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Promises to Keep Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Viking Adult
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021796
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 15.3 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #948,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BookChick TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 8 2010
Format: Hardcover
Callie Perry feels that she pretty much has it all. She's more in love with her husband than ever, she adores her children, and she's managing to run a successful photography business in her spare moments. Sure, her husband Reece travels a lot, but she's happy for the breathing room that gives her, and even happier when he arrives home.

Callie's little sister Steffi doesn't see what she is so excited about. Steffi is a chef at a now-popular Vegan restaurant, and she can't seem to keep a boyfriend for that long. The boyfriend's that she does choose are aspiring artists, rock stars, and generally bad boys, unable to take her out for fancy dinners or even get up before noon, but that suits her just fine. She sees no need to embrace her sister's life and settle down in the suburbs with a couple of kids and a husband.

Callie and Steffi's parents, Honor and Walter, want different things from life as well. Long divorced, Walter remains rigid, trying to live up to the standards that his last name implies he should have. He nurses a long time resentment towards his ex-wife Honor, who is everything that he's not- free-spirited and above all, following her dreams.

When Callie, Steffi, Honor and Walter receive some shocking news, life takes a rapid nosedive. Suddenly the four are thrown together for one heartbreaking summer, and nothing will be the same.

I really connected to the character of Callie. What makes a good book great for me is if I can connect to one of the characters. If I have problems connecting, the story, no matter how good it is, fails to hold my interest. In "Promises to Keep", the character of Callie can't believe how good her luck is.
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By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on July 19 2010
Format: Hardcover
When I think of Jane Green, I automatically think 'chick lit'. Promises to Keep is chick lit, but with a lot more depth than I expected.

Steffi just goes with the flow in life. When she's tired of a job, she moves on to the next one. She's great at what she does though - she's an amazing cook. It is this skill that introduces her to Mason, a well to do publisher, who loves her cooking. When things start to fall apart with her latest boyfriend and her current job has lost it's oomph, Mason's out of the blue offer looks really good. Dogsit for a year while he's in London - and stay at his country home in Maine. Steffi jumps at the chance and as a bonus she'll be closer to her big sister Callie.

Callie has it all from the outside looking in - two great kids, a job she loves (photography) and a husband who loves her, even though he works too much.

What starts out as an idyllic summer changes everyone's lives forever when unexpected news arrives.

I fell in love with Steffi as soon as she was introduced. She's warm, caring, thoughtful and someone you'd like to know. Callie is as well, but a bit more reserved. As the book progressed, Callie's character is opened up more and I became more invested in her. Green's exploration of the relationships between the sisters is genuine. The supporting cast is filled with rich characters as well. Callie's best friend Lila is larger than life. The relationships between parent/child/spouse and friends are all thoughtfully examined and portrayed.

I don't want to reveal any of the details of the plot, but I had to grab the Kleenex box by the end.

Green also infuses Promises to Keep with chick lit elements as well. Steffi's romance or lack thereof is a great subplot.
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Format: Hardcover
We meet Steffi, one of the main characters in this novel at a vegan restaurant in New York city where she is the chef, a self-described "rock chick and vegan chef". As a thoroughly modern woman Steffi drifts from one romantic encounter to another without any stability in her life. Her sister, Callie, the heroine of the novel is completely the opposite. She has a perfect life, it seems - a husband who loves her, two delightful children, a home in the suburbs,loyal friends and a growing career as a photographer. She is so happy. Walter and Honor, their parents who have been divorced for 30 years despair that Steffi will every learn responsibility. Multi-tasker Callie exudes success in life, so they have no worries for her. Then news arrives that drastically affects and changes each of the relationships in this close-knit extended family as they strive to understand and cope with the terminal illness of one of their own.
The character development is very good. I felt that I knew each person by the time I was mid-way through the story. The last half of the book is very poignant, particularly if the reader has experienced the loss of a friend/family member to cancer. However, the intensity of the narrative is relieved, curiously enough, by the delightful addition of recipes. It somehow works.
By the end of the story the reader knows that the family will survive and prosper despite their year of tragedy and sadness. Romance, babies, security, contentment, and peace are on the horizon. Life does go on.
One negative is the use of expletives. The story is not enhanced by their usage. Otherwise, this is a book that I recommend. It is a portrayal of the love and support that family members bring to a tragedy. In fact, it is a love story in all its various facets.
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