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Promise Me This

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,865 Ratings  ·  280 Reviews
Michael Dunnagan was never supposed to sail on the "Titanic," nor would he have survived if not for the courage of Owen Allen. Determined to carry out his promise to care for Owen's relatives in America and his younger sister, Annie, in England, Michael works hard to strengthen the family's New Jersey garden and landscaping business. Annie Allen doesn't care what Michael ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Feb 27, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
First posted on my blog, Legacy of a Writer.

When a book cover captures my attention, and then the synopsis also piques my interests, I’m sold—I must read the book! Which is why I instantly jumped at the chance to read award-winning author Cathy Gohlke’s newest release. In my opinion, Promise Me This is not a book you can just devour in one sitting. It's a book to be read slowly, with characters to be savored and a story to be treasured.

From the very beginning, I was swept away by this poignant s
Amber Stokes
Jan 15, 2016 Amber Stokes rated it it was amazing
This story unfolds beautifully, leading up to an ending that is so full of tension that it's hard to know whether to white-knuckle grip the book or throw it across the room! Be prepared for possible tears and the need to speak aloud words of frustration. But also be prepared to be blessed by this powerfully moving, sweeping tale of grace and love!

From the horrific tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic, to the terrifying uncertainty of World War I, Gohlke takes her characters through great suffer
Feb 18, 2012 Charity rated it it was amazing
This is the first time I have ever read anything by Cathy Gohlke. And boy was it a pleasant surprise! I really enjoyed Promise Me This and her take on the Titanic story. I have always been a fan of reading about the Titanic and what a tragedy took place that day. In this story, Cathy weaves a tale of romance, mystery and suspense as well as a release of bitterness and guilt.

Annie is a young lady who deeply loves her older brother. But he decides to sail on the Titanic to go to New Jersey and mak
I knew when I started reading Promise Me This that I was setting myself up for heartbreak and sadness. How could I not, the story partially takes place aboard the Titanic, and we all know the events of that fateful night. We know about the hundreds of souls lost to the cold deep Atlantic ocean. Then we have World War I, another tragic momentous stain on our past. So like I said I knew what I getting myself into. Both moments in history that has always fascinated me, along with other events in hi ...more
Rachelle Cobb
Jan 05, 2013 Rachelle Cobb rated it it was amazing
This book had me bawling and I stayed up late two nights in a row to finish it! Such a stellar story!
K. Chase
Feb 05, 2012 K. Chase rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
Promise Me This, set during pre-World War I era, is a beautiful love story between a street rat, Michael Dunnagan, and a young woman born to privilege, Annie Allen. They catch a glimpse of each other when they are still children. Annie's older brother, Owen, shows the young Irish lad charity and gives him a job. Promising his sister a new life in America, Owen buys passage on the ill-fated Titanic and tells Annie that he will send for her soon. Also seeking a fresh start, Michael stows away on ...more
Angela Bycroft
Apr 24, 2012 Angela Bycroft rated it it was amazing
Promise Me This was truly an epic on more than one level. I picked this one up billed entirely on the fact that it had a Titanic theme and felt I had better read at least one of those to mark the 100 years since the sinking.

But this was no mere rerun of Titanic the Movie on a budget. It's a brave move to use one of the most climatic moments of the twentieth century as merely a curtin raiser. And with the ship gone and buried along with her passengers - we move to the main event, the intersecting
Jul 12, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Many books have been written about the Titanic, and I have devoured them all. This book stands out because the focus is not on the sinking of the ship but on the lives of those affected by the loss of life that day. When Owen Allen sets sail on the unsinkable vessel, he leaves behind his beloved sister Annie and finds himself caring for the young Michael, who sneaked onto the ship. When Owen sacrifices his life for Michael’s, Michael carries out Owen’s dreams of creating a gardening business, ...more
Feb 07, 2012 Dawn rated it really liked it
The impressive queen of ships, Titanic, and its unfortunate demise has everything to do with where this book begins, and therefore where it ends. For if the ship itself hadn’t sunk to the bottom of the ocean that blustery cold April night, then there would have been no story to tell.

I know from experience that there are a hundred and one reviews out there for every book published that will tell you what the book is about. That, quite purposefully, is not my intention. What I will tell you is tha
Gwendolyn Gage
Oct 13, 2014 Gwendolyn Gage rated it liked it
"Promise Me This" is a very moving story about Michael and Annie, two people impacted and brought together by the sinking of the Titanic. It's broken down into three parts, spans several years, and follows the characters through World War I. The history is well-researched. The author's writing voice is pleasant, but I still found it hard to follow the scene action at times. The portrayal of the characters' emotions is amazing, and the plot is organic and flows well. I can see why Gohlke is an ...more
Lacy Williams
Dec 07, 2011 Lacy Williams rated it it was amazing
When Michael Dunnegan sneaks onto the Titanic, he can’t imagine how life-altering a decision that is going to be for him, or the long-term consequences. Annie Allen’s brother was one of the passengers who didn’t make it, and as Michael tries to fulfill a promise to take care of the brother’s family he finds himself more and more involved—and then the War breaks out in England and both Annie and Michael must find their way to each other, if they can stay alive.

This was my first time reading anyth
Jan 23, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Annie Allen is devastated upon learning that her older brother Owen perished when the Titanic went down. Her only remaining family in England is Aunt Eleanor, and Annie has never been close to the bitter spinster. As details unfold, Annie learns that Owen requested a favor of a young street urchin and Titanic stowaway, Michael Dunnagan. Owen asked Michael to fulfill his American dream by going to Swainton, NJ, where Owen’s aunt and uncle own and operate Allen’s Run Gardens. He also requested ...more
Feb 27, 2012 Wanda rated it it was amazing
If you love historical novels you must read this new one by Christy Award winner, Cathy Gohlke. Promise Me This is a riveting story that begins with a journey on the Titanic and continues through WWI. In it, we meet Owen Allen—the loving, gentle man who tries his best to care for his little sister as well as the hungry teen boy he finds roaming the streets of London. Owen has a dream of a better life for his sister and sets out to meet distant relatives in America in order to make his dreams ...more
Feb 25, 2012 Kav rated it it was amazing
Is gut-wrenching splendour an oxymoron? Because that's how I'd begin to describe Promise Me This. I wouldn't end there though. I might throw in descriptors like 'agonizingly wonderful' or 'despairingly stunning' or ... LOL - clearly this book has sent me into a tailspin but I'll try to regroup.

It is definitely worthy of the title 'epic saga' as the story takes place over several years, crosses continents and is fraught with angst. Michael and Annie are just teens when we meet them first but some
This is my first book from Cathy Gohlke and I truly enjoyed this story.

From the start, I was drawn in by Michael, who lost his parents as a young boy and left at the mercy of a horrible abusive uncle. I felt compassion for Michael since the moment he was introduced and was so happy when Owen took him under his wings, and then Owen's family in America.

I adored the character of Owen, who only being 21, had a maturity far greater. His compassion and love for Michael was a true representation of his
Margaret Metz
May 23, 2012 Margaret Metz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm going to admit to be being more than pleasantly surprised by this book. There's something about Titanic that still captures our imaginations and breaks our hearts. With the anniversary this year there have been a lot of books and events to help us never forget. This story doesn't stop there though. It travels farther and deeper into the lives of one family to see how they were never the same after that night.

I've heard comparisons before that a good character is like an onion -- you can peel
Mar 01, 2012 Faye rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Promise Me This is a novel of epic proportions, spanning tumultuous years of tragedy and hope.

Michael Dunnagan is an orphan fleeing his abusive uncle, when he crosses paths with Owen Allen, who swiftly takes Michael under his wing. That predestined meeting sets off a chain of events that only God could find a way to use for good. And the Titanic is only the beginning.

Told with a smooth style that allows the reader to be swallowed up into the drama, Promise Me This holds on tight and doesn't l
Christian Fiction Addiction
Jan 01, 2014 Christian Fiction Addiction rated it it was amazing
Promise The This is a moving, action-packed read that held me in it's grip from the opening scenes to the satisfying conclusion. Drawing upon the rich historical drama of the sinking of the Titanic and the First World War, the story spans a number of years as it follows the lives of Annie Allen and Michael Dunnagan as they experience heart-ache, seeming insurmountable odds, and disappointment after disappointment. Yet, in the midst of their trials, the light of Jesus shines brightly. Both Annie ...more
Pamela Barrett
Jun 24, 2014 Pamela Barrett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Sometimes I find a book that captures my attention so completely, that sets my heart racing, and beckons me to return to its pages every spare minute just to find out what will happen to my favorite characters. That riveting book is Promise Me This, and I can promise you that once you meet Owen, Michael and Annie you’ll find that this novel about their lives is divinely written. My first thought when I ordered this book was that it would be interesting to read some historical fiction based on ...more
Apr 20, 2016 Olivia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 13/14+
“As long as a man has two hands and a strong back, he can make things happen. It's no good being fearful. Worry won't change the future a whit, and it misses the joy of this glad day.”

3.5 stars. Let me just say this was a lot different than I expected, but not nescarrily in a bad sense. I really liked the characters and how the author portrayed the struggle of human nature to do what is right. Owen's godliness and care for Michael was touching and poignant.

The romance definitely is worth noting.
Jul 27, 2012 Susan rated it liked it
Meh. Not too descriptive, but that kind of sums up my thoughts on "Promise Me This." I downloaded it with high hopes: it was a fictional tale based around the sinking of the Titanic. I thought that sounded fascinating.

I began reading. Nursery worker Owen sets sail on the Titanic, leaving beloved sister Annie behind, but promising to send for her when he can earn enough. Orphan Michael stows away on the ship as well. Of course the Titanic sinks and Owen (my favorite character in the book) along w
Laura Carter
Jul 24, 2014 Laura Carter rated it liked it
I should start out by saying that this book was better than I thought it would be. I suppose I read too many bad reviews before I started it (a bad habit). But the good news is that it exceeded my expectations.

I thought the tale was original and imaginative, and not completely unrealistic. I liked how the author wove real-life people and events into the story to make it more believable.

I do have to agree with most of the bad reviewers that there was just too much heartache and turmoil overall
Melissa Tagg
Apr 03, 2012 Melissa Tagg rated it it was amazing
When you pick up a novel about the Titanic, you know there are going to be tears. But I didn't realize how moving the whole book, not only the Titanic scenes, was going to be.

I loved this book. It was a beautifully written story, rich with historical detail and character depth. The story kept me intrigued and the characters made a beeline for my heart, pretty much from page one.

I also enjoyed the fact that the Titanic wasn't the sole historical impact in this stretches through WWI, an
Jul 27, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My second Cathy Gohlke book in a week. I am hooked. I love her characters; they stay with me for days after I finish their story. Their situations are foreign to me, but their thoughts and emotions are not. They struggle and learn to trust God and do it His way. This story deals with forgiveness, trust, learning to do the right thing even when it goes against expectations others have of you.

I wasn't sure I'd like the historical and physical setting of the Titanic but I did really enjoy it. It d
This historical Christian novel covers a wide span of years from the sinking of the Titanic to the end of World War I and within that span of time, two young teenagers mature into young adults who eventually fall in love despite the poor beginnings of their friendship and who both truly learn how to surrender their burdens to Christ. I really liked the character development in this novel and also enjoyed the theme of sacrifice and what it truly means to live for Christ and for others that was ...more
May 16, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Of all the Titanic themed books that was published with the centennial of her sinking; this book is outstanding - the research is immaculate, to be sure; however, what makes a story great is the characterization and the journey of those characters - without giving away anything at all, this is an excellent read...
May 05, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
If you are like me, be prepared to shed tears while reading this book. I felt many emotions....sadness, happiness, anger, joy, excitement and even hatred. This is a very good story. I enjoyed it also because of the gardening aspect since I love to garden. And, I've been to
Leaming's Run, which, if you live in NJ, is worth the trip. I think this book would make a great movie!
Dec 02, 2012 AJ rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Perhaps the first book ever that I have been unable to finish out of sheer boredom. As great as the cover and premise were, I just can't stomach such tedious prose. Nothing about this storytelling has drawn me in -- in fact, it's done the actual story a disservice, IMHO. Shelving this indefinitely.
Apr 17, 2012 Dyanne rated it it was ok
Extremely disappointing. Had a promising beginning and then devolved in to maudlin and contrived plot twists. The ending was cheap--as if the author got tired and didn't want to flesh out the conclusion.
Jan 03, 2016 Renee rated it it was amazing
I teach in a Christian high school & bought this to share with the readers in my classroom. The characters are well developed & interesting & lived through historical events (Titanic, Lusitania, WWI) that we don't hear as much about nowadays. Great read!
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 27, 2015 11:41AM  
Christian Fiction...: December Book of the Month - Promise Me This 13 37 Dec 31, 2014 12:35PM  
  • Hearts That Survive: A Novel of the Titanic
  • Words Spoken True
  • Springtime of the Spirit (The Great War, #3)
  • Glamorous Illusions (Grand Tour, #1)
  • Love in Disguise
  • Echoes of Titanic
  • Highland Sanctuary (Highlands #2)
  • A Love Surrendered (Winds of Change, #3)
  • A Texan's Promise (Heart of a Hero #1)
  • Love's Rescue (The Sierra Chronicles #1)
  • Wedded to War (Heroines Behind the Lines, #1)
  • By the Light of the Silvery Moon
  • Before the Scarlet Dawn (Daughters of the Potomac, #1)
  • The Messenger
  • Skip Rock Shallows (Copper Brown, #3)
  • A Distant Melody  (Wings of Glory, #1)
  • Touching the Clouds (Alaskan Skies, #1)
  • The Voyage of Promise (Grace in Africa, #2)
Cathy Gohlke is the three-time Christy Award–winning author of the best selling and critically acclaimed novels Secrets She Kept (Christy Award; INSPY Award); Saving Amelie (INSPY AWARD); Band of Sisters; Promise Me This (listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2012); I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Christy Award, American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award and ...more
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“As long as a man has two hands and a strong back, he can make things happen. It's no good being fearful. Worry won't change the future a whit, and it misses the joy of this glad day.” 5 likes
“Each morning, when we wake—if we wake—we pick up whatever it is we’ve been given to carry for that day, with the sweet Lord Jesus in the yoke beside us to tote the load. Each night we lay it down, giving it into God’s hands. If it’s still there in the morning, we pick it up and begin again. If the burden is gone or if there is something different, we know where to start.” 2 likes
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