"Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labelled 'This could change your life'."
-Helen Exley

"A novel is the chance to try on a different life for size."
-Marion C. Garretty

Friday, August 12, 2011

Promises to Keep

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

Pages: 343
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.
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...
Award-winning author Ann Tatlock skillfully blends her well-drawn characters into an inspiring tale of unimaginable courage and selfless love.

My friend Sydney gave me this book about four months ago and it's just been sitting on my shelf. It looked interesting, but I just never picked it up. Once I finally started to read it, I was so engrossed in the story, I would look up at the clock to find that two hours had passed by in the blink of an eye.  
I love that this story is told from the girl's point of view and not the mom. From what I've read, all the books about abusive relationships have been written from the wife/husband's point of view. Roz is such an interesting little character. She is really unique from other characters I've read about, and I think it's just her childish personality and how little she really knows about the real world. 
The plot of this book is unique, not only because of the point of view, but because it takes place from 1967-1968. The little town they live in seems so different from nowadays, I just loved it! The ending to this book was pretty predictable, and from just about the very beginning I knew what was probably going to happen. As I continued to read though, the father was so convincing that he had even me believing every word he said.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with this book. The wording was easy and it flowed from sentence to sentence so I was easily hooked into the story. I loved the rhythm of this book and story it tells.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

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