For a long time, Christian fiction novels have been accused of possessing nothing other than fluff. I’ll admit, every now and then, I like fluff. It’s light; it’s airy; and usually has a “happily ever after” tagged onto the end. But that was not the case with “Promise Me This” by Cathy Gohlke. Within the novel, Gohlke was able to weave a story that was surprising, heart-wrenching and beautiful. How she was able to do it all within 403 pages I will never be able to fathom.
April 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Along with that, several new novels have been popping up that center around the Titanic; however Gohlke’s is the only one I’ve read. While it’s marketed as a Titanic novel, only the first fifth of the book involves the ship, passengers and its formidable doom. But don’t be mistaken: the impact that the sinking of the Titanic has on the lives of Michael and Annie are more life-changing than either one ever anticipates.
“Promise Me This” covers about 7 tumultuous years in the lives of Michael and Annie, from adolescence to young adulthood. At first, you’re annoyed with both of them for very different reasons, but I promise you’ll grow to love them as the novel progresses. I’ll admit that I had a hard time getting really involved at first with the novel. I think it’s because the beginning focused on the Titanic and we all knew how that was going to end. I appreciate the unknown when I read, but even still, Gohlke ties everything together so well.
I highly recommend this book and I am so glad I’ve had the chance to read it. I received the book for free in exchange for my review from Tyndale Publishing. I was not required to given a positive review, only an honest one.