Book Review: Promises to Keep

Three dynamic women address the issues of life and love in a season of sorrow. This is a compelling offering by the talented Jane Green.
Photo: Viking

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2011—Jane Green, in her latest novel Promises to Keep (Viking, ISBN: 0670021792), brings the world a delightful story of friendship, family, and forgiveness.

Callie, the elder of two sisters, is successful, dynamic, and lives a storybook life. Her career as a photographer is going well. She lives in a gorgeous house with loving children and a husband she adores. Although she survived cancer five years ago, she now faces unexplained health complications.

Image Credit: VIKING

Steffi, the younger sister, is still roaming and free, She works as a vegan chef in New York City until she finds herself thrilled with village life, after agreeing to dog sit for a year. The job comes complete with a country castle near her sister and a compassionate landlord who has romantic potential.

Lila, Callie’s best friend, finds true love after giving up on relationships, and must re-envision her life to include a partner and child.

Callie and Steffi’s estranged parents, Honor and Walter, after years of animosity, find themselves softening in the midst of family upheaval.

The evolution of life and emotion in this novel runs clear and strong.

Green has a deft hand as a writer. She does not allow strong feelings to read sappily. She carries the dramatic storyline with realism, not romanticism, and yet every chapter is a dream of a life. The characters say what they are feeling, and feel deeply. It is an emotional treasure box.

Dedicated to Green’s friend, whom she lost to cancer, this is a remarkable testament to the strength of friendship, and family, and being the best you can be.

Charmingly included are recipes at the close of each chapter.

This is a book to read in one sitting. You may, or may not, remember Callie, Steffi, and Lila, but you will treasure the time you spent with them.

British import Jane Green is the author of twelve bestselling novels, including The Beach House and Second Chance, which each spent months on the New York Times Bestseller list.

She currently maintains a blog at and contributes to The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, and Self.

Read more book reviews in The Written Word at The Communities at the Washington Times.  Cecie O’Bryon England is the editor of Arts and Literature at Donne Tempo Magazine.

-cl- 6/2/11 


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Cecie O'Bryon England

Cecie O'Bryon England is a writer, reader, and artist who lives with her husband, the musician, John Henry England, and their two children, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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