Promises to Keep

A Novel
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (174 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about Promises to Keep

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, too many recipes!

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.

3 people found this helpful

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

depressing, slow, and predictable

struggled to finish due to slow paced story with uninteresting characters. I wish I had known this story was about cancer.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful :)

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book

This was a great book, but beware it's a tear jerkier.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Did not enjoy

I did not enjoy this particular Jane Green novel. I have listened to several of her books, but this one, I found to be very tedious and overly descriptive. The main character was just too perfect and I did bot feel much for her. It was also difficult to follow in the beginning when discussing all the characters. Not a fav.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Cheesy and ohhh so dull....

I usually like Jane Green but this story was a huge let down.... predictable. At best.

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

A Downer, but lovely

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!

1 person found this helpful

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

Beautiful story but very emotional

Any additional comments?

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!

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

So touching

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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Wish I hadn't kept this one

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.