Sunday, July 24, 2011

An Edge of Your Seat Coming of Age Story- Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

As the text from the back cover promises – “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…” this novel is full of unforgettable characters, twists and turns, and a heart pounding finale.
Meet Roz, an 11 year-old-girl in 1967, caught in the middle of her tween years, desperate to be an adult, yet clinging to her childhood as it swiftly disappears. Her family is torn apart by an angry father and a mother determined to keep her life under control. Roz finds herself in a new town, in a new house, and all alone. Her mother, older brother, younger sister and herself have moved into the house on McDowell Street, where they discover an unlikely friend. Tillie, the “old lady on the front porch” begins as a burden and a sad reminder of the past, yet she soon becomes a pillar of strength for a family that is faltering.
Reading this story, I experienced a gamut of emotions, and found myself lost in the tender world of Roz. It was a true to life depiction of the struggles of being an almost teen, and the sadness of seeing your family torn apart. When Roz meets up with her father, I felt the hope of the young girl, and found myself praying that somehow, someway, she would be able to bring her family back together. The final chapters of the novel kept me at the edge of my seat, with an unexpected climax that I won’t disclose. I certainly didn’t expect it.
I thoroughly enjoyed Tatlock’s tale, and felt a bond with the characters. She writes with wit and intelligence, and adds a certain voice and reality to the words on the page. I highly recommend this novel, it is a light and easy read that doesn’t disappoint.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House Publishers  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed 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.”

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