the breaking point.
Are Peter’s connections to Spencie and to his family’s dwindling homestead strong enough to withstand Andy’s visit?
KEEPING is a novel about love and loss, about perseverance in the face of uncertainty, about the importance of connections to the past, and above all about the value of human relationships.