Thursday, February 10, 2011

Promises to Keep

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promises to Keep
Bethany House (February 1, 2011)
Ann Tatlock

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.


Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel All the Way Home. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.


Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper.

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.

Watch the book trailer:

You can purchase the book here

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