Blog Tour/Book Review: The Promise by Michelle Vernal

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I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for The Promise by Michelle Vernal, alongside my tour buddies, Laura’s Interests and Donna’s Book Blog.  If you’re looking for a heart-warming summer read this may just be the book for you – find my review below.

The PromiseAbout the Book

Two women from different generations brought together by another’s wrongdoing.

When British backpacker, Isabel Stark happens across a car accident on a lonely stretch of road in the South Island of New Zealand her life changes forever. The sole passenger, Ginny Havelock asks her to make a promise before she passes away – to find Constance and to say she’s sorry.  Isabel’s a lost soul who’s been drifting through life unsure of where she fits, and the promise she made in New Zealand haunts her upon her return to the United Kingdom. Her only clue as to finding Constance lies within a conversation held at Ginny’s funeral. It takes her to the Isle of Wight.

In the 1940’s sixteen-year-old Constance’s life on her island is sheltered until the death of her brother; Ted brings the reality of war crashing down around her. He leaves behind his pregnant young widow Ginny. When Constance meets a handsome Canadian airforce man, she’s eager to escape her grief and be swept up by first love. It’s a love which has ramifications she could never envisage.

When Isabel and Constance’s paths finally cross will Ginny’s last words be enough for Constance to make peace with her past? And in fulfilling her promise will Isabel find a place she can call home?

Format: ebook (pp.)    Publisher:
Published: 15th July 2018   Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance

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*links provided for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme

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My Review

Isabel’s promise to a dying woman to pass on her message of regret to a woman identified only as Constance, preys on Isabel’s mind but also provides her with a much needed sense of purpose.  Returning to the UK following some time travelling and working in Australia and New Zealand, Isabel finds the trail leads quite close to home, namely to the Isle of Wight, just across the Solent from her parents’ home.

I really enjoyed the Isle of Wight setting with its slightly bohemian atmosphere and streets lined with small shops, tea rooms and pubs.   Luckily for Isabel, fate takes a hand and throws several helpful clues in her path and a number of useful allies.  In one case, an ally who could perhaps become something more significant…  The reader will probably work this out before Isabel!

The object of Isabel’s search, Constance, is a fantastic character – she’s independent-minded, won’t stand for any nonsense, fond of bright colours and not afraid to remind people of her great age.    Her story when it is finally revealed is immensely sad and demonstrates the great upheaval in people’s lives brought about by war.

The Promise is a heart-warming dual-time story of love, loss, broken promises and second chances with a generous helping of fate and serendipity thrown in for good measure.   Being a historical fiction girl at heart, I often find the contemporary fiction strand of dual-time stories disappointing but I’m pleased to say that both strands of the story drew me in equally.  Of course, I loved the sections set during wartime – the details of daily life were convincingly portrayed – but I also found the relationship that develops between Isabel and Constance in the present day both endearing and believable.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author and Rachel’s Random Resources, in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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In three words: Heart-warming, tender, uplifting

Try something similar…Under an Amber Sky by Rose Alexander (read my review here)

btyAbout the Author

Michelle Vernal is a Harper Collins author who loves a happy ending. She lives with her husband, their two boys and a needy three-legged black cat in Christchurch, New Zealand. She’s partial to a glass of wine, loves a cheese scone and has recently taken up yoga – a sight to behold indeed. She is a freelance writer for a Canterbury lifestyle magazine who is currently working on her seventh novel. Michelle’s a firm believer in happy endings, and all of her stories are written with humour and warmth.

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