A Promise Made

A Promise Made

by Valerie Joan Connors

Overview: In 1949, twenty-year-old Eva Larkin is forced to put her life-long dream of a writing career on the back burner in favor of marriage and motherhood, when an unexpected pregnancy changes everything. Eva soon discovers that she has married an alcoholic with a dangerous temper, but blames herself and "that smart mouth of hers" for her husband's uncontrolled rage. When Leo's violence and abuse become unbearable, Eva and her three-year-old son leave their home and family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and set out for New York City to start a new life. Eva is faced with raising a child on her own, at a time when divorce was neither common nor easily obtained. With help from the friends she makes along the way, Eva struggles to build a career, provide for her son, and keep her demons at bay. But leaving the past behind turns out to be much more difficult than she had imagined. This novel, funny at times and often disturbing, will leave the reader with a renewed awareness of how much women's lives have changed in the past sixty-five years. A Promise Made is a story about hope, strong women, and the way things used to be.

Terry Segal (03/08/16): I loved this book. Valerie is a fellow author and friend of mine, so I expected to love this book. What I didn't expect was that I would go to sleep later than planned and steal minutes throughout my day to read one more page, one more chapter. Set in 1949, Eva Larkin, at the age of twenty, is forced to put aside a promising writing career, along with her laughter and carefree spirit. She marries Leo, a confident and handsome man, and soon becomes a mother. Life becomes intolerable due to Leo's volatile temper. She endures this pain for three years until she decides to take her three-year old son and flee. Eva is challenged by her past that she discovers is difficult to escape. Throughout, I cried with her and cheered for her. In many ways, life for women is vastly different than it was sixty years ago but in other ways, the issues are as timely as today's headlines.
Rating: *****

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