Thursday, April 07, 2011

Not my usual choice of fiction, a book review

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock 

I don’t know if this book is categorized as Christian fiction or not. I would say it is an interesting and clean story with a smidge of Christianity tossed in.

The story is told through the eyes and thoughts of an eleven year old girl whose family is torn apart by domestic abuse. It takes place in the 1960’s, an era of change. We are taken back to a time of racial tensions, war, drugs and changing family dynamics.

Roz, her mother, baby sister and teenaged brother, have escaped from her abusive father and are living near Roz’s grandfather and his second wife. He has managed to find them a large home. The problem is, the home used to belong to Tillie, and elderly lady whose son’s have sold her home and set her up in a retirement home. Unfortunately, Tillie still considers the home to be hers and keeps showing up on the front porch acting as if she still lives there. Tillie’s is an endearing, no nonsense, nurturing lady with a quiet but persistent faith. She is a Christian, and provides wisdom and comic relief throughout the story. Tillie ends up moving back into her old home and helping Roz’z mother with the housekeeping and babysitting, while she works.

Roz meets another young girl and forms a close friendship with her. Mara happens to be bi-racial, so we are exposed to the inequalities of that time. The girls share their secrets with each other, Roz, who dreams of reuniting with her father, and Mara, who struggles with the circumstances of her birth.

This book has a plot that keeps you interested and is full of secrets, intrigue, family relationships and social issues.

If you are looking for a book with the emphasis on faith and doctrine, this is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for a clean but not cheesy, thought provoking story, with unforgettable characters and circumstances, you will enjoy this one. Sensitive subject matter is handled in a very inoffensive manner, which makes this suitable for late teens and older.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BethanyHouse through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you have read this book, I would be interested in your thoughts on it.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

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