Title: Promises to Keep: A Novel
Author: Jane Green
Release Date: June 15, 2010
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Promises to Keep follows the lives of three women, Callie, Steffi, and Lila. Steffi is a vegan chef in New York City, loving her life and her job. The only thing she’s not thrilled about right now is her rocker boyfriend, Rob. Callie, Steffi’s big sister, is a suburban housewife with two great kids and a husband, Reece, that she loves, though he’s gone more often than she’d like. And Lila is Callie’s best friend, a divorced 40-something who has finally met the man of her dreams, with one catch: his controlling and demanding ex-wife. Through the pages of Promises to Keep, these three women will face more trials than they ever thought possible, relying on their ties to each other to keep them going.
I have really enjoyed Jane Green’s recent novels The Beach House and Dune Road, so when Promises to Keep arrived on my doorstep, I couldn’t wait to start reading it. Happily, Promises to Keep doesn’t disappoint, and might be Jane Green’s best novel yet.
Green does an exceptional job developing her characters in this novel. There are definitely a lot of them – the three women, their love interests, children, parents – but Green is careful to give each their own personality such that it’s not difficult to remember who’s who. I really fell in love with these characters while reading this book. At the beginning, Carrie seems to have the perfect life, which can be a little bit grating, but as the novel progresses, the reader gets to really see her and what a genuine person she is. Steffi is neurotic and can’t settle down, but she is there when needed and exceptionally loyal. I loved getting to know these women and was very invested in their characters.
Promises to Keep is definitely an emotional novel. Green weaves the tale such that the reader becomes very involved in what’s going on. As a result, it’s gripping and powerful. The author’s note at the end only serves to increase the impact of the story. There were times I was racing through this novel, desperate to know that everything would turn out okay for these characters.
This is not necessarily the happiest book, but Green doesn’t leave the reader depressed at the end. She makes sure the reader knows that life goes on, no matter what. In the end, it’s all about our connections to others, those invisible threads that bind us together. In many cases, those ties are love, and that is the most important thing. Promises to Keep was an incredible novel that I relished, and I’m only sorry that it’s over and I have to wait to read Jane Green’s next book.