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Publisher's Summary

From the author of The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers and longlisted for the Orange Prize.

1900. Young pianist Catherine Wainwright flees the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio in the wake of a terrible scandal. Heartbroken and facing destitution, she finds herself striking up correspondence with a childhood admirer, the recently widowed Oscar Williams. In desperation she agrees to marry him, but when Catherine travels to Oscar's farm on Galveston Island, Texas—a thousand miles from home—she finds she is little prepared for the life that awaits her. The island is remote, the weather sweltering, and Oscar's little boy Andre is grieving hard for his lost mother. And though Oscar tries to please his new wife, the secrets of the past sit uncomfortably between them.

Meanwhile for Nan Ogden, Oscar’s housekeeper, Catherine’s sudden arrival has come as a great shock. For not only did she promise Oscar’s first wife that she would be the one to take care of little Andre, but she has feelings for Oscar which she is struggling to suppress. And when the worst storm in a generation descends, the women will find themselves tested as never before.

©2013, 2014 Ann Weisgarber (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Characters that draw you in

I normally listen to fantasy or sci fi novels. This is story that really drew me in. Many books do not hold my attention and I don't finish them. Not this one; I really wanted to know how things worked out for the main character. The author also did a great job transporting you to this place and time. Unlike many modern novels, there is general background whisper of old-fashioned moralistic message that percolates and boils up occasionally.
There is a lot of repetition some times, with the characters thinking the same thoughts over and over again, which I suppose people do in a real life. I confess getting a bit annoyed once or twice, but overall I'm glad I stuck with it. I thought this was a very memorable book that you will not regret or forget.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written and read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a wonderful, historical narrative suitable for readers who enjoy character-driven stories. The disriptions of time and place, 1900 in Galveston, Texas, are beautifully and vividly written.
This is a sweet, sad, but realistically told story. I appreciated that the ending was right even if it wasn't nessecarily a happy one.

Any additional comments?

The narration is excellent, although the reader did seem to use one voice for all of the adult male characters. She did an excellent job of voicing the (2) female narrators, Katherine and Nan.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An abrupt ending for a novel with promise

I thought the narration was wonderful. Incredibly gripping in a story that involved many accents and characters.

As for the story. OK, I understand that the 1900 hurricane was an historical event worthy of its own book. However, I'm not sure that a character driven novel was the best way to execute such a book.

SPOILER ALERT: It felt like she had just gotten the story really flowing when she killed off two very important characters and then the book just ended. It almost feels like she got frustrated with the story half-way through and just decided to use the hurricane as a dramatic ending. I kept looking at my phone because I couldn't really believe that the story had just ended. For me, it was almost too abrupt to even be poignant. Maybe this book is just a build-up for a sequel, where Andre and Nan will be the central characters. Maybe. I'd so, I'll probably read/listen to it, but with a healthy level of distrust.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The ending

I liked the book very much the narrator was excellent. I was very disappointed in the ending there was so many ways the author could have pulled it all together very disappointing

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 06-08-15

Gripping drama

The author uses the famous 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston Island, the deadliest in U. S. history, to anchor her historical tale.

The protagonist is Catherine Wainwright; she is a talented pianist from Dayton, Ohio, whose livelihood dries up in the midst of a romantic scandal. She begins a correspondence with Oscar Williams a Galveston farmer. Oscar is a widowed with a young son.

They get married and Catherine moves to Galveston. She has to learn about housekeeping and to nurture a grief stricken young boy. She clashes with Nan the friend of the first wife. The story has the usual tales of city girl living on a rustic dairy farm on an island.

The book is well written and Weisgarber’s descriptions are fantastic. She brings 1900 Galveston to life. The characters are finely drawn, anchored by a historical event to make a great read. Weisgarber is a talented story teller. This is my first book by this author. I bought it because I had read she won the Orange Award for her prior book. Coleen Marlo narrated the book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enthralled

The story pulls you in and keeps you in from the opening moment to its "unwanted" ending. Though I moved away as a young woman, I grew up on the Texas coast near Galveston where we went every summer for family outings. I had been through more than one Texas hurricane and had heard about the major storm of 1900, but didn't know much about it till I was older. The Promise was set in my grandparents era, but the author's words "took me back to Texas" and painted a world I could see from beginning to end. Only a highly skilled writer can place a reader "inside the scenes" as though you were being "allowed" to know the most private thoughts and actions of the characters. The narrator was pitch perfect for each character. I wanted it to be longer and to end the way I hoped it would end. But I won't soon forget this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janice
  • Hendersonville, TN, United States
  • 06-21-15

The Promise

I enjoyed the book very much. The narrator did a great job. once I started listening, I wanted to stay with it to completion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rich
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 06-18-15

Historical and entertaining

Exceptional, Riveting, Entertaining, great read, enough pain and sadness but perseverance is the only alternative.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • T
  • DALLAS, TX, United States
  • 05-01-15

My heart broke

This was a tear jerker near the end, but a full story love and life with unnecessary sex....loved it

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Exellent Narration

Wow! Truly excellent narration of a good story. Coleen Marlo really caught the differing accents and gave an inspired quality to the story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful