Book Review: "The Promises She Keeps" by Erin Healy

Summary from Promise, a talented young vocalist with a terminal illness, is counting on fame to keep her memory alive after she dies. Porta is an aging witch and art collector in search of the goddess who will grant her immortality.

When Promise inexplicably survives a series of freak accidents, Porta believes that Promise is the one she seeks. But Chase, an autistic artist who falls in love with Promise and opposes Porta, comes between the women with his mysterious visions and drawings, and plunges everyone into a flesh-and-blood confrontation over the true meaning of eternal life.

This book seemed to be written differently from other Christian fiction books that I have read. It's a unique read that might not gel with all Christian fiction readers but those that do enjoy it will so very much. The story seems to focus on five characters: Promise - a young girl with cystic fibrosis, Porta - an older woman who wants to live forever, Zack - a young artist with connections between the two women, Chase - an autistic man, and Chelsea - his twin sister who has devoted her life to taking care of him. These five characters soon find their lives intertwined in ways that they didn't see coming. Promise has lived her entire life expecting to die young due to her condition. Suddenly events keep happening that seemingly prolong her life and even seem as if she is being healed. This news gets around to Porta who wants to find out more about Promise and the secrets that she holds.

There is an autistic character in the story who plays a big role in the plot. His character is very blunt at times with the statements he makes. It got a bit frustrating at times because while people got angry with him to the point of violence, no one ever really sat down to talk with him about the things he was saying. His words end up being prophetic which can be a bit scary at times when what he says becomes reality. I felt a bit sorry for his sister because as his twin, she feels obligated to give up her life to take care of him.

I walked away from the book having some mixed feelings. On one hand, I felt the story to be written well. Healy's writing has literary fiction touches in it mixed in with the suspense and speculative elements blending together nicely. On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed with how everything turned out in the story for the characters. I didn't feel as if all the characters truly understood what was going on with all the events in their lives. I felt that parties were missing important info from the other side and never fully got a grasp of the whole picture. I got really annoyed at the treatment Promise had to endure for something that wasn't her fault at all. It's a tricky situation because I liked the story yet I felt there was just something missing. I've read Healy's previous works with Ted Dekker and liked them. I still think I will continue to read her other works because I did like her style of writing.

The Promises She Keeps by Erin Healy is published by Thomas Nelson (2011)

This review copy was provided by a publicist


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