Callie Perry is a happily married photographer with two wonderful kids, a lovable sister, Steffi, and a best friend, Lila. Problems are minor: Steffi can never settle down, Lila has finally found love but the guy has a nightmare of an ex, and Callie and Steffi’s divorced parents, Honor and Walter, haven’t spoken in 30 years. But then Callie, a breast cancer survivor, is diagnosed with a rare and incurable complication of the disease. Suddenly realizing that she has only months to live, she begins the painful process of saying good-bye.
For most of the story, I was caught up in the lives of these characters that felt like people I would love to know. While Callie seemed almost too good, I enjoyed Steffi’s quirks and poor choices in men, and loved seeing her slowly find her niche in the little country house in Sleepy Hollow. I enjoyed that she was a chef who reveled in her cooking. Her nurturing side flourished and added dimension to her character.
Another rewarding aspect to PROMISES TO KEEP was seeing Honor and Walter meet each other again for the first time in years and begin to appreciate each other despite the differences and the enmity between them.
How will Callie find a way to celebrate the rest of her life? What special joining together will help them all find a way to deal with her loss? And what unexpected joys and discoveries will come along?
Predictably, there was sadness and loss…and in the end, hope. As some of the characters found love and new lives, we could revel in the whole “life goes on” theme. The author’s epilogue and her final tribute to a friend, Heidi, who died and to whom this book was dedicated, left the reader with feelings of closure.
After each chapter, there were recipes: a kind of homage to Steffi and how she brought joy to her family and friends through her cooking. A feel-good story with moments that brought me to tears, I enjoyed this one, even though it fell into place quite predictably. Four stars.