Monday, February 27, 2012

Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke

Annie Allen is upset enough by the thought that her brother Owen is leaving England for the United States without her.  He promises to send for Annie once he gets established and can earn enough money to send for her.  When Annie learns that Owen has perished in the sinking of the Titanic, she's devastated.  Now her only remaining relative in England is her bitter, spinster Aunt Eleanor.

Michael Dunnagan sneaks away from his job to see the Titanic off and while on the docks, is offered a way to make some quick money by helping to do some last minute loading of the ship.  While aboard, he sneaks away to get a better look at the interior of the ship and ends up as a stowaway.  While a stowaway, Micheal meets Owen Allen hoping to follow him to America and join him in his family's gardening business there.  When the Titanic sinks, Owen whispers, "Promise me this," as his final request - for Michael to take care of Annie, his sister.   It's through the heroics of Owen Allen that Michael survives.

Michael struggles with survivor's guilt but eventually reaches out to Annie through letters.  Annie is struggling deeply with the grief of losing her brother which is threatening to fully consume her.  Her anger at her brother's death is evident in her responses.  Once she begins laying aside her anger, the letters between her and Michael become friendlier, eventually blossoming into romance.

As Michael is about to bring Annie to America, WWI breaks out...and Annie's letters stop.  Annie begins training with the Red Cross.  She and a friend sign up with the Voluntary Aide Detachment to help in regional hospitals. Michael, growing more concerned at the possibility of losing Annie forever.  Michael decides to risk it all to find Annie, the woman he loves and has promised to take care of and makes a dangerous journey across the Atlantic.  Aunt Eleanor's mysterious dying wish coincides with Michael's arrival in England and throws a curve into Annie's plans to go to America.

It was easy to see why Cathy Gohlke is a two time Christy Award winner, as she has a gift of  bringing stories and characters to life in an amazing way.  This novel was filled with pages of twists and turns; love, loss, sacrifice and hope; adding to the plot was the fact that it was so expertly set among familiar historic events - the sinking of the Titanic marks it centennial April 15, 2012.

I give this book two-thumbs up!  It's definitely a must read.

To keep up-to-date on author Cathy Gohlke, please visit her website:

I wish to thank Tyndale for supplying me with a complimentary copy of this book for my review.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Angel Linda, for your excellent review of "Promise Me This!" I loved writing the stories of Owen, Michael and Annie, as well as their supporting cast. They seemed and still seem so real to me.
    God bless!