This is a refreshingly different kind of Titanic story, well written, and a definite page-turner. I gave this four stars because I felt the cruel aunt was wielding too much power unrealistically. Here is this old, bitter, hateful woman who is in poor health, yet with extensive power over so many different people in the early 20th century, leading up to and in the middle of a war?
Other than that, though, I enjoyed the story and do recommend it - I find Cathy Gohlke a very talented author - will definitely want to read more from her.
My second Cathy Gohlke book in a week. I am hooked. I love her characters; they stay with me for days after I finish their story. Their situations are foreign to me, but their thoughts and emotions are not. They struggle and learn to trust God and do it His way. This story deals with forgiveness, trust, and learning to do the right thing even when it goes against expectations others have of you.
I wasn't sure I'd like the historical and physical setting of the Titanic but I did really enjoy it. It made me cry. I was surprised that she had the ship go down in one piece, as my understanding is that it broke in half. Otherwise, I appreciated the historical setting of Titanic and WWI.
Note: I noticed one of the critical reviews, and I must say that though the book was long, I read it in two days, and that's with 7 kids at home! It was that good! And I found the story to be believable in the chaos of war.
An epic story; brilliantly written, reminiscent of a Shakespearean tragedy but penned from an entirely different perspective. Easy to read? Not particularly. Worth the investment of time and emotion? Absolutely.
Annie and Michael's story was truly riveting, so much so that I allowed myself a couple of mental "recesses" between sections; reading two other books, primarily to refuel my emotional stamina. What a rare example of true inspirational fiction; this one is magnificent and that's a promise!
In Owen Allen, Promise Me This offers a portrait of true selflessness. Michael Dunnagan's life would have turned out much differently if his path hadn't intersected with Owen's. An orphan terribly abused by the uncle who was supposed to raise him, by God's grace, Michael meets Owen, who offers him the chance to build a new life in America. But tragedy strikes their ship, the Titanic, and Owen is lost, leaving Michael to find his way alone to Owen's aunt and uncle. There he finds a loving home and genuine redemption as he fulfills Owen's promise to rebuild this kindly couple's failing business.
Owen left his sister, Annie, behind in England to finish her education, with the promise that as soon as their relatives' business prospered, he would send for her. After Owen's death she falls under the control of their vindictive aunt, but it is Annie's bitter heart that rules her life even more strongly. Yet over time Michael's letters soften that hard soil, and a tender love begins to grow between them. Through even the horrors of WWI, the selfless love Owen sowed in Annie's heart continues to strengthen, and then flower, until at last it chokes out the evil fruit borne of her aunt's injustice.
I found this story to be both moving and convicting. We often give lip service to the concept of selflessness, but in reality we live according to our own selfish desires. Truly selfless loveâ€”like that of Jesusâ€”joyfully sacrifices its life for others despite the cost, and by that love hurting people are made whole. How different is our perspective from God's!
I love the way this author creates characters who become dear friends you come to care deeply about. I love her engaging plots and moving themes that seem simple on the surface but in fact are profound. Although, for me, the last part of the story seemed to drag a bit, the ending was wonderful and well worth reading through to the end. I highly recommend Promise Me This as a tender and life-changing story with many convicting take-aways we can all benefit from.
This was a fantastic story - a story of heartbreak and hardship, love and devotion, loss and struggle. The main characters were people I would want as friends. And I like the way the author portrayed the strong faith of Owen which began to grow slowly in Michael and Annie as they matured. I will certainly look for more books by Cathy Gohlke.