Sunday, February 20

The Promises She Keeps - a review

The Promises She Keeps is the second solo novel by Erin Healy, who broke into fiction writing by co-authoring with Ted Dekker on Kiss and Burn.   Her first solo outing was titled Never Let You Go.


As would be expected by someone who worked with Ted Dekker, Healy’s novel writing bears strong elements of the spiritual thriller novel.  What differentiates her writing from Dekker’s, though, is that a lot of her characterization and struggles rely on internal choices and decisions.  Dekker’s books tend to be much more action oriented, and even more dialogue oriented that Healy.

Promise is a college student who aspires to be a singer, despite having been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.  She yearns to have people hear her voice and to know who she is.  On the side she dabbles in modeling, often posing for art classes at her school.  Her medical condition means she has a much lower life expectancy. 

However, despite many bizarre near-death experiences, she is never critically injured.  A local sorceress takes notice and begins to think that Promise may hold the key to immortality.  At the same time an autistic young man, Chase, begins to take notice of Promise.  Though he has never met her, he falls in love with her and wants to ‘save’ her.  Promise has trouble believing either of them but she is tugged into a great struggle that she doesn’t understand.  Which side will she choose?  Or will her illness overtake her first?

Healy’s writing style is strong, though it took me a chapter or two to get used to.  Her descriptions tend to linger longer than most, and she often can make certain scenes feel surreal.  The pace is not slow, though it is deliberate, and it is not until the end when it truly starts to pick up.  On the whole the characters were very real, the only one I had a hard time connecting to was Chase, though I suspect that was intentional.  Having read Never Let You Go, I can say that Promises is a much stronger story.  The theme supports the story and the characters are fleshed out much better.  Promises is a good second novel, and I’m intrigued to see what stories Healy comes up with next.

3.5/5 stars

On a side note, the cover is kind of boring.  I saw a green cover with vines that was much more appealing and fit the tone of the book much better.  But that's just me being picky.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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