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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Book Review : Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke

I have recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Promise Me This, by Cathy Gohlke and published by Tyndale House Publishers.

Paperback 404 pages $13.99
Michael Dunnagan was never supposed to sail on the Titanic, nor would he have survived if not for the courage of Owen Allen. Determined to carry out his promise to care for Owen’s relatives in America and his younger sister, Annie, in England, Michael works hard to strengthen the family’s New Jersey garden and landscaping business.

Annie Allen doesn’t care what Michael promised Owen. She only knows that her brother is gone—like their mother and father—and the grief is enough to swallow her whole. As Annie struggles to navigate life without Owen, Michael reaches out to her through letters. In time, as Annie begins to lay aside her anger that Michael lived when Owen did not, a tentative friendship takes root and blossoms into something neither expected. Just as Michael saves enough money to bring Annie to America, WWI erupts in Europe. When Annie’s letters mysteriously stop, Michael risks everything to fulfill his promise—and find the woman he’s grown to love—before she’s lost forever.

Read the first chapter by clicking here.

Cathy Gohlke

Cathy's website: http://www.cathygohlke.com/Cathy_Gohlke_/Home.html
Cathy's Facebook Page : http://www.facebook.com/CathyGohlkeBooks

The story of Titanic has always fascinated me. Especially all of the people whose hopes and dreams went down with the unsinkable ship.  What intrigued me about Promise Me This, is that it is a story that not only deals with the tragedy of Titanic, but continues the story beyond what happened that fateful day.  Just as the families of those who died on Titanic and also the real survivors had to deal with the reality of WWI breaking out, the characters of Promise Me This are drug through the tragedy of war erupting in Europe.  A war that changed the world forever.

I think the author does an amazing job of drawing the reader into the story.  She has a way with words that makes you feel as though you are not just reading it but experiencing the story yourself.  It was not an easy story to be a part of.  There is a lot of heart ache, loss, and pain.  But, it is also an amazing story of faith, grace and love.  It is a story that shows that even during the course of great tragedy, there is always hope.  Promise Me This is not your typical "boy meets girl" romance.  Annie and Michael's unexpected relationship was born from tragedy, blossomed into friendship, and formed into a love neither one expected or even felt they deserved.   I loved the characters (well ok, there were a few I did not particularly like, especially Aunt Eleanor.)   Usually my favorite characters are women, but there was something special about Michael Dunnagan that endeared him to me.  He grows into an amazing man and is full of honor, faith, and courage.  I do admit that I rushed through the last few chapters.  I had been through so much with Annie and Michael that I needed to hurry and finish so I could see them both achieve a happy ending.

Promise Me This was more than I expected in every way.  It is a very powerful story and one you will definitely be better off for having read.

I received a complimentary copy of Promise Me This from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation.
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