Publication Date: April 1, 2014
From the author of “The Personal History of Rachel Dupree,” shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers and longlisted for the Orange Prize.
1900. Young pianist Catherine Wainwright flees the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio in the wake of a terrible scandal. Heartbroken and facing destitution, she finds herself striking up correspondence with a childhood admirer, the recently widowed Oscar Williams. In desperation she agrees to marry him, but when Catherine travels to Oscar’s farm on Galveston Island, Texas–a thousand miles from home–she finds she is little prepared for the life that awaits her. The island is remote, the weather sweltering, and Oscar’s little boy Andre is grieving hard for his lost mother. And though Oscar tries to please his new wife, the secrets of the past sit uncomfortably between them. Meanwhile for Nan Ogden, Oscar’s housekeeper, Catherine’s sudden arrival has come as a great shock. For not only did she promise Oscar’s first wife that she would be the one to take care of little Andre, but she has feelings for Oscar which she is struggling to suppress. And when the worst storm in a generation descends, the women will find themselves tested as never before.
I started reading The Promise one morning last week. I didn’t do anything else for the rest of the day. Reading for hours and hours wasn’t on the schedule but I couldn’t help myself. Don’t you love it when you find a book that you can’t put down?
The Promise is the type of historical fiction that I adore. The details are spot on, the characters have distinctive voices, and the story is stellar. There is a depth and richness to Weisgarber’s writing. Her descriptive powers are great. I could nearly feel the Texas heat. I could almost hear Catherine playing the piano.
The story is set against the true tragic events of the 1900 Galveston hurricane
which adds suspense and danger to the tale.
This book so lush and inviting that it’s really no wonder that I read it in one day. Get your hands on a copy of The Promise. You’ll probably want to clear your schedule.
7 thoughts on “The Promise by Ann Weisgarber”
If you're intrigued by the hurricane aspect, Erik Larson did a fascinating book on the Galveston hurricane.
I'm sorry, I had to laugh at \”the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio.\” Because isn't Dayton what we all think of when we think of fashion, I mean, after thinking of Paris and New York? Okay, now on to a serious note. This book sounds tragic but amazing, and if you couldn't put it down, that's always a good sign.
Oooh this sounds like a great one! You know how much I love historical fiction, and this era is especially tantalizing to me at the moment. I'm going to have to get a copy.
Hmmmm maybe I should wait and read this once hurricane season is over, rather than a month-ish before it starts up? 😉 LOVE when a book makes me drop everything and read, like this one did for you!
As soon as I saw 1900 and Galveston, I knew where this story was headed. I like the cover. Historical fiction is not usually my jam though. Like Rebecca above, I also laughed to think of Dayton being fashionable. (Though I've never been there, so what do I know?)
This sounds excellent! I will put it on my list.
Simialrly you may enjoy the Outlander by Gil Adamson, also set at turn of the 20th century and is built around a natural disaster that occured in the Rockies when part of a mountain collapsed on a mining town.