PROMISE ME THIS
Annie Allen never imagined the day she watched her brother, Owen, sail on Titanic would be the last time she'd see him. Nor could she guess how the tragedy would forever knit her life to Michael Dunnagan, who survived through Owen's sacrifice.
As Annie struggles to navigate a challenging life in England, Michael labors in New Jersey to create the gardening business Owen once dreamed of and to heal Annie's grief through letters. In time, as Annie begins to lay aside her anger that Michael lived when her brother did not, a tentative friendship takes root and blossoms into something neither expected.
Bound by a promise yet battling circumstances beyond their control, Michael and Annie dream of the day she can join him in America. Just when Michael saves enough money for her passage, WWI erupts in Europe. Then Annie's letters mysteriously stop, forcing Michael to risk everything to find the woman he's grown to love before she's lost forever.
Is gut-wrenching splendour an oxymoron? Because that's how I'd begin to describe Promise Me This. I wouldn't end there though. I might throw in descriptors like 'agonizingly wonderful' or 'despairingly stunning' or ... LOL - clearly this book has sent me into a tailspin but I'll try to regroup.
It is definitely worthy of the title 'epic saga' as the story takes place over several years, crosses continents and is fraught with angst. Michael and Annie are just teens when we meet them first but some cleverly crafted plotting takes us all on a journey we soon won't forget. Gohlke tackles an intriguing period of history that includes the sinking of the Titanic and World War I and has done such a good job of it that I'm still feeling emotionally bruised.
You will find characters to instantly bond with and a plot rife with harrowing and unpredictable twists and turns that will keep you on your toes to the very last sentence. Seriously, I despaired so deeply at one point that I had to take a peek at the last page and I hardly every do that!
And oh, Gohlke's characters -- from the hero and heroine right through to the secondary characters -- all so real, so vibrant and oh so compelling. Artfully crafted, each plays a pivotal role in the story and you'll meet one of the vilest villains in literary history! There's so much more I want to say but won't for fear of unintentionally leaking spoilers. This is definitely a novel worthy of a book club discussion -- one that would go on long into the night because there is so much substance to the story.
Promise Me This is the kind of book that will profoundly effect its readers. On a scale of one to 10, I'd rate it 100.
If you would like to have a chance at winning a copy of this book, please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please remember to put the title in the subject line so it is easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 26 2012. Offer open internationally. Good luck!