Book Title: The Promise
Book Author: Michelle Vernal
Genre: Women’s Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: July 15th, 2018
Publisher: Self Published
Date Read: August 2nd, 2018
Synopsis: Two women from different generations brought together by another’s wrongdoing.
When British backpacker, Isabel Stark happens across a car accident on a lonely stretch of road in the South Island of New Zealand her life changes forever. The sole passenger, Ginny Havelock asks her to make a promise before she passes away—to find Constance and to say she’s sorry.
Isabel’s a lost soul who’s been drifting through life unsure of where she fits, and the promise she made in New Zealand haunts her upon her return to the United Kingdom. Her only clue as to finding Constance lies within a conversation held at Ginny’s funeral. It takes her to the Isle of Wight.
In the 1940’s sixteen-year-old Constance’s life on her island is sheltered until the death of her brother; Ted brings the reality of war crashing down around her. He leaves behind his pregnant young widow Ginny. When Constance meets a handsome Canadian airforce man, she’s eager to escape her grief and be swept up by first love. It’s a love which has ramifications she could never envisage.
When Isabel and Constance’s paths finally cross will Ginny’s last words be enough for Constance to make peace with her past? And in fulfilling her promise will Isabel find a place she can call home?
The Promise is a beautiful story of life, love, heartache, and the human connection. It is powerful and breathtaking, and utterly emotional. Combining the past with the present, Vernal weaves a beautiful tale of chance, fate, and the changing of lives.
As I read this book I couldn’t help but think that it would have made the perfect Lifetime or Hallmark movie. It was absolutely captivating. I fell in love with the beauty of the story, the emotional history of Constance and Ginny, and the intriguing background of Isabel. It was heartwarming and full of good humor.
Isabel was such an exciting character. She was young and hip, and utterly lost in what she wanted to do with her life. It was no surprise that she had little to leave behind to be able to take off and fulfill the promise she made Ginny. What struck a chord with me about Isabel though, was the fact that she was such a beautiful person inside that she wanted to keep that promise, and that she did little things here and there that brightened the days of every person she met, including Constance.
I just loved Constance so much. She was a feisty woman with a heavy heart. She had a heartbreaking history and was just so lonely until Isabel showed up. I truly loved seeing her stunning personality slowly peek it’s way out as she and Isabel became friends. And, when I found out about everything that happened to Constance, and the brave, caring thing she did for someone close to her, I couldn’t help but fall in love with her even more!
This story was so touching. I loved the boldness of starting with Ginny’s accident and introducing us to Isabel, and then throwing us back in time to learn about Constance’s history. It was a refreshing mix of present and past that was woven together so beautifully. It had a nice mix of pleasantly predictable moments to counterbalance the shocking twists that kept me turning pages!
I truly loved how this book made me really think about life, death, chance, and fate. Was it chance that Isabel was the one to comfort Ginny in her final moments? Was it fate that Ginny inadvertently brought Isabel to Constance, and in doing so also brought Isabel brand new friends, and a place to belong? It was a strikingly powerful story about finding oneself, the power of connecting to people, and about doing what feels right.
Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for providing me with this free e-copy in exchange for my honest review and as part of the tour.
About the Author:
Michelle Vernal is a Harper Collins author who loves a happy ending. She lives with her husband, their two boys and a needy three-legged black cat in Christchurch, New Zealand. She’s partial to a glass of wine, loves a cheese scone and has recently taken up yoga—a sight to behold indeed. She is a freelance writer for a Canterbury lifestyle magazine who is currently working on her seventh novel. Michelle’s a firm believer in happy endings, and all of her stories are written with humor and warmth.
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