The Promises She Keeps
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Release Date: February 2011 (paperback)
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Author Site: http://www.erinhealy.com/
My Rating: 3.5/5
Source: Received for review from Phenix & Phenix Publicity
It's her destiny to die young. The man who loves her can't live with that.
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.
I’ve noticed that Erin Healy’s novels are very different from most books I read. The paranormal elements she weaves into her stories are very unique. She writes characters that grab you emotionally and refuse to let go. Her plots, while very modern and relatable, always have an additional twist that makes it stand out. Her writing style is easy to follow but still extremely thought-provoking. I admire her ability to remain true to her faith and interweave it subtlety into her writing so as not to scare off the non-Christian fiction fan. I myself am not a big religion-based reader. However, I’ve found some really great Christian fiction that has been a real treat to read and all of the books I’ve read by Erin are in that group.
The Promises She Keeps is about many different things that are linked together. There are a few different story arcs happening but the primary one is the story of Promise. She wants nothing more than to make a name for herself before she dies and she’s counting on her vocal talent to pave the way. Promise has cystic fibrosis and is fighting it as best she can like all of her closest friends who share her illness.
Despite her ill health Promise survives numerous freak accidents that draw the attention of a local art gallery owner that is in search of immortality. Porta’s paranormal abilities as a witch can do nothing about the fact that she is aging and quickly coming to the end of her time. Porta slowly realizes the perfect way to get Promise and her apparent immortality in the form of her recluse son – Zach. Zach has mysteriously been with Promise on each of her deadly escapes and Porta will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
Meanwhile, Chase is an autistic artist who spends his time with his devoted twin sister Chelsea. Chase has a special sort of gift that comes out in his beautiful drawings and causes visions that lead him to Promise. He quickly falls in love with her and sets out to keep her safe and out of Porta’s hands. They are all eventually brought together in a very dangerous and life-altering confrontation that will test the very limit of their faith and mortality.
Now I would be lying if I told you that the book’s content wasn’t confusing at times. It takes some time getting used to if you’re not familiar with Erin’s work. I knew the story would make sense sooner rather than later. I was rewarded with a really thrilling story! I think Chase was my favorite character. I’m not personally involved with autism but I liked to read about his mannerisms and the way he acted. His artist abilities were amazing to read about and I was actually upset that I couldn’t visually see all the drawings he did. He had this strange and fascinating passion for trees that was a really interesting aspect of the story.
I admire the sacrifice Chelsea showed and the love she had for her twin brother. She was stubborn and hard-headed when it came to letting herself be happy though. I found Chelsea hard to really care about as a character. There were times when I sympathized with her and I did like her but she just wasn’t a favorite for some reason. Porta was truly an evil character. She was evil in the sense that she had little to no remorse for any of her actions. It was a great contrast to the good side of the story.
The Promises She Keeps is a book that will stay with long after you finish its pages. It’s emotionally driven with a lot of suspenseful moments. I enjoy Erin’s unique work and I have a feeling I always will.
P.S. (cover talk)
I like both covers I’ve seen. They both tie in to the book, which I absolutely love. If I had to choose I’d probably go with the green one since it’s sort of similar to Never Let You Go’s cover.