“Takes readers to a place where promises mean something very different than expected, and where her protagonist realizes that the life that needs saving is her own. . . . Wiseman draws readers into a world of deception, danger, and defiance. Readers will feel the anguish of Mallory’s loved ones as they pray for her to make it home.” —Booklist
When I first saw this book, I immediately knew the author, Beth Wiseman’s name from the Amish books my mother reads. I hadn’t heard of The Promise, and I hadn’t read the book description when I chose this book, thinking that the author’s name was enough of a recommendation for me.
Once I had finished the book, some of the unconnected dots were cleaned up when I learned that the book was actually based on a true story that happened to a friend of the author. This enlightens me on why Ms. Wiseman wrote the book, but being listed as a “Christian” book, the story confused me a bit. The setting of the book and some of its characters bring understandable references to Islam. The book seems to repeat the thought of “we all pray to the same God”, which makes me think that it is more of a “whatever you believe is okay” kind of book.
The story line of The Promise revolves around two main characters, Mallory Hammond and Tate Webber, and the paths each of them take in their lives. At one point Mallory says “Most Christians believe that you have to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior to get to heaven. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for us making a place for us in heaven , but I also think that God will take a good hard look at the lives we’ve lived here on earth.” Later the book goes on to say that even though they don’t believe that Jesus is the son of God it’s ok because they do believe that he existed. In the book, Tate tries to talk to Mallory several different times about the religious differences, but it doesn’t seem like Mallory ever has that revelation we are all hoping for as Christians about the Bible being true.
Aside from this “Christian” category issue, The Promise has a captivating story, especially keeping in mind that it is actually based on a true story.
It seems like Mallory makes one bad mistake after another. In fact, at some points I felt like someone needed to sit down and have a talk with this girl and shake some sense into her. I found myself thinking on how I would handle it if my daughter did something like Mallory, flying off to Pakistan with little thought for her safety, determined to save a life no matter the cost. Quite honestly, there were moments that I thought that Mallory was foolish for traveling to a dangerous country with no idea just how dangerous it is. It takes her awhile before she realizes the extent of the danger as well as the conspiracy behind it all.
And then there’s her boyfriend, Tate Webber, who, in some ways holds himself out as a strong Christian, a man of prayer whose faith drives him to do give up his owns wants and dreams for others. But then the other side of Tate is the fact that he wants to get Mallory into bed, which obviously is not the path that we all know the Bible would take him on.
Overall, I would give this book a 4 out of 5. I felt that it was well written and kept my attention. I also appreciated that it was written based on a true story.
Please note that I was provided with this book by BookLookBloggers in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.