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Promise Bridge

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  175 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
A powerful debut novel of friendship, love, and family set in the segregated pre-Civil War South.
""This is a promise bridge, and it bridges a promise flowing from your heart to mine. It can't never be broken...the promise is part of you now, understand." "
Thus begins an unlikely friendship between Hannelore Blessing, a plantation mistress, and a slave girl named Livie.
ebook, 432 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by New American Library (first published 2010)
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Aug 23, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-vine-book
This is one of those novels that you can't stop reading because you want to see what happens next, but you are sorry when you finish because you miss the characters and want to read more about them.

Beautifully and skillfully researched and written, Promise Bridge tells an often untold story of the beginnings of the Underground railroad. The author shows us the courage of the black and white heroes who helped slaves escape from an often unbelievable, awful existence. The characters are well deve
Vicky Fisher
Jan 10, 2017 Vicky Fisher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Promise Bridge by Eileen Clymer Schwab surprised me. I didn't think it would be as interesting and suspenseful as it was. The beginning was a bit slow but after a few chapters it became a lot more interesting. Some parts were filled with so much suspense and drama that I couldn't put it down. The story was well-developed without it being overly detailed. The only part I thought was a little "off" was the ending. The end was unrealistically positive. Of course, I wanted a happy ending, but the wa ...more
Brianna Mulligan
Jun 08, 2011 Brianna Mulligan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I should have known this was not going to be a challenging book, from the cliche title to the over-drawn cover. However, it has been a long time since I read a book on slavery, so I thought it looked promising. Entertaining but disappointinly written, Schwab tends to fall into the "tell not show" category of writers. Definitely a good read for audiences who do not want to be challenged or are in the younger audience sect. The plot, however, was entertaining, as there is a final twist that left m ...more
Jul 19, 2010 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Promise Bridge" is a historical set in the pre-Civil War South, but it also has some romance and suspense. The world-building was excellent, with the details of the setting and historical social and everyday details bringing the story alive in my imagination without slowing the pace. I think the author did an excellent job portraying both the good and the bad of the pre-Civil War American South (and North) without that ever seeming like it was the point of the story. It was the backdrop.

The cha
Sep 13, 2011 Bikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I enjoyed this book if you can say that about something as horrible as slavery. The storyline pulled me in immediately and the plot moved forward at a good pace. Livvie and Hannahlore will stay with me for a long time and, of course, Colt is every woman's knight in shining armor. I've taught my students about the Underground Railroad for many years but this book, though fiction, caused me to think about it in terms of the lives of the people who were part of it in a much more powerful and moving ...more
Jul 22, 2013 Mbmc114 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very entertaining book. Good character development. It allowed the reader to empathize with the plight of the main character, as well as those she cared about. The writing seemed authentic to the era- I could hear the southern accents of the characters. Not the most complex storyline, but since complexity does not necessarily equate to good, this does not negatively impact the rating. A chapter near the end was a bit terse, in comparison to the level of detail through the rest of the ...more
A novel set in the pre-civil war south, the plot of Promise Bridge is interesting, and keeps the reader turning pages. The reason I did not give it five stars is because some of the dialogue seemed unrealistic or stilted, and some of the relationships presented didn't seem like they would have progressed as quickly as was presented in the story. Those who enjoy learning about slavery and the underground railroad will love this book. The evil characters seem to have no redeeming qualities, and it ...more
Jan 27, 2013 Sherry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the plot was well developed, but there was something about the language that bothered me. It was too flowery and preachy. It may have been the language of the period, but I doubt that is the case. I am wondering why this book is not in my public library, yet it has many five star reviews. Is the target young adult? This read like a book that was always a paperback.
I read the book as it was the July selection for my book group and it is not one I would have picked on my own.
Jan 25, 2017 Deb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 Stars. I could not get into this book until page 140 something. After that, it was a good story. I own all the books that I read. I got this solely on what I read on the back cover. But if I have time to I will read 20 pages to get the feel of it. If I had done that, I never would have bought it. Some of the language was also troubling. Not time period usage. Not sure if I will give this author another chase. Sorry.
Stacie Morgan
Loved this story! Did an excellent job of illustrating what the current feeling was at the time (just prior to the Civil War) toward slaves by masters and vice versa. The relationship between a white female and a black female was heartwarming, despite the fact it went against the norm and could have actually had some dire consequences for both girls if the true extent of their friendship had been known. It had a surprise ending!
Jun 10, 2013 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the period just before the Civil War. Deals with slavery. Livie is a slave and becomes friends with Hannah, a white woman whose family members are slaveholders/plantation owners. Things aren't always quite what they seem. And friendship changes both of these women, helping them become more compassionate, courageous and full of integrity. Well drawn characters and this really pulled me in emotionally as well.
Susan Ryan
Jul 22, 2011 Susan Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful story of unending friendship, trust and honor between two strong women. Loved every minute of it. Describing parts of the book would lead to spoilers, which I myself do not like, but Ms. Schwab's writing style is a pleasure. Her story flows seamlessly and writing in the first person truly added depth to the main character. I'm looking forward to her next book.
A niece of a plantation lady, Hannah finds Livie, a runaway on the mountain and takes care of her till LIvie's brother can come back for her. Many changes occur over the year or so of the book. A friendship between Hannah and Livie grows. Several surprises in the end. Very good storytelling. I had to stay up till I finished it.
Maryann McFadden
I had the pleasure of reading a galley to give a quote for this debut novel and I have to say, I think this book will become a classic. Gorgeous writing, wonderful characters, and a page turning plot about a young woman's coming of age just prior to the Civil War. It debuts July 7 and I predict great things.
Mar 25, 2011 Marsha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In her debut novel,Eileen Schwab has done a lot of research to show us the insights and horrors of slavery back in the Pre-Civil War era. The story is about a forbidden friendship between a young plantation lady and a runaway slave girl. I enjoyed the book,but found it a little simple and predictable.
Nov 21, 2010 Jean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was OK...If was a selection of my local book club; I would not have chosen it myself. The story of the underground railroad is not a new story, and I didnt think the characters built around it were interesting enough. I would rather have read a 'true' account on this subject.
Dec 06, 2011 Gayle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and had a hard time putting it down. It takes place in the South near the border of VA and PA...just prior to the civil war. It's about a friendship between a plantation young lady and a runaway slave girl and how they both reached freedom. Very good read!
Entertaining but the characters needed more development. I got awfully tired hearing about Livie and Hannah giggling. The story was enjoyable and had potential, but I just don't think the author is terribly talented.
Mitzy Zahm
I enjoyed this book and give it a positive rating. I found it to be very simple and predictable, however. Not any epic novel, just a nice story about a subject that has been written and re-written many times.
This historical novel explores the underground railroad and takes an interesting look at one runaway slave in particular. It had some interesting plot twists but I thought the dialogue was very cheesy in many places. And the protagonist, Hannah was very dense.
Mar 31, 2012 Vicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a book club selection. Could a friendship like this really happen in that time period and situation? Maybe. Still, the story was intense, a thriller and quite good. I found a oneness with the characters as I read this book, so much so, that I bought another of Schwab's books.
Jul 22, 2010 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Some great characters and a little bit of history and insight into the lives/workings/struggles of all kinds of people in the pre-civil war south. I look forward to and hope to read another book by Eileen Clymer Schwab!
Aug 22, 2011 Kirstin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story itself wasn't bad it just wasn't well written.
Apr 30, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give 3.5 stars! The writing was only decent, but I did find myself rooting for the characters. Even though some things were predictable, other things were a total surprise.
Mar 08, 2011 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. Fast read. Interesting topic.
Sep 19, 2011 Tysheena rated it it was amazing
This novel was beautifully written, inspiring, touching, romantic and informative.
Congrats to Eileen on an excellent debut novel!
Oct 12, 2010 Trixer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
pre-civil war saga...good
Marietjie Steyn
Mar 29, 2015 Marietjie Steyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'n Boeredogter lees soms swaar aan hierdie boek... Tog 'n baie goeie storie en spannened, dog genotvol.
Pre-civil war historical fiction. Nice plot and storyline, but too flowery of language. Flat characters.
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Eileen Clymer Schwab graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication. She resides with her family in northeast Pennsylvania. Her second novel, Shadow of a Quarter Moon, will be released by NAL/Penguin in 2011. Over the years, Eileen's passion for writing has been channeled through occasional newspaper or magazine articles as she balanced a job and raising four children. With the encou ...more
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