Thursday, March 8, 2012

Promise Me This: Blog Tour with Review

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."

My Rating

Summer (Moving!)

My Review

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"

You can also find Cathy on Facebook.


Faith said...

Awesome review, Amber! This one is now one of my favorites :)

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you, Amber, for your insightful and beautifully written review. I'm so glad you persevered with the tale! : )
Blessings on your own writing, clearly surrendered to Him!

Casey said...

Great review. The premise sounds great and got a raving review from Julie Lessman. Sounds like a good read!

Amber Holcomb said...


Thank you! I really liked your review, as well. :) And this book is definitely a keeper - so powerful!


Amber Holcomb said...


I was really blessed by your book - thank you for sharing the story with others! And thank you for stopping by and encouraging me! :) May our writing definitely be surrendered to God and used by Him for His glory!


Amber Holcomb said...


Thank you!

It's a GREAT read! Julie certainly gave the book an awesome endorsement - and with good reason! :) Highly recommend this one!

Thanks for dropping in!


Cecelia Dowdy said...

This sound like a good, moving book. I've noticed lots of books out there about the sinking of the Titanic because of the 100th anniversary of the event. I'll keep this book in mind.

Unknown said...

What a great review and post. i love it all and will look for this novel. Thanks

marianne dot wanham at gmail dot com

Amber Holcomb said...


Oh, it is, in my opinion! :) And yes, it's interesting to see all the new Titanic-themed stories out there. I should hopefully be getting Echoes of Titanic to review for the Radiant Lit site sometime soon, which I'm looking forward to reading. :)

Thanks for stopping by!


Amber Holcomb said...


Thank you! This is really a great book, and I hope you get a chance to read it, too!


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

I love books that span different eras and I have to say although the length of time from the sinking of the Titanic to WWI wasn't very long it seemed like there were a TON of changes in the world as far as technology, fashion, warfare etc. I'm really excited to read this! Hopefully 2012 brings great books set around the sinking of the Titanic. Nice review as always!

XOXO~ Renee C,

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

p.s. I love your Goodreads activity. ;-)

Tales of Beauty For Ashes said...

Thank you for a great review, this sounds like a book I need to find and read.

Side note: Maybe one reason there is so much Titanic stuff lately is because 2012 is the 100 year anniversary...

Amber Holcomb said...


Spanning of different eras - definitely epic! :) This is such a moving read!! The pacing isn't super fast, but it's definitely a worthwhile read. :)

I'm excited to read some of the other Titanic stories, as well! I have at least one that I should hopefully be getting soon to review for Radiant Lit (Echoes of Titanic).

Thank you for the kind words about the review! And I like that Goodreads activity, too. ;) Excited for your blogoversary bash!!


Amber Holcomb said...

The Moseleys,

You're very welcome! Thank you so much for stopping by and becoming a follower! :) It's a pleasure to "meet" you!

And yes, I believe you are quite right about that! It's neat to see all the Titanic "stuff" going on because of the 100th anniversary, including the return of the movie to theaters (in April, I think)!


Melanie said...

I awarded your blog the Helpful Blogger Award! Christian Bookshelf Reviews

Amber Holcomb said...

Thank you so much, Melanie! :D


Luxembourg said...

This is such a great story of God's provision. Life might not be awesome and joyous all the time, but that doesn't mean God has abandoned us! We have hope in Jesus. Throughout the story the main characters strengthen their relationship with God. I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction. Although this could have very well been the story of someone's life back then. Just when you think you have things figured out something else happens. Cathy Gohlke can really write a great story. Hate, loss, bitterness, hopelessness, doubt, sacrifice, happiness, love, forgiveness, and's all in this book.

Amber Holcomb said...


Agreed! :)

Thanks for stopping by!