Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Promises to Keep by AnnTatlock

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock is another amazing read by a woman who has written many wonderful Christian novels. This one is about a family who moves away from an abusive husband to live near family. The mother, Janis, is determined to keep her children safe-- her almost-18-year old son, Wally, her 11-year-old daughter, Roz, short for Rosalind, and the baby, two-year-old Valerie.

Life is humdrum until the day they find an older woman on their porch, reading the paper. They learn that Tillie Monroe used to live in the house they purchased. When she broke her hip and went into the hospital, her sons sold the house. But she loves it and keeps coming back. She tells people it is her house. Finally Janis gives her one of the bedrooms and Tillie moves in. She becomes one of the family, babysitting the children while Janis works and cooking in her old, familiar kitchen.

Roz makes friends with a little black girl, Mara, and the two of them begin to share secrets--secrets about their daddies. Roz wants her daddy back. When he was not drinking, he was a pretty good dad, in Roz's opinion. Mara has a secret daddy, and a secret about her birth that she tells Roz about. Both the girls, fifth-graders, dream of a time when they can have their dads in their lives again.

The friendship between the two eleven-year-old girls is sweet. Then Roz's dad shows up and starts to meet with her secretly. He has plans to make their family whole again, and Roz believes him.

As the secrets compound, the girls promise not to tell anyone about what is going on in each of their lives. They are only children and do not understand the intricacies of marriage and family life, or the dangers in their child-like trust.

I will not tell the ending. I can only encourage you to read this book. Like Tatlock's other books, it has a compelling and explosive ending. There is no bad language in the book and it is a wonderful read.

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