Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Promises to Keep by Jane Green

In Promises to Keep, Callie, a successful photographer, wife and mother, is not at all like her sister, Steffi, who can't seem to keep a job or a boyfriend for more than six months. Their parents, Walter and Honor have been feuding since their divorce many years ago. They would love it if Steffi learned some responsibility, but no one is counting on that. When tragedy strikes, this family along with friends and acquaintances band together to care for the children, make the arrangements and keep the promises that they made to each other.

It's not often that I find a chick-lit book that I love, but I loved this one. The story was good, although it did get a little sappy a few times. Thankfully those times are few and far between. It was the characters that got me. Sometimes with books that many characters I find that I love a few and hate a few. Not so with this one. I loved them all. I wanted to know more and more about each of the characters as they appeared in the book. It was so easy to like them and to really care about them. Besides those mentioned above, there was also Lila (Callie's best friend) and Ed, who I thought were charming together as well as Mason and Olivia, who were anything but. There was also Callie's family: Reece, her husband and her children Eliza and Jack.

The author included some recipes that fit nicely with the story. She had the characters either making or eating the dish during the course of the chapter. Most of the time, it was just casually mentioned and didn't take the focus away from the main story. I certainly loved the recipes because I love finding new ones in unexpected places like novels. I've even read a few cozy mystery series because they contained recipes. Nevertheless, in this case I'm not sure they added much to the story. So that brings me to the question: Why include the recipes at all? Steffi was doing a lot of cooking in her job as a chef, so the recipes are a natural fit with that aspect of the story. However, there are certainly plenty of books out there in which the characters eat or talk about food and recipes are not included. I'm not complaining mind you, but I am wondering.

I admit that I had to put the book aside for a bit about 20 before the end. I knew sort of what was going to happen and I wasn't prepared to read it just then. I needed to put some distance between myself and the characters. Also, I didn't want to end that quickly. I picked it up again a few days later and was totally satisfied with the ending.

Highly recommended. I'd gladly read another book by this author.

For more information about this book, please visit Penguin's website.

For more information about the author and her other books, please visit Jane Green's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at Penguin for this review copy.

Promises to Keep by Jane Green, Viking (Penguin), ©2010. ISBN 9780670069149(Uncorrected Proof), 337p.

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