Monday, March 12, 2012

Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke


Have you been looking for a book that you have trouble tearing yourself away from? Or have you been looking for a book that is a work of fiction, but ties together the fiction story with true life events? What about a book that you will feel like you are right there with the characters - sharing in their joys and their sorrows? Or maybe you've been looking for a book that will show you just how much God loved us and that His Son sacrified everything for us so that we could have eternal life? If any of these reasons resonates with you, then be sure to read this wonderfully written book by Cathy Gohlke.

I've always been fascinated with historical fiction. Some of my favorite events and time periods to read about are the Civil War, the sinking of the Titanic, World War I and World War II. This book doesn't touch on the Civil War or World War II, but it encaptures what life would have been like for the survivors of the Titanic all the way through World War I.

This book begins with Michael Dunnagan - a young boy, who has been badly mistreated - trying to escape from his current life situation. He boards the Titanic before it is even taking passengers and stows away until it ports in Southhampton where its journey is to begin. Once in Southhampton, he meets Owen Allen who is preparing to sail to America onboard the Titanic so that he can hopefully find a better place for him and his little sister Annie with relatives in New Jersey. Owen takes poor Michael under his wing and for the week he has remaining in Southhampton feeds him and gives him work. Annie remains in England until Owen has enough money to pay for her to come over to New Jersey.

Michael decides to once again flee his current situation and stows aboard the Titanic for a second time. Also for a second time he finds himself being rescued by Owen Allen. The two become like brothers in a short time and Owen feels the prompting of God to teach Michael everything he knows about plants and gardening which is what he was going over to America to help with. Since we all know the story of the Titanic, I'm sure you can imagine that this story isn't going to end well.

Owen sacrifices his life so that Michael can start his life over with Owen's family. Here we see the beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us! Owen makes Michael promise that he will save money and bring Annie over as soon as possible.

Without giving the whole book away - Michael works to bring Annie over, but many years pass before he is able to do so. This book shares the story of Michael learning to get over "survivors guilt" and Annie to stop blaming Michael for her beloved brother's death. They start to write to each other and it continues throughout World War I.

So much of this book really tugged at my heartstrings. It was just so beautifully written detailing the feelings that must have been going on for those that survived the sinking of the Titanic to the details of what it must have been like to live in Europe during World War I. I really felt like I was right there! I have not read a book that I enjoyed this much in a very long time! If you ever have the chance to read this book, I highly recommend that you grab a copy and read it. You will not be disappointed!

I'd never read any works by Cathy Gohlke, so you can imagine my surprise that this book was such a great read! I'm looking forward to reading more books from her. If you'd like to learn more about the author and other books that she has written or is planning on writing, you can visit her website here.

In closing, I did want to mention that I received this book for free for an honest review through Tyndale House Publishers, you can find out more information about them by clicking on this link. I was under no obligation to give a positive review, though I did absolutely love this book!

If you would like to read the first chapter of this book for yourself, you can click here.


Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you, Carrie, for your wonderful review of "Promise Me This." I'm thrilled that you captured--in your heart and for your readers--the purpose of this story. What an amazing Savior we have!

France said...

Yes Cathy this book was amazing, I loved every minute of it.You did a great job at making me feel like I was right there. It brought WWI to life in a way most books don't and I could feel the emotions the characters were going through. I will say it makes me feel blessed to have not had to live through WWI or WWII. While this book has a section about the Titantic it really was the small part of the story. I loved Micheal's determination to fulfill his promise to Owen and loved Annie and it was heartbreaking seeing the things she had to endure. This story reminds me of the third Anne of Green Gables movie and anyone who has seen it and enjoyed will love this book. This book has easily became a favorite that will be re-read many times.

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