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I am a mother who works full-time but who is also a chauffer, chef, seamstress, fitness instructor, teacher, maid, gardener, runner, organization expert, salesperson, secretary and wife. I love my family and life is always busy but fun! Come along with me for the ride:-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Promises to Keep

by Ann Tatlock

Book Description
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.

Shortly after her mother leaves their father and they move into their new home, the Anthonys are greet daily by an elderly woman named Tillie. Tillie was the previous owner who did not want to leave her home but her sons moved her into an elderly home and sold the house. She wants to come home and die there and Ms Anthony needs someone to help her with the children. It’s a match Heaven sent.
The Anthonys moved because their father was a violent drinker. Their mother left because she feared for her life and for her children’s lives. Slowly over time, the Anthonys and Tillie become like family.
However Wally, the eldest son, is angry and thinks about enlisting in the Vietname War. Rosalind secretly visits with her father. He manipulates her into secrecy and asks questions about Janis (their mother) and things that are happening. He promises that things will be different, that he’s trying to change and he wants to be a family again. Roz feels guilty but keeps the secret because she hopes that they can become family again. However, her father does not necessarily want the same things.
Tillie is the spark of energy and fun in this novel. It is fast reading and Ann Tatlock’s writing brings you right into the heart of the story and you don’t want to stop reading. The story is written in the first person with Roz being the main character. As the reader, you realize long before Roz does just how manipulative her father is and you want to protect her. Tillie is the rock of the household and family. The story moves very quickly and has a good ending. The story is suspenseful because, although you know it will turn out well, you can not guess how it will do so. I would recommend this book and any other book by Ann Tatlock – she is a wonderful writer and you will not be disappointed.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review on my blog. I was not obligated to give a positive review in any way.


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