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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)