Broken Promises

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
Hazel's father promised to come home. He didn't. Hazel faces a world without him, a world she doesn't want, a world disintegrating around her. Somehow she must face bullying at school, loss of friends, grief at home, loss of her home. Only babysitting 4-year-old Bobby seems to help. More

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About Karen GoatKeeper

Share my Ozark hills with me in "My Ozark Home" as I look back on 25 years walking my hills and pastures. There are a few nostalgic essays and every photograph - over 100 of them - has an haiku.
After years of struggling, the third Hazel Whitmore book is finally done. "Mistaken Promises" plunges Hazel into a nightmare of bullying and cyberbullying. The only way out is to find the person responsible who is hiding behind her family's loyalty.
There are so many story ideas out on my hills. This next year will bring more, but in a different form. Science fiction will bring an alien invasion into an Ozark ravine.
My goats are feeling neglected. They are lobbying for another goat book. It would be nice if they would write it too.
Hazel too is wanting another adventure. I have one in mind.
My writing name is in honor of my Nubian dairy goats. Goats are featured in Dora's Story and Capri Capers. All but one of my novels is set in the Ozarks. Broken Promises missed out only because Hazel doesn't move until the end of the book.
A degree in zoology and several years teaching science seems to slide into my books too. Knowing more about why nature works the way she does makes what I observe more special.
Country living may not be for everyone. It is the way for me. Visit my website to find out more about country living and my goats.

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Reviews

Review by: PJ O'Brien on March 26, 2014 :
In Broken Promises, the interestingly-named Hazel has been living a relatively comfortable life in New York City. She lives close enough to Central Park for daily visits, attends private school, and the family manages on her father’s income and investments. A reservist in the Marines, her father is unexpectedly called to active duty. Just before he ships out to Iraq, he rashly promises Hazel that he’ll be home in a year. It's a promise that couldn't realistically be kept, which everyone except Hazel seems to know.

When her father is killed in action, she is intensely angry. Despite their close relationship – or perhaps, because of it – her anger is directed almost solely at him and the broken promise. She refuses to talk about him or join her mother in mourning. Instead, she becomes focused on how to maintain her life as it's always been.

Hazel’s efforts to supplement her mother’s meager temporary income with babysitting can't stop the family's downward slide into financial crisis, particularly when they learn that there is little left from the investment accounts. She does what she can, learning to cook and taking on household tasks like shopping, in hopes that she won’t have to leave her school and her friends. But the reader knows long before Hazel does that nothing she can do can hold off the inevitable. All the familiar aspects of her life must change.

This is a first novel, for the writer and a series. The story is compelling, despite the occasional phrasing in the beginning. Once the author found her stride, the story flowed very smoothly. I occasionally raised my eyebrows at names and social media references that seemed a little anachronistic or unusual, but acknowledge that it’s been awhile since I’ve had interactions of any length with someone in middle school. It could be that I’m terribly out of touch with the world as experienced by adolescents of today. In any case, I am invested enough in Hazel’s story to want to follow it in the next book of the series, so I’ve added Old Promises to my reading list.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
Review by: Kim Avery on May 13, 2013 :
A must read!!! Can't put this book down! Already looking forward to part 2 to Broken Promises!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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