Thursday, June 2, 2011

Promises to Keep (Jane Green)

As the hot weather begins to come in full force in Philly, it is natural for readers to want to get away from the "heavy hitter" lit and get into something mindless. That is what I thought I was getting when I picked up Jane Green's Promises to Keep. What I got was much, much more and truly made me weep.

Promises to Keep is Green's 11th novel. It begins with a sister, Steffi, who is struggling to find her way in the world in love and career. We then meet Callie, Steffi's older sister, who the reader jarringly finds out later, is in remission from breast cancer. Along the way, we also meet Lila, Callie's best friend; Steffi and Callie's divorced parents, Honor and Walter; Reece, Callie's devoted husband and father of her two adorable children; and Mason, a man who knows deep down that his life is not what he wants it to be, but doesn't quite know how to change it.

When Callie shockingly finds out that her cancer has returned, her family and friends pull together in a way they wouldn't have thought possible. I found myself relating the novel to Steel Magnolias (only with men included). In fact, my favorite line in that movie is by Dolly Parton. "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." At times laugh-out-loud funny, at times heartbreakingly sad, this is a beautiful story of what could happen when life suddenly turns upside down.


This review can also be found on