Posted in Book Review

The Promise by Teresa Driscoll

Read Dates: February 13, 2019 – February 18, 2019
Publication date: February 7, 2019
Source: Netgalley via Thomas & Mercer

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The Promise

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“… but as we all learn much too late, guilt is a dangerous bedfellow.”

As I sat and read this book while on a break at work, I found that I had accidentally uttered the words “Holy moly,” out loud. And if that isn’t the perfect way to describe this book, I just don’t know what is. So many twists and turns that came out of this story! I wanted to slap myself for not seeing certain things coming but there were just SO MANY little paths to keep up with! I was distracted by a different path in the story so that when a twist came, I was completely blind sighted! AND I LOVED IT.

Alright alright… where to begin…

Beth, Sally and Carol. The three amigos. The three best friends that anyone could have. They meet at a Catholic boarding school and are soon inseparable. But dark and sinister things happen within the school walls and even outside of them while school is out for breaks. One particular school break brings with it an event that becomes the turning point for the three girls and their friendship. An event that they agree to take to their grave. An event that is back to haunt them now that their alma mater is scheduled to be sold and torn down. And it seems someone else knows about what happened…

I was captured from the very beginning with this story and the fierce bond the three girls had with one another. I was equally captured by the conflict between them. I had soooo many questions. Questions that were slowly answered throughout the story and in JUST the right time. Three girls hold the same secret on their shoulders and the same secret effects their lives in different degrees and in different ways. By now they’re all well into their 30s and their carrying what happened differently. One is haunted every day, one desperately wants to forget and has mastered the art of pretending it never happened, and one has too much going on in her life now to think about what happened then, though she never truly forgets. What’s more is the way this book shows how even though we can have the fiercest of bonds with someone, guilt can bring us to doubt, to point fingers, to desperately want logical explanations to the extent to which we would throw someone under the bus to get them, no matter how much we love that person. Guilt is a heavy burden to carry. No matter if the guilt is misplaced or not, it is heavy and can drive a person mad. The basis of this book is guilt. I want to reread it knowing that everything fueling the decisions and actions of these girls was simply guilt. GUILT GUILT GUILT. I’m not going to say “guilt” again, I promise.
This book just delivered on this natural human occurrence SO WELL. It was beautiful.

Now I may be biased as I was able to relate to some of the happenings and a couple of the characters, but this was a DAMN good book. I was never bored with this book. I never felt the writing was drawn out too long or that the narration was too narrow. (Other than, of course, wanting to know what the hell their secret was! Among other things…) The pacing was perfect. The character building was perfect. The amount of mystery left for us to ponder over was PERFECT. Did I expect a darker twist than the ones I got? Yes. But I found myself emotionally invested in this story, which is something that can be a challenge for me. I don’t typically cry over books or movies, but when I do, it usually involves a pet or animal. Well, this one didn’t. This one got me right in the feels by using just these three girls. I found myself misty eyed more than once during my journey through this story. This was a wonderful read and has found itself on the top of my list of books I want to read a second time.

Special thanks to the publisher for providing the ARC via Netgalley.

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