the low down on new books

The Promises She Keeps

Reviewed by Brittney

Just the Facts: by Erin Healy. 352 p. Published by Thomas Nelson, February 2011. Electronic review copy provided courtesy of the publisher, through NetGalley.

Verdict: ★★★★

Who Cares? Adult Contemporary/Inspirational Fiction

Short Bio: Promise has made it her life goal to become famous as a singer, before cystic fibrosis finally claims her life and she is forgotten forever.  A series of “accidents” and the suggestion of a local gallery owner lead her to believe that she might have the power to evade death within herself.  She discovers the truth through an unlikely source – the powerful and self-sacrificing love of an autistic man.  Read the first three chapters here.

Eyewitness Account: I’ll ‘fess up, I picked this book out because of the cover. I just loved the moment it captured – and unlike many covers, this moment plays a huge part in the book! There are three reasons why this book deserves some loud props and a hearty recommendation:

1) Healy developed very good characterization through multiple storylines that all managed to support and enhance her main theme. She easily balanced about 5 main characters and several additional supporting characters without sending me back through previously read pages for “who is that person again?” Not bad for a 350 page novel!

2) I can’t stick this book in a genre! It has elements of many – coming of age, the supernatural, suspense/thriller, mystery, romance – without any one dominating in my mind. Better yet, it was a story that, although defying the normal and natural, felt completely believable to me.

3) I fell whole-heartedly in love with Chase, the autistic guy. I loved his thinking process and his narrative voice in the book, and of course the message of truth he brings to Promise. He’s going down in my book of favorite non-real people (right under Fred & George Weasley)!

Healy definitely knows her way around a story, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else she publishes!

Notable Quotes:

A longing fulfilled is a tree of life.  Draw the longing, for time is short.  Fill the heart, for days are full. All he could see were words, and then the meaning of the words disappeared and all he could see were strokes.  He saw the movement of a man’s hand gripping a grease pencil and forming each symbol, the sweeping and swooping of lines, the tight angels, the free flowing tails.  This was his father’s handwriting.”

“Can there be any greater accomplishment than saving a life? And maybe it doesn’t look like what we think it looks like — keeping the heart beating, keeping the brain alive.  I’m talking about the intangible stuff.  The reasons why a person gets up in the morning.  Because she wants to sing for the people she loves.  Or go to Paris with a friend.  Or take care of someone.”

“The promises of love are the promises you keep.  The promises of liars are worthless.  Throw those promises away.”

Other Books Read by This Author: This is my first book by Healy – she’s written a few with Ted Dekker, and another on her own titled Never Let You Go.

What are other people saying? 5 Minutes for Books, Thoughts From a Princess, Beyond the Bookshelf

Rating:

★★★★ Plot Development

★★★★ Characterization

★★★★ Writing Style

★★★★★ Original Idea

★★★★★ Page Turner

Overall ★★★★

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