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Promises to Keep
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Promises to Keep

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  1,570 Ratings  ·  238 Reviews
Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper. Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Bethany House Publishers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Oct 09, 2016 Joyce rated it really liked it
Public library copy. One of my most favorite authors. This book is close to my heart as my children and I escaped an abusive husband/father decades ago, and being the child of an alcoholic I know all about keeping secrets. Interestingly, I was the same age as Roz in 1967.

Wow, what a story. The author is a master at character and story together. While the story is told in the first person by eleven year old, Roz, almost all of the other characters are so well developed that the reader is well ac
Nov 07, 2014 Jimmy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Promises to Keep is told from the viewpoint of a young girl, who along with her Mother and two siblings move to another state to escape an abusive father.

Settling in a new town and buying a home, they soon find the previous owner escapes daily from the nursing home adamant to die at home, and soon becomes part of their lives.

This novel takes you on an emotional ride that includes the struggles of making friends with someone outside your race, growing up, growing old, starting over, and refusing
Oct 05, 2014 Barbara rated it it was amazing
"Promises to keep." It was so very good. Touched on allowing our feelings to overcome our judgement. I had just told someone I tend not to like stories done in the first person. Written from just one person's point of view, BUT I think that is what made this book amazing. Seeing the world as a 11 year old from a broken home saw it, as she wished it to be. It both made be laugh and cry. Well done. This is maybe 3rd I've read by Ann Tatlock and she does such a good job presenting a child's perspec ...more
Jan 22, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it
In Promises to Keep the reader is swept away and into the mind of an eleven year old girl who is struggling to cope with her parent’s separation. While Roz knew that her mother had a good reason to leave him, her longings for her daddy and dreams of grow up in the midst of a family are hard for her to deal with. Looking at the world through her eyes, I was wrapped up in her uncertainty and her desperate desire that her father would keep his word. The author did a wonderful job of vividly telling ...more
Feb 03, 2011 Carly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-favorites
Wow! This was an excellent book! I didn’t really know what to expect because the back cover does not give much detail about the story, which I actually like. I prefer not knowing a lot about a story before reading. I prefer instead to simply let the story unfold without any expectations. That is exactly what Promises to Keep did. I generally don’t like to give a lot of details about a story in my reviews because I prefer to let the books speak for themselves and just share my feelings about the ...more
Apr 21, 2011 Jodie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Janis moved her family to Mills River to escape an abusive relationship. From Roz's point of view, her daddy can still be trusted. Roz continues to long for her dad to make things right and get back together with her mom. Living in Mills River has turned out to be a little different than anyone expected, especially after they find an old lady, Tillie, sitting on their front porch reading their newspaper. What they don't realize is that Tillie is not going anywhere!

This is my first book by Ann Ta
Maggie Boyd
Jun 06, 2015 Maggie Boyd rated it really liked it
Roz Anthony and her mother and siblings have just moved to Mills River, IL from Minnesota to escape her abusive, alcoholic father. Their Grandfather had bought them a house and the traumatized little family has just settled into when a stranger appears on their porch, reading the newspaper and sitting on the porch swing as if she belonged there. The stranger turns out to be Tillie Monroe, former owner of the home. She has escaped from the old folks home and returned to her house. Her son shows u ...more
Alisha Marie
So, I'm just going to come out and say it: I found Promises to Keep sort of...blah. It wasn't a remarkable book, but it wasn't a horrible book either. And so I'm left trying to review a book I didn't like, but didn't passionately hate either...I'm worried my review will be blah due to this but anyway here goes nothing.

Promises to Keep starts off incredibly slow. In fact, I put it down like 3 times before I decided to stick with it once and for all. In fact, the only reason I kept reading this bo
Feb 24, 2011 Readnponder rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable, relaxing book that I read in a weekend. I've read many books by Ann Tatlock and she doesn't disappoint. This book is about a family that has to flee from a violent, alcoholic father and start a new life. Told through the eyes of 11-year-old Roz, we see a girl who still yearns for her father and has a selective memory. The mother has to return to the workforce and the oldest son enlists in the Army on the day he turns 18 with hopes of going to Vietnam. I especially enjoyed ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Ann Tatlock is one of my favorite authors because her characters are genuine, her settings are realistic in the historical details they portray, and she is very talented in her use of language and plot development. This story is set in the 1960's and it had it's sweet parts, but many sections were very tense. The topic of domestic abuse is a difficult one to deal with, and she does it very convincingly; she seems to be able to portray the state of mind not only of the perpetrator of the abuse, t ...more
Kate Scott
Apr 09, 2011 Kate Scott rated it it was amazing
Promises to Keep is written in the first person from the perspective of Rosalind Anthony, remembering the events of her first months in Mills River when she was eleven years old. The first character we are introduced to on page one is Tillie Monroe, a powerhouse of a woman who decides to move back into her house after a stint in the nursing home so that she can die there––despite the fact that the house has been sold to Roz’s mother. Tillie is my favorite character and the moral anchor of the st ...more
Aug 05, 2015 Dana rated it it was ok
Recommended to Dana by: Inspy winner
Sadly this was a total miss for me. It was an INSPY winner and so I had high hopes for it. I kept reading it thinking it must have a doozer of an ending, it was soooooo looooonnng. I kept waiting for the reason it was a winner. What I did like, thought it was cool that it took place in the 60's, I had never read a book from the 1960's, so that was fun being born in the 60's. If you like drama, then you might like this book, there are some chuckles and there are some suspenseful parts, but just n ...more
Naomi Sarah
Feb 09, 2015 Naomi Sarah rated it really liked it
I loved it to bits until the ending. I would have rated it five stars had the father been able to return back home. I had honestly thought he would... I mean, *why didn't he?!!!* It just really disappointed me.
But all in all though, I'd highly recommend it. Roz is an amazing girl, and I ADOOORE Mara to bits (not to mention that she has my name, kind of). The dialogues in the books were the best bits. Tatlock did a dashed good job! :-)
Jennifer Pritchard
This was my first book by this author and I did like the writing, but it dragged a little for me. I loved Tillie and how she viewed life. I wanted to be pulled more into the story and couldn't quite get close to the characters. It all felt a little rushed. But having said all that, I'm already planning on reading another one by her and look forward to it.
Jul 18, 2013 Carmela rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story about the friendship of two prepubescent girls longing for a relationship with their fathers. One girl black one white, bond in their love and support of each others' yearning for their fathers. Definitely a good read.
Sep 06, 2013 Tina rated it it was amazing
Very engaging and great read! I highly recommend!
Jul 12, 2012 Lesley rated it really liked it
Oh I loved this story. Though I actually wish it was more about tillie! A family escaping abuse and finding friendship and love instead. A fast read read and well worth recommending!!!
Jun 04, 2017 Theresa rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Rosalind wants what most of us seem to take for granted: a normal, happy home life. But with an alcoholic, abusive father, her mother has a painful choice before her. She ultimately makes the difficult decision to escape her marriage and protect herself and her children.

“I wanted to hear visions of happy Christmas mornings and birthday parties and family vacations. I wanted to hear Daddy tell me that we’d all sit down together to eat supper at night, with him and Wally both there with us, and w
May 28, 2017 Becca rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own
Good book, slow story that was easy to predict where it was going
Mar 23, 2017 Angie rated it did not like it
Didn't finish this book. Was over halfway and still not feeling it.
Melissa Cunning
Mar 14, 2017 Melissa Cunning rated it it was amazing
I'm my gosh, this has got to be one of the best books I've read in a really long time! You have to laugh at the idea of an old woman refusing to leave her house even after it's been sold to another family, but the lessons that Tillie Monroe teaches in this book in her very distinct way make this a book you can't stop reading!
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
Apr 03, 2011 Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries) rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This review first appeared on my blog:

FIRST SENTENCE: We hadn't lived in the house on McDowell Street for even a week when we found a stranger on the porch, reading the morning paper.

Set in 1967 during the Vietnam War, Promises to Keep is told in the first-person voice of Rosalind Wilson, who is 11 years old. She's a bit sassy, and like most children of abuse, she misses her father and wishes he could be the "good daddy" all of the time, so that her famil
Mar 03, 2017 Patty rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2011 Mollythepirate rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Set in 1967 in the fictional town of Mills River, Illinois we find our main character, eleven year old Rosalind 'Roz', and her two siblings (a younger sister Valerie and an older half-brother Wally) and their mom moving into their new home to start a new life after leaving husband and father (and step-father) behind in Michigan.

The home they move into was sold out from under an elderly town pillar named Tillie who decides she isn't ready to leave the home she built with her husband and she keeps
May 10, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
Janis Anthony decides to leave her abusive husband, Alan, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, taking their three children, Wally, Rosalind (Roz) and Valerie along. With the help of her father (Grandpa Lehman), they purchase a home in Mills River, Illinois.

Within a few days of settling in, Tillie Monroe, the former owner of the house, appears on their porch, reading their Sunday paper. She explains that she and her husband built this house, raised their family there, and that she has every intention of dy
Mar 21, 2016 Becky rated it really liked it
“Promises to Keep” by Ann Tatlock was a free eBook I received. It took a little while for me to get around to picking it up and reading it, but the more I read, the more captivated I became. This was a very enjoyable book.

The novel is narrated by Roz, a young girl that is struggling to understand why her mom moved her and her siblings far away from their dad, despite the fact that most of the memories that Roz has of her father are tainted with fear. It was interesting to see how idealistic she
Feb 12, 2011 Cafelilybookreviews rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy picking up an Ann Tatlock novel, because they are so easy to get lost in.

I become completely immersed in the story and feel like I am right there with the characters. Promises To Keep was no different and I enjoyed every page.

This book is a heart-warming story that tugs at your emotions as you travel along with Janis Anthony, a woman running from her abusive husband and trying to protect her children.

Moving to the quiet little town of Mills River, Illinois to be near her father
May 08, 2012 Aimee rated it really liked it
11 year old Roz and her family have just moved to Mills River in Illinois, her mother is starting over after leaving her abusive and alcoholic husband. When they move into their new home they find out that the previous owner, Tillie, was moved out of the house against her will by her children. When she was in the hospital her sons sold her home and moved her into an old folks home. Tillie continues to show up on the families porch insisting she is going to live in the house until she dies. Roz's ...more
Trinity Rose
Apr 02, 2011 Trinity Rose rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I’ve read written by Ann Tatlock and Promises to Keep is an amazing book. I was quite captivated from the first page until the end. For me reading a book in two days means it’s a fantastic read.
One reason I was amazed was because Promises to Keep is told by an eleven-year-old girl named Roz. If someone would have told me that it was told from this young girl’s perspective I wouldn’t have thought I would have liked it, but I love it and mean to keep this one on my bookshel
Christy Lockstein
Jan 26, 2011 Christy Lockstein rated it it was amazing
Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock is a family drama with heart-stopping suspense. In 1967 Roz Anthony's mother, Janis, has moved with her children, seventeen-year-old Wally and two-year-old Valerie from their home in Minnesota to make a new start in Mills River, Illinois. Roz understands why her mother needed to get away from her father's drunken abuse, but being just eleven, she still wants her daddy. She meets Mara at school, a girl who is ostracized because of the color of her skin and who has ...more
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Ann Tatlock is a novelist and children’s book author. Her books have received numerous awards, including the Christy Award, the Midwest Book Award and the Silver Angel Award for Excellence in Media. She also serves as managing editor of Heritage Beacon, the historical fiction imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She lives with her family in Western North Carolina.
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