Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book Review of Promises to Keep by Jane Green

Name of Book: Promises to Keep

Author: Jane Green

ISBN: 9780670021796

Publisher: Viking

Type of book: Cancer, romance, discovery, summer read, misleading summary

Year it was published: 2010


Callie Perry is a successful family photographer living in upstate New York. She adores her two daughters, has great friends, and actually doesn't mind that her workaholic husband gets home at 9 p.m. every night-that is, when he's not traveling six months out of the year.

Callie's younger sister, Steff, on the other hand, has never grown up. She's a free spirit, living in downtown Manhattan and bouncing between jobs and boyfriends. Lately, she's been working as a vegan chef, even though she can't cook.

Lila Grossman is Callie's best friend and has finally met the man of her dreams. Eddie has two wonderful children, but also a drama queen ex-wife who hates Lila. And then there are Callie and Steff's parents, Walter Cutler and Honor Pitman. Divorced for thirty years, they rarely speak to each other.

The lives of these colorful characters intersect when they each receive a shocking note that summons them together for one extraordinary summer in Maine and changes their lives forever. This novel is about the hard choices we have to face, about having to be your parents' child long after you've grown up, and about the enduring nature of love.


While the characters are unique and somewhat likable, I didn't understand the purpose of some; why does Lila keep pointing out her religion throughout the book? What purpose does it serve? I also would have wanted to spend more time and watch her change, and same thing goes for Steffi and her budding romance, as well as more healing times between Honor and Walter. The summary, as I mentioned is misleading and the most interesting facets get the barest mention in the book.


Tragedy changes a lot of lives


Its written in third person narrative from what seems to be every character's point of view. I didn't get lost or anything of the kind while reading the book, but I still felt that there wasn't enough focus on the characters and the changes they are forced to go through. Some romances and decisions that the characters make happen a little too quickly, and the book didn't live up to the summary. I personally am of opinion that if it was a trilogy or something instead of being crammed into one book, I would have liked it better.

Author Information:
in London, The United Kingdom May 31, 1968



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Literature & Fiction

About the author
Jane Green (born in 1968 in London, England) is an U.S.-based British author. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, four children under the age of 5 - including a set of twins - and dog Palmer. She attended the University of Wales, Aberystwyth from 1987-88, although she left without completing her degree and worked as a journalist throughout her twenties. At the age of 27 she was inspired to write a book about a woman being single in the city. This paid off and she published her first book, Straight Talking three months later.

Jane's Facebook page:

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.


Months back I won an goodreads book of Jane Green's latest novel, Family Pictures which I've read and enjoyed. Someone I know gifted this book to me. While I did enjoy the book, I felt that the summary didn't match up to the actuality. I liked the recipes at every chapter ending, and that in most cases the recipes were talked about in the book so one can experience the food that the characters devoured, or that was mentioned, which gave a pleasant and unique twist. I had hoped that the book would be of character development and realizations of life, instead the changes and some romances happened a little too quickly for me and the whole book read almost like a summer movie.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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