Here's a description of the book:
"Michael Dunnagan was never supposed to sail on the Titanic, nor would he have survived if not for the courage of Owen Allen. Determined to carry out his promise to care for Owen’s relatives in America and his younger sister, Annie, in England, Michael works hard to strengthen the family’s New Jersey garden and landscaping business.
Annie Allen doesn’t care what Michael promised Owen. She only knows that her brother is gone—like their mother and father—and the grief is enough to swallow her whole. As Annie struggles to navigate life without Owen, Michael reaches out to her through letters. In time, as Annie begins to lay aside her anger that Michael lived when Owen did not, a tentative friendship takes root and blossoms into something neither expected. Just as Michael saves enough money to bring Annie to America, WWI erupts in Europe. When Annie’s letters mysteriously stop, Michael risks everything to fulfill his promise—and find the woman he’s grown to love—before she’s lost forever."
This story unfolds beautifully, leading up to an ending that is so full of tension that it's hard to know whether to white-knuckle grip the book or throw it across the room! Be prepared for possible tears and the need to speak aloud words of frustration. But also be prepared to be blessed by this powerfully moving, sweeping tale of grace and love!
From the horrific tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic, to the terrifying uncertainty of World War I, Gohlke takes her characters through great suffering in such a way as to reveal the high cost and stunning reality of grace. Some parts are messy, in the sense that not everything is resolved conclusively and happily for everyone - but oftentimes, life really does appear "messy," especially from our limited perspective. And yet love perseveres.
There is a great deal of perseverance in this book, and a great many trials for the characters to experience and overcome - from family issues to romantic turmoil to playing a role in international conflict. The emotions are heart-wrenching, and there is an almost unbearable amount of pain to wade through. But the moments when the the heart of hope is shown to still be beating - alive - are sweet, sweet indeed. Promise Me This is a magnificent tribute to the sacrifices made during the era of the Titanic and WWI, as well as the ultimate sacrifice that offered us amazing grace.
*With thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
About the Author
"Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award–winning author of William Henry Is a Fine Name and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, which was also chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008. Cathy and her husband live on the banks of the Laurel Run in Elkton, Maryland. Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com."
You can also find Cathy on Facebook.