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Carolyn Twede Frank grew up in a small town in Utah. Her love of writing first expressed itself in the third grade when she was given the assignment to write poetry and discovered the fun of creating rhymes. In high school, she had her own column in the school newspaper, and one of her articles took third place in a national editorial writing contest.
She began college with a minor in journalism. When an instructor slashed her writing up one side and down the other, she decided she wasn’t cut out to be a writer—even though the teacher gave her an A, and told her that his harsh critiques were meant to prepare her for the real world. In 2006, as a participant in her neighborhood book club, she read a novel that bothered her immensely by its contents. She thought, “I can write a better story than this!” Her love of writing was reawakened after twenty five years of dormancy, and she immediately began her first novel, Fleeing Flagstaff. Promises is Carolyn’s first published novel.
Carolyn currently lives in Utah with her husband and youngest daughter, where she continues to write and love life. You can visit her website: www.carolyntwedefrank.com.
Mary Ann Dennis
on April 04, 2012 :
Promises is a middle grade to YA story about a young girl who makes promises to herself.
Eleven-year-old Hattie Adair has a problem speaking up for herself. She is painfully shy and her family expects probably the hardest thing for a timid girl to do--they leave their home and friends in Orderville and move to the smaller town of Tropic, Utah near Bryce's Canyon.
They move into a less-than-adequate home. As the family works on making their new home more comfortable, Hattie finds things that belong to the young girl who used to live there, someone she feels a great bond to, their lives are connected. Hattie promises herself that she will find this other girl and return her belongings, no matter what. This is the very reason Hattie's family was meant to move to this house.
Hattie has made other promises to herself--promises to stand up for herself and speak up, which at the beginning she finds it easier to give in than speak up. Every time she does, another mistake is made, and they are hard lessons to learn.
In this process of learning, Hattie does make a few friends. She learns that her family can be her best friends. She learns to speak up for herself by speaking up for others.
Fate, or the hand of the Lord, moves Hattie one more time. She is so resistant to another move, but I think the Lord knew Hattie was the one who could and would truly make a difference in the life of that other young girl, Mae. When Hattie does find Mae, their lives become complicated. It builds to a suspenseful climax.
I enjoyed this story and the descriptions of Bryce's National Canyon. I felt as if I was there seeing it for the first time. I'll have to make the trip again someday.
I wasn't ready for the story to end. I would like to know more about these people, like an epilogue, or maybe there will be a book two?
(reviewed within a month of purchase)