First I want to apologize for not posting for the last few days. I've been sick. I'm still not feeling very well, but hopefully I'm on on the mend. I think it's some kind of stomach bug. I guess it's just that time of year. Thanks for your patience. :o)
Title: The Promises She Keeps
Goodreads Blurb: It's her destiny to die young. The man who loves her can't live with that.
Promise, a talented young vocalist with a terminal illness, is counting on fame to keep her memory alive after she dies. Porta is an aging witch and art collector in search of the goddess who will grant her immortality.
When Promise inexplicably survives a series of freak accidents, Porta believes that Promise is the one she seeks. But Chase, an autistic artist who falls in love with Promise and opposes Porta, comes between the women with his mysterious visions and drawings, and plunges everyone into a flesh-and-blood confrontation over the true meaning of eternal life.
This was one of those books that was slow to make sense. It was hard to get into and then I wasn't quite sure I knew exactly where it was going - or agreed with it. There were some shining moments and well drawn characters... but I always feel the true test of a book is if I get so caught up in it that I believe in the characters and the story as if they were real people and events. I never got there with this one.
The first problem was the premise that Promise - who is sick with Cystic Fibrosis - suddenly gets better and survives all these near fatal accidents, but only until she is around Porta, a witch. The accidents make her feel better than ever before and they all occur around Porta's son (a drug addict that she is drawn to) and neither of them have any faith in God at all. In fact, I didn't notice any real redemptive message in the book at all. Sacrificial love, innocence, sharing... but no real redemption.
Only Chase (the autistic man) shows any signs of faith and his sister questions his understanding of it. Many times it appears he gets messages about what's going to happen from his father (who is dead). This may be the author's way of having God speak to Chase, but that isn't discussed or the way he seems to view it. More of a sci-fi/magical feel comes across as his drawing utensils rattle by themselves in their cans and "call to him" to tell him what to draw. Nevertheless, he does understand biblical principles and tries and share them with others through his drawings of trees.
The other problem is Chase's claim to love Promise, romantically. He first claims this when he hasn't even met her. He says that he loves everyone he gives his pictures to and I wish they would have left his feelings for Promise in this same category because it just doesn't make sense that he would have this romantic love for her (specially since it isn't returned - he makes her uncomfortable) with no real personal contact with her. It felt more like a stalker relationship after that instead of something good and with any promise for a future.
The ending felt rushed and unsatisfying. I felt like the story had potential, but took some wrong turns. It still is a very haunting and unique novel. I haven't read anything quite like it. I want to thank the people at Thomas Nelson for providing my copy in exchange for my honest review.