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.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Promises to Keep, go HERE.
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. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.
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Promises to Keep is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and transparent look at a broken family, from the perspective of a young girl in the mid sixties. Eleven year old Roz wants nothing more than to have the Anthony family all together again, and she is caught between doing what her heart tells her and the fearful memories of the past.
Tillie is an elderly woman living at a senior's home against her wishes. She longs to be back living in the home that she shared with her husband of fifty years. The first time the Anthony family met Tillie, they discovered her sitting on the porch of their home, reading their newspaper. They had no idea that Tillie would find a way into their home, their lives, and their hearts.
Roz's best friend is also a remnant of a slightly dysfunctional family. Her mother is black, her father is white, and she is being raised by her grandparents. She is very influential in teaching Roz the importance of family, honesty and trust.
Do we really understand the turmoil in the thoughts of a child when they are caught between loving both parents, or having to choose sides? In this book, the author portrays openly and honestly what it might be like.
This book would make an excellent book club choice, and the discussion questions included are great starting points for group or personal reflection.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Promises to Keep through Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, in exchange for my honest review.