Monday, July 19, 2010

Promises to Keep - Jane Green

When I think of Jane Green, I automatically think 'chick lit'. Promises to Keep is chick lit, but with a lot more depth than I expected.

Steffi just goes with the flow in life. When she's tired of a job, she moves on to the next one. She's great at what she does though - she's an amazing cook. It is this skill that introduces her to Mason, a well to do publisher, who loves her cooking. When things start to fall apart with her latest boyfriend and her current job has lost it's oomph, Mason's out of the blue offer looks really good. Dogsit for a year while he's in London - and stay at his country home in Maine. Steffi jumps at the chance and as a bonus she'll be closer to her big sister Callie.

Callie has it all from the outside looking in - two great kids, a job she loves (photography) and a husband who loves her, even though he works too much.

What starts out as an idyllic summer changes everyone's lives forever when unexpected news arrives.

I fell in love with Steffi as soon as she was introduced. She's warm, caring, thoughtful and someone you'd like to know. Callie is as well, but a bit more reserved. As the book progressed, Callie's character is opened up more and I became more invested in her. Green's exploration of the relationships between the sisters is genuine. The supporting cast is filled with rich characters as well. Callie's best friend Lila is larger than life. The relationships between parent/child/spouse and friends are all thoughtfully examined and portrayed.

I don't want to reveal any of the details of the plot, but I had to grab the Kleenex box by the end.

Green also infuses Promises to Keep with chick lit elements as well. Steffi's romance or lack thereof is a great subplot. Also included at the beginning of most chapters are some of Steffi's recipes. (The spinach quiche with quinoa crust was absolutely delicious!)

A contemporary novel about the ties that bind us - family, friendship and love - and what happens when those ties are threatened. Promises to Keep will make you take a second look at your own life - don't wait until 'someday'.

It wasn't until I read the author's notes at the end that I realized how much of a personal note Green has injected into her latest novel - more Kleenex was needed.

Fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin would enjoy this book.


Kaye said...

Oooh, this sounds like a good one. Wonderful review, Luanne. Glad you enjoyed it so much. Have a great week.

Crystal said...

This sounds good and I had heard it was definitely a kleenex handy book. I have it on reserve at the library and can't wait to read it. Jane Green has become a must-read for me over the last several years.

Patti V. said...

I really enjoy Jane Green. I'll have to look for this latest book. Thanks for the great review!

bermudaonion said...

This sounds so good - I love any book that grabs me emotionally. Great review.

Jonita said...

I agree completely with you! It was a wonderful book, and Kleenexes are definitely needed!