Promises To Keep
by Ann Tatlock
Bethany House Publishers
ABOUT THE BOOK: Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper.
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 Anthony’s, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.
MY REVIEW: Promises To Keep is told from the point of view of eleven year old Roz Anthony. I’m not usually a fan of books told from a young person’s point of view, but this book is done so very well I hardly even noticed. Set in the ‘60’s, this book has brushes with domestic violence, racism, the Vietnam War, alcoholism and dealing with the “elderly”.
Young Roz wants nothing more than her family to get back to her version of normal. Her mother tried to shield her from some of the reasons the family left her father, but Roz does remember some scenes of how her father acted after he had been drinking. But she is convinced that he can be better and that they will all live happily ever after.
I fell in love with the character of Tillie in this book. She was really the picture perfect representation of a grandmother and she won over the hearts of everybody. And her sweet expectation of Heaven made me smile every time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 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.