Title: A Promise Kept
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: January 7, 2014
Allison’s dream can true when she met Tony Kavanagh. They fell in love in days, engaged within weeks, married and expecting a baby within a year. Her cup had bubbled over with joy, but years later, that joy was extinguished by unexpected trials. Those trials took their marriage in a bad direction. So one day, she issues her husband an ultimatum, hoping that it would save him and their marriage, but instead, he left and left her crushed in the wake. She was positive God had promised to heal her marriage, but now it seems she’d misunderstood.
So Allison retreats to her quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single self-reliant great aunt Emma. There Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small-town life. Along with these struggles, she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic. Reading these journals paints a portrait of her aunt that leaves Allison stunned. The portrait is of a heart broken woman a lot like herself and helps with Allison’s healing as well as letting her see a side of her aunt she never knew existed.
As Allison reads her aunt’s story, she’s forced to ask some difficult questions and work through some tough emotions but with The Lord nothing is impossible and sometimes promises you thought you misheard can come true in the strangest ways you thought possible. Allison greatest struggle will be giving up everything to God because she was always everyone else’s savior.
Can Allison work through her grief and anger toward her marriage or will bitterness consume her? Can something good come from a divorce or will only bad come from it? Is it possible top piece together a life broken or are the pieces too small to pick up? Can Allison give everything she is and has to The Lord or will she remain selfish and mad at God?
I’ve read a few Robin Lee Hatcher books over the years and enjoyed them but this one seemed so much more personal to me, probably because this book alludes to Robin’s own life and has elements of her own divorce and remarriage (to the same man) in it. The personal touch gave it a depth that I’ve very rarely seen and I loved the courage it took the author to be so vulnerable and write something so close to her own story. That wins some brownie points for me.
Despite the heavy tone of the back cover and premise, it’s actually a fairly light read and is really easy to devour. My favorite parts of the book were the story of Emma, Allison’s great aunt. Emma’s story is like many women’s but hers is different in the path she takes and I loved getting to “know” Emma through the chapters that made her the focal point. The whole story of this remarkable woman is played out but by bit and it really gets your emotions involved and engaged in the outcome of the story. I enjoyed every second of this book.
This book touches on two very different but just as sensitive topics: abuse and alcoholism. The way Robin Lee Hatcher addresses each instance is done remarkably well, it’s addressed without excuse but the whole book isn’t set around it. Instead, the book is set around forgiveness and surrender. Towards the end the forgiveness seemed to come too easily at times and the ending seemed too neat to be real life, but to have that neat little bow made the story have a happy ending and I love happy endings.
This book is one of the first divorce/marriage issue book that I’ve truly enjoyed and recommend to more than just married folks. It wasn’t a book that revolved around the divorce part but more of the forgiveness and healing that comes for God alone part. Because it didn’t focus so much on divorce, I understood this book, and though I couldn’t fully relate, I could empathize with each character and feel each pain in a different way. It definitely makes this book unique.
Robin Lee Hatcher did a glorious job making a book about divorce into a book an eighteen year old girl really enjoy. It was so well done that I just sped through it and enjoyed it too. This book definitely touches on some difficult topics but with grace and class that is amazing. Thank you Robin for having the nerve to put part of your story out there and doing it so well. I highly recommend this one.
Overall, surprisingly, I truly enjoyed this one. This book is perfect for anyone struggling with their marriage of some sort or even someone who wants a good book on healing. This book is probably bed left to the adults but there’s nothing keeping your teens from reading it. I give this book a four and a half out of five.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*