I started reading this book thinking it was about the Titanic...it is so very much more! We all know the out come of the ships fate, and when you get engrossed in this story, you hope beyond hope that the all the character's we have now met on the ship will survive. Of course, this is a fictional story based on fact.
Owen Allen is such a great God loving Character, with such a big heart. His sister Annie has not had an easy life, her parents are deceased, and she has been living with her Aunt Eleanor, the Devil Incarnate!
Owen wants to send for her as soon as he has enough money, and have her come to America.
Michael Dunnagan, has also had a very rough life, and becomes a stowaway on the Titanic, and is helped and loved by Owen. Owen embraces him and has him sew his plants and seeds into his coat, to plant his Allen's Run Garden in New Jersey...in America!
Once we get to New Jersey we meet Owen's Aunt and Uncle that take Michael under their wings and give him the first home he can ever remember. There is so much emotion packed into this book, there are heart wrenching times, and so much love...and throughout it all I see God's hand!
This book then takes us on a journey of World War I, and the flu epidemic. So very much is packed into this unforgettable book...I LOVED it!!
I received this book from the Publisher Tyndale, and was not required to give a positive review!
This book was written to cover over a 4 year time line, so there was a lot going on in such a time span, that the author could have made this book longer or into two separate books. I would have loved it either way.
At times I was left wanting more, more details of what was happening. Like the time that Annie and the Sprague ladies were kicked off the train. I wanted to know more about the adventure and the people they met along the way, instead of the short version in a few paragraphs. And here is were I could see young Annie trapping around in a fancy dress walking along the railway with a parasol or something, looking weary.
For just an inkling of a second in about 75% through, I thought it was going to happen, the dreaded "rush and get this book over with". But it didn't! It kept right on going like a book should. This author surely did not rush the end so she could finish up and move on to something else.
I learned some new things about Titanic that I did not know, and some information about WW1. So I did get some history lessons in here.
I did some highlighting (kindle version) of some quotes that really struck a cord with me, that I wanted to keep.
Like this conversation: "That's all there is to it," she said as if she'd heard his thoughts. "Each morning, when we wake -if we wake- we pick up whatever it is we've been given to carry for that day, with the sweet Lord Jesus in the yoke beside us to tote the load. Each night we lay it down, giving it into God's hands. If it is still there in the morning, we pick it up and begin again. If the burden is gone or if there is something different, we know where to start."
Those are such profound words of encouragement. There are conversations like that through out the book.
If anything, this book will teach you to rely on God's faithfulness, and how bitterness can consume you and keep you away from God's love.
I received this book from Tyndale for free for an honest review.
Promise Me This is a novel of epic proportions, spanning tumultuous years of tragedy and hope.
Michael Dunnagan is an orphan fleeing his abusive uncle, when he crosses paths with Owen Allen, who swiftly takes Michael under his wing. That predestined meeting sets off a chain of events that only God could find a way to use for good. And the Titanic is only the beginning.
Told with a smooth style that allows the reader to be swallowed up into the drama, Promise Me This holds on tight and doesn't let go until the final page is turned down. I found myself lost for hours on end, unwilling to put the book down until I found out what happened next. This is one of those rare books that eludes description, it left me speechless as to how to properly portray it in a way even close to doing it justice.
To me, the characters were real, and I was standing right there with them through it all. My favorite character was Michael because of his unflagging determination to fulfill the promises he made to Owen and to himself. It was inspiring to see his faith grow from doubting to willing to trust God no matter the cost, even if it wasn't what Michael wanted--even if it hurt.
Richly woven with threads of love, sacrifice, loss, tragedy, and hope, written with a style that fills the senses, actually taking me there, Promise Me This would be a tragedy to miss!
Wow. Cathy packed so much into this book! From the Titanic to zeppelin raids, she kept me surprised with every turn of the page. Near the end of the book, just when I thought everything was going to turn out ok, she threw in another twist. Then another. I really had no idea if the final outcome would end to my satisfaction!
Love, hate, bitterness, guilt, fear, grace, and forgiveness - it's all in there! Promise Me This put me into past-midnight-reading-mode for two nights straight.
*I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine.*
If you love historical novels you must read this new one by Christy Award winner, Cathy Gohlke. Promise Me This is a riveting story that begins with a journey on the Titanic and continues through WWI. In it, we meet Owen Allenâ€”the loving, gentle man who tries his best to care for his little sister as well as the hungry teen boy he finds roaming the streets of London. Owen has a dream of a better life for his sister and sets out to meet distant relatives in America in order to make his dreams come true. His sister Annie has many hurdles to cross as she tries to make her way in the world after her brother's untimely death. Then there is Michael Dunnagan, the hungry orphan who gets a chance at a better life because of Owen's sacrifice.
While all of the characters are realistic and interesting I found myself especially drawn to Michael. The story of his beginnings and hardships fascinated me and I thrilled as I saw how he grasped the opportunities afforded him and created a better life for himself. His gratitude to Owen and his determination to become a good man just like him was very moving. Equally as moving were Owen's sacrifices to assure that those he loved had a better chance at life. Annie's character rounded out the story perfectly with her many struggles to protect her loved ones and survive insurmountable odds. In many ways, this novel reminded me of a Dickens tale with all the different characters and story lines woven together.
When you find a story that not only holds your attention but also has a satisfying ending, you feel your reading time was well spent. When you can also add to that the elements of Godly character, Christian sacrifice and spiritual growth of the people in the story you have found a rare and wonderful book to be read over and over as well as shared with others. This is such a book. I give it six out of five stars.
I received this complimentary copy from Tyndale House Publishers for this review. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own.