I was not familiar with Cathy Gohlke before this book, but I will definitely be reading more of her in the future!
In this centennial year of the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic, many books have been released about that time and experience, but so far this is the one I have enjoyed the most. What I particularly liked about "Promise Me This" is that Ms. Gohlke wove together two huge milestones and storylines of the 1910's. I'm not sure why, but it never occurred to me before that those affected by the sinking of the Titanic had their worlds rocked again just a few short years later when the Great War broke out. So I really enjoyed the story that Gohlke wrote, taking two very real historical occurrences, and throwing in enough fiction to make it very much come alive, yet I still walked away from the book feeling I learned more about that time period; something that I always look for in the historical fiction I read.
"Promise Me This" is really a beautiful story of family, both biological and those that become like blood relatives through shared life experiences. Though there is more than a fair share of heartache and pain in the story, there is also much "beauty from ashes" as Ms. Gohlke demonstrates the sovereignty of God through both the good and bad times in life. So often as I read this wonderful book, these words from Proverbs ran through my mind, "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."
I would definitely recommend this book to any lover of historical fiction, as well as those who love to see the redemptive work of God's love and mercy portrayed in novels. I look forward to getting my hands on another great book by Cathy Gohlke soon!
Promise Me This takes place just before the Titanic sets sail and goes through the end of Word War I and is set in Ireland, England, and America. From the very first page, this book grabbed me and I didn't want to put it down. I loved the story line as well as the historical period it was set in. Annie's story captured me, from her being an orphan watching her brother set sail on the Titanic, then loosing her brother when the ship sinks, to dealing with her aunt. But the other characters around her were not overshadowed by her. They each had their own story and history that was unique. But I felt like I was reading about real people.
This was an amazing book. I look forward to sharing it with my friends and family and reading.
Wonderfully written. I really enjoyed this book and certainly would have finished it in one day, if life (work) had not interfered! The Titanic and its story have mesmerized many people, including myself. This story takes that tragedy and brings hope and joy to some of those impacted by it. Historical references really showed what was happening in the world around that time and were skillfully woven into the story.
This was my first book by Cathy Gohlke. I really looked forward to reading this story. Although it was different than what I had expected, it was a good read and beautifully written.
Owen and Allie Allen are brother and sister. Their parents died and young Allie went to live with their mean aunt Eleanor in England. Owen saved money to sail to America to help an Aunt and Uncle with their garden business. Owen sails to America first with the promise to get Allie as soon as he has earned enough money.
Owen has a golden heart and takes pity on a stowaway on board Titanic.
Michael has ran away from the horrible life he lived with his abusive uncle. He is surprised by the love that Owen shows for him when he finds him on board Titanic. Owen is planning a new life for Michael in America and is teaching him all about plants and seeds. When the disaster happens with Titanic Owen gives Michael a chance for a future.
When Michael comes to America he is lovingly adopted by Aunt Maggie and Daniel. He's a hard worker and helps to make the gardens profitable. He's working hard to earn enough money to get Annie to America, meanwhile the two start writing letters.
Annie has a lot to adapt to after Owen left. She starts to love Michaels letters, but when WWI breaks out something happens and no one hears anything from Annie anymore.
What happened? Is she safe?
There surely happens a lot in this story, many years pass. And sometimes I wondered if some parts could have left out. Therefor I give 4 stars instead of 5. The writing is pleasant, the research well done, the characters are very real. Altogether this makes a good story!