From the New York Times best-selling author - a momentous new novel about a family suddenly thrown together.
Callie Perry is a successful family photographer living in upstate New York. She adores her two daughters, has great friends, and actually doesn't mind that her workaholic husband gets home at 9 p.m. every night - that is, when he's not traveling six months out of the year.
Callie's younger sister, Steff, on the other hand, has never grown up. She's a free spirit, living in downtown Manhattan and bouncing between jobs and boyfriends. Lately, she's been working as a vegan chef, even though she can't cook.
Lila Grossman is Callie's best friend and has finally met the man of her dreams. Eddie has two wonderful children, but also a drama queen ex-wife who hates Lila. And then there are Callie and Steff's parents, Walter Cutler and Honor Pitman. Divorced for 30 years, they rarely speak to each other.
The lives of these colorful characters intersect when they each receive a shocking note that summons them together for one extraordinary summer in Maine and changes their lives forever. This novel is about the hard choices we have to face, about having to be your parents' child long after you've grown up, and about the enduring nature of love.
©2010 Jane Green (P)2010 Penguin
This is excellent Jane Green fiction. It has interesting, diverse characters dealing with the relationship, family and professional issues we all face, at one time or another, sometimes coming up with denial as a resolution, though at the beginning the reader thinks it's all about perfect people living perfect lives. Lots of brand names, designer names, and indirect fashion advice - if I hear the terms "pairings" and "strappy sandals" one more time it'll be too soon. I wonder if the publisher gets a perk for product placement like in film!
This story is not about the greater problems of serious family dysfunction nor does it have the depth created by a geographic sense of place, in the way that other writers create an additional character (or two) from the setting and ambiance.
It's unfortunate that the narrative is interrupted by recipes (as one of the protagonists is a chef), and it's irritating almost to the point of humor when you hear a recipe for "Fluffed Ricotta", or similar, just at a critical point in the story. I realize these recipes are connected to the plot themes but it almost makes me laugh out loud to listen to a heated conflict between two characters that segues abruptly into "Chili" for example. I think this is a flaw inherent in the audio format and the recipes would not be so intrusive in the printed novel. Fortunately I was able to fast-forward through the cuisine so as not to experience gaps in the story. Ironically, I'll probably buy the printed book as a cookbook!
The narrator is an intelligent reader, giving an even performance without unnecessary drama and emotion, and without accents, though there is a mispronunciation or two.
I listen to novels for distraction and entertainment and rate them on the experience, not literary merit. I prefer to read good literature.
In 'Promises to Keep' Jane Green tells a sadly common story with great grace and delicacy, striking a perfect balance between good storytelling, interesting character development and the inescapable sadness of her subject.
Unfortunately, I've experienced the death of loved ones too many times in my life and (oh, gee- spoiler alert- oops, too late) would never have chosen to listen to this book had I known what it was about.
The accomplished Cassandra Campbell is narrator; if you like her style, this is absolutely some of her best work. I happen to dislike her voices, diction and choices, so encourage those unfamiliar with the name to listen to the sample.
The thing is- I can objectively say this is one of the better audiobooks I've heard. Although it wasn't for me, I finished it because it was so well done. I'm also ordering a used copy of this from Amazon; the recipes are spectacular!
I really enjoyed this read (or should I say listen). This story was nothing of what I expected but ended up being greater than my expectations. I have read other Jane Green books before and always enjoying them. She has a way of painting a vivid picture with words, always making me fall in love with each character no matter the circumstance. This book brought me to tears countless times, but if you are reading this don’t let that stop you because by the end you are smiling and filled with happiness. I just wish there was a cookbook with all of the amazing recipes attached at the back. Oh well I will just have to listen again and write them down.
This book was beautiful yet the story was incredibly sad. The characters were so compelling I absolutely think that those that weren't main characters deserved their own novels.
The narrator was incredible. At first I wasn't sure I'd like her soft-spoken voice but I was instantly hooked and in my opinion, her voices and accents were flawless. Lovely to listen to.
All in all, a great book, but not a light read. The recipes all sound amazing - nice bonus!
I am a full time student. I love to read but have no time to read for fun; audible is the perfect solution to that.
I loved this story...
I was listening to it at work and had a very hard time not bursting into tears...I loved every single character...well except Mason's wife
I have always liked Jane Green, but this book just didn't seem like her usual stuff. It was, in a word, boring. I found myself waiting for something to happen, and cancer seemed to make the story move a bit faster. About halfway through I got the feeling this may have been more personal to the author, and not just a story she invented. Turns out, I was right. The author's notes at the end helped me understand her reasons for writing - it's just not the usual Jane Green.
This book was all the things I want an audiobook to be: rich and deep, with complex characters and a good pace. The story is heartbreaking, and it unfolds in such a way that you feel the shock and sadness along with the characters. It's classic Jane Green, but it's relevant and modern, too.
The recipes are a lovely touch, too, but I had to buy the printed book to get them completely.
This novel starts out as any ordinary suburban story only to lift you up and then drop you into sadness and then bring you back to joy and then peace. Very well done.
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