Reviewed by Gail Purath
The newly released book, Promises to Keep, involves some serious subject matter--abuse, alcoholism, and divorce. But it wraps these subjects in positive family values and Christian hope.
Eleven year-old Roz (Rosalind) moves with her sister, brother and mom to live in a small Illinois town near her grandfather. Roz's greatest desire is to see her mother and abusive father reunited, and she keeps some dangerous secrets in hopes of seeing that happen. In the process, Roz makes a pact with her best friend Mara, and (by the end of the story) both girls learn that dreams come true, but not exactly as planned.
It's interesting to see the story unfold through the eyes of young Roz because she's confused by her love for a father who has such serious flaws. Mara (Roz's African-American friend) also has a troubling father-daughter relationship, so the girls face their difficulties together and grow up in the process. Tatlock foreshadows the story's unexpected conclusion, but she doesn't give it away, and she takes readers on some interesting twists and turns along the way.
Promises to Keep is the kind of book that I'm comfortable recommending to anyone--interesting, clean but not cheesy, Christian but not preachy. I got this book at a writer's conference where I met Ann Tatlock, and I'm pleased to have it in my library.
About the Author (from Amazon.com)
"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. Ann lives with her husband, Bob, and their daughter, Laura Jane, in Asheville, North Carolina."
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