This is a wonderful book on so many levels. While she deals with several difficult topics, Ann Tatlock is able to pull the reader into the hearts of her characters in such a tender way that she creates empathy, not sympathy.
Rosalind and Mara, two eleven-year old friends, share tragic secrets and utopian dreams. Theirs is not a happy-go-lucky childhood and Tatlock quickly reminds us that growing up was not the easy place we often remember it to be. She has gotten into the mind of pre-teens and their hopeful way of seeing the world in a realistic way.
I loved the other characters she created as well -- especially Tillie, the feisty elderly woman who has been forced from her home by well-meaning children. I hope to be like her when I grow up!
This is a wonderfully gutsy story about an unconventional family growing up through difficult times. It's not often a happy story, but it draws you in and gives you hope. It was hard to put down. I'd definitely recommend it for those who like contemporary fiction. It would also be good for mature younger readers, although it is not designed as YA fiction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ABOUT THE BOOK
Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined to die in the place she lived her life, and somehow manages to find her way "home" day after day. Feeling sympathy for the elderly woman, Roz's mother allows Tillie to move back in.
Mara Nightingale becomes Roz's first friend in Mills River. In spite of their many differences, the girls discover they have something in common that binds them together--both are hiding secrets. So they make a promise--"cross my heart and hope to die"--never to tell anyone else. When danger stalks the Anthonys, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Promises to Keep, go HERE.
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You can purchase the book here