The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

book cover

Published: Lake Union Publishing
Date: 16th January 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Rating of book
Goodreads callout

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

The Promise Between Us was my first read for 2018 and really it was a perfect choice. What a mind blowing, emotional, informative story. It is one that will stay with me and one that I will want to reread again.

The story is told mainly from Katie’s point of view, the mother who walked out and left her child because she was terrified she would harm her. However we also have Cal – her ex husband, Jake his close mate, Lilah now Cal’s wife and Maisie the daughter of Cal and Katie. As well there is Delaney – Katie’s sister and Ben the guy who just might be someone important in Katie’s life. While the last two do not get a ‘viewpoint’ they have important roles and I love how Barbara Claypole White portrayed them

The other ‘main character’ in the story is OCD, Katie lives with it and now after accidentally meeting Maisie, she fears Maisie has it too. As a reader I learned so much about OCD through the book and how important treatment is for it and how courageous one has to be to live fully and not let the OCD take over your life. And so terrible things happen in this story, but always there is courage and hope and that stood out right the way through.

As it turns out Katie and Maisie are not the only ones suffering from anxiety – and that was a heart breaking aspect as well to this story – I am not going to say who or how as I do not want to spoil the story if you read it. However it is handled gently and in a positive manner. I loved the emphasis on truth and honesty, and kudos to Lilah, what a wonderful young woman – so wise.

At the beginning of the book Jake seems to be a frivolous, happy go lucky man, but in actual fact he has hidden depths and I can see as the future evolves he and Katie will work together on some project close to their hearts.

A favorite quote from the book:

” Perfection stops you from enjoying the wonder of what is. It snares you with unrealistic expectations. Tells you constantly things can only be a certain way, and that’s how you fall into the trap”

This was a wonderful story to read, just as a story – but as well it helped me see into the mind and heart of others and invited me as a person to expand my heart and mind to believe all over again that darkness does not win; compassion, love and hope are far stronger.

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