Saturday, April 2, 2011

Promises To Keep by Ann Tatlock ~ review

Promises to Keep

Synopsis from

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 Anthonys, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.
My take on this book:
Janis Anthony and her children Wally, Roz and Valerie leave their home in Minnesota and move to the town of Mills River with the hope of a new start away from an abusive situation. Janis has the promise of a job working in her stepmothers department store, and along with that job Janis' father has secured a house for them on McDowell Street. After living in the house for less than a week, they find an elderly lady sitting on the porch reading the Sunday paper. Turns out that lady is Tillie Monroe, whose only hope is to "die"in the home she and her husband built. Tillie moves in and soon becomes a member of the family. Meanwhile Roz makes her first friend Mara Nightingale, who has a complicated family life, which includes a secret about her father. The girls decide to make a Daddy Deal, where they pray daily that they will each be reunited with their father. Roz thinks her prayers just might be answered when she finds out that her father is in town, he tells her that he has plans to come home, but makes her swear not to tell anyone that he is even in town. Mara is sure that Roz needs to tell her mother, but Roz wants her family together, and holds onto the hope that her father has really changed!
Ann Tatlock is a new to me author, whose writing style draws you into the story immediately. As the story unfolded I actually felt like I was a part of the family that I was reading about. As the story unfolds thru the eyes of eleven year old Roz, I found myself hoping right along with Roz that her father really had changed.Roz's friend Mara was quite like able as well, and because they had quite a bit in common, I enjoyed seeing her story unfold as well. My favorite character had to be Tillie Monroe!  A seventy year old who has an unwavering faith in God, and is just what the Anthony's need. She easily reminds us that it isn't always blood ties that make a family.
A family drama that readers will enjoy, but anyone looking for a good clean story with unforgettable characters should also check out this story, you won't regret it!
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I find it interesting that you noted that the author was able to make both an eleven year old and a seventy year old equally authentic and likeable characters...that's quite a compliment :)

  2. Thanks for stopping by. I am now a follower! =)

  3. This sounds like a book I'd really like! Thanks for stopping by my blog ~ I'm following you back! Hope you have a great week! : )

    Aimee @

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog - I'm following you back. Can't wait for some good book reviews to help me find a new book to read.


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