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A Promise to the Past: A Genealogical Mystery [Paperback]

James G. Brown
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 2000
An intriguing mystery as a young man discovers a family past that lets him confront a mystery today as he discovers his own heritage with the help of a mysterious woman.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read March 26 2001
Format:Paperback
This book is one of my better finds on the internet. A friend recommended to me via email, and here it is. A good pleasurable time is to be had in the reading this first novel. As an avid reader of historical fiction, I often daydream myself back into the historical settings. "Promise to the Past" did that one step better, by jumping a common story back and forth to those times just as I might in my reflections.
It is written in an entertaining style, with careful unwinding of a chain of events that draws both on history and on today, linked together by the science & art of genealogy. Who is going to love this book? People like me who work in a cubicle all day with a couple dozen history sites on my PC's "favorites" list for the Internet, people who devour Patrick O'Brian's books and wonder what their ancestors might have been doing then; people who like to see a truly craftsman-like treatment of all the little details that make up history and provide the links to our forebears.
I've already given a copies to a couple friends who enjoyed it as much as the best of whatever else is on their "to-read" shelf. I'm sure you'll like it too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment Jan. 31 2002
By WKA
Format:Paperback
I was dismayed and disappointed with the author's use of expletives and low-level language expressed by the main characters of the book. The plot, the story line, the accurate use of genealogical research plans and actions were superb. I would like to share this book with my daughters and grand children but, instead, it ended up in the waste basket. I was appalled with the poor quality of the given text--any spellcheck and grammer program would have caught many of the errors. This is not acceptable in grade school! The author's note revealed a higher level of aspiration to inspire curiosity about family history and heritage in his readers, than was displayed in the story as exhibited by the language used throughout the book. I was uncomfortable reading the book, but kept on for genealogical research interest.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Promise to the Past Jan. 25 2002
Format:Paperback
I ordered this one after if was plugged on several genealogical newsletters. It's a good love and mystery story interwoven with the details of quality genealogical research. That said, the self-published author needs a good text editor to take care of the typos, the questionable punctuation, the sometimes wooden dialog and the gratuitous use of obscenities. Brown has his educated middle class characters talking like low-class barflies. It's a good read but it could have been much better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Nov. 9 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Mr. Brown is an exceptional author. His amazing writing ability bringing the past & present and fiction & non-fiction togteher holds the reader until the end. "A Promise to the Past" will delight readers of all generations. It makes the reader (at least it did for me) want to know more about their (my) own heritage. As Mr. Brown wrote "I firmly believe that it helps you know where you are going if you know where you have been." How True!! A+++
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