Promises to Keep
By Ann Tatlock
Published by Bethany House, Feb 1, 2011
A mother fleeing unspeakable danger to keep her children safe ...
Two young girls guarding secrets in a "cross my heart and hope to die" pledge ...
A father desperate to be reunited with his family ...
Promises to Keep is family drama at its best. From page one, the exquisitely written characters wind their way into your heart and mind, until you become a member of the family. I revisited my girlhood with Roz and Mara, linking little fingers in "pinky promises" and shared secrets.
Told from eleven-year-old Roz's perspective, the complexity of emotion is deep as she struggles to understand family dynamics. Tillie is a story unto herself. To say she's a character is an understatement. She's a hoot, adds some gentle humor to the saga, and is the kind of character all writers love to discover. Ann Tatlock is a master storyteller, one of the best, and in Promises to Keep, she outdid even herself. Novel Journey and I give it our highest recommendation. A must read.
Reviewed: Ane Mulligan
Editor, Novel Journey
“You can trust God for what’s to come. He’s a good Father.” (p.341)
Oh reader! You don’t want to miss Roz Anthony’s coming of age story! Ann Tatlock is a master of telling stories that take the reader from a point of almost unbearable hurt to a gentle place of grace without missing a single nuance of the growing and changing that must take place along the way. In this story, eleven-year-old Roz is the touch-point of all that takes place, and as we view the confusion, hurt, and difficult choices of the adults in her life through the lens of her unwavering trust, life takes on an innocence that is almost painful to look upon.
The character of Tillie Monroe is the perfect counter balance to the other characters in the story, and her bold, confident way of loving others and speaking truth go a long way in helping the Anthony family heal and find wholeness at the end of their journey. You won’t ever forget Tilly! Danger is ever lurking in the shadows of this family’s life as they attempt a new start in a new town, and Roz has to learn some very painful lessons in trust as the story progresses. The tension builds as the reader nears the end, and the climax of the story proves to be a bittersweet reminder of the transition we all must go through at some point in our lives.
Promises to Keep contains a realistic look at many different heart conditions in life’s journey. The characters are believably flawed, and their search for peace is one that will be familiar to all that read their tale. This story came to me at a time in my own life that I needed to be reminded of God’s goodness in the midst of the storm. He IS a good Father, all of the time, and I CAN trust Him for whatever lies ahead.
Reviewed by: Kim Ford