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A Promise to Break

(The Promise #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780997334722

Sibyl, a wealthy banker's daughter, is groomed for success. Even the Depression cannot dampen her comfortable lifestyle. By 1932, the timing is right to fulfill a promise she made to her father to change the world.

Then she meets a handsome, down-on-his-luck hobo and her life is turned upside. The more she gets to know him, the
Paperback, 282 pages
Published June 8th 2016 by Memory House Publishing LLC
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Regina Jennings
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sibyl Trimble, a modern girl from a wealthy, society family, is confronted with the futility of the life that's been arranged for her. What will it cost her to break free? I generally stay away from true, family histories because they are rarely handled well, but Ms. Spurgeon was able to make this story leap off the page. The 1930s setting in Oklahoma was alive with the contradictions and hardships of the era. Although I bought the book because it was set in Shawnee, the story transcends the loc ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review, celebrate-lit
The 1930s is not a time period with which I am very well acquainted. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but I haven’t read many books set during this decade. The fact that Kathryn Spurgeon’s “A Promise to Break” is based on a true story enhanced my appreciation for this book, and because it is written in the first person, it truly felt like stepping back almost 90 years into the past. Something that struck me almost immediately was how much things have actually remained the same. I ...more
Maureen Timerman
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
The author has set this story back in the 1930’s, a time in America when things were very hard, people out of work and no jobs to be found, bread lines, etc. She has also set this story in Oklahoma, and we experience some of the dust bowl, along with the depression.
The main characters come from both sides of the fence, money and poverty, and compassion for their fellow man seems to draw them together.
The promise to break in the title felt like good and evil, and it plays well with this story, ri
Marguerite Gray
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My motto is “Entertain. Educate. Encourage.” With her debut novel A Promise to Break, Kathryn Spurgeon includes all of the elements. I do not know much about the 1930s, but now I feel like I know something telling about that time. I’ve always lived close to Oklahoma, but I knew nothing about the history. Now I do. Through the lives of her characters I see a bit of what they experienced in a declining economy when the poor and downtrodden occupied the minds of whole towns. Politics, a big issue i ...more
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
Ever since I saw the cover of this book, I knew I wanted to read it. I had never read a book by Kathryn Spurgeon before, and now that I have I can promise you won’t be the last. This story was just so interesting to me. First of all, I love this time period. The clothes, and the cars! I am a big fan of Model T’s, so you can imagine how excited I was to read about it!! But even more interesting to me was the relationship between Sibyl and her dad.

It’s funny how when we are young, we think our par
Lynda Edwards
Anyone with a family knows that relationships are not easy, that loving comes at a cost, and often that price is paid with a sometimes-painful return. A coming of age story set in the 30s, A Promise to Break deals with some difficult topics like finding who we are apart from our parents, determining our course in life, and discovering what we really believe, that for which we are willing to sacrifice.

Largely, this is a book about expectations, those we have for ourselves and those others place
Rebekah Jones
Oct 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I actually decided to read this book based on the cover. That’s not something I usually do, but the cover for A Promise to Break really is beautiful.

Unfortunately, I really didn’t care for the story. I found the main character to be very self-centered, despite her repeated claims to live for pleasing her father. Her constant internal complaints about life, her husband, her dreams became wearying.

Throughout the first half of the book or so, the few Christians in the story were among the most easi
Yannick Tricia
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is inspired by a true story.

Sybil Trimble grew up in a wealthy familly in Shawnee Okhlahoma. Her Father works for a bank and his really involved in politics and share his passions with his daughter he wants her to change the world. For Sybil her Father is her hero and she longs to please him and make a difference in the world especially because of the poverty she sees around her due to the great depression (1929-1939).

All the plans her father have for her falls apart when she married s
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Promise to Break is the first installment from Kathryn Spurgeon’s series, The Promise. It is, also, my first book I have read by this author. It definitely will not be the last.

A Promise to Break is a wonderful read. I enjoyed Sibyl’s story. I admired her courage and strength. I loved how the author vividly described the historical details. I felt like I was right there among the characters living during the time. It was fun being transported back in time to see what it was like during the 19
Carol Keen
As children, we think our parents are probably perfect. Sibyl sure thinks so, even in the midst of the Great Depression. Her dad has extracted a promise from her, one she is trying so hard to keep. She just wants him to be proud of her. However, life has issues and sometimes the promises that are made are ones we can't keep, or shouldn't keep. Is Sibyl's promise to her father one she had to cling to for life? I absolutely LOVE that it's based on a true story.

I cheered for the Truths and Bible p
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stories set during the Depression and Dust Bowl are almost always bleak and depressing. A PROMISE TO BREAK is no exception. Although the aim of the book is to show how faith in God gets people through hard times, it's still not exactly a warm, uplifting tale. It doesn't help that most of the characters are unlikeable, there's not much of a plot, and the prose is choppy and clunky. I appreciate Spurgeon's goal of creating a story that's realistic, but also clean and faith-promoting. However, this ...more
Ebos Aifuobhokhan
Based on a true life story.

Emotionally packed book. Reading this book gave me a big and deep look into how things were in the early 1900s. Socialism was been promoted. The poverty and struggle to maintain life. The rich living their lives disdaining the poor, doing nothing but getting richer, the economy crumbling and people seeking how to live from day to day. Farmers were loosing their farms. People living off the pain and struggles of others.

Fremont Pope’s faith gave him a purpose, willingnes
BetteandWayne Price
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is very well written and extremely professional in editing and proofreading, simply no errors. It first seemed like fiction but the detailed descriptions of drug stores with soda fountains, old radios, and events about the depression made the scenes come alive like a movie. The large amount of research that went into this book is truly impressive and it enhanced the reading experience. It felt like I was right there in every scene. I read all the authors notes because I wanted to know ...more
Wenona Pullin
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is such an easy-read because it is so well-written. I didn't want to put it down. I felt like I was experiencing everything right alongside Sibyl Trimble. The story of love in this book is so inspiring and genuine. It's a beautiful book and I can't wait for the next one! ...more
Connie Saunders
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I began reading this book I was reminded that most young girls think that their father is extremely wise and beyond reproach and that was certainly the case with Sibyl Trimble. Sibyl didn't understand all that took place when she attended a political meeting with her dad when she was very young but she did understand when he asked her to make a promise and to keep it. "Promise me. Promise me, child, that you'll follow me and change the world". What she didn't realize in 1922 was that her fath ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My daughter is staunch believer that people should never break their promises. However, maybe some promises are not meant to be kept and should be broken. This story starts off with a young 11 year old girl making promises to her father about changing the world by following in his footsteps.

Taking place in the 1930's we get a feel of the political atmosphere especially as the Great Depression has arrived. The privileged few certainly see themselves above the others, and hoard it over the hobo's
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Promise to Break by author Kathryn Spurgeon is a Christian historical fiction set in 1930’s Oklahoma. It is based on the lives and experiences of the author’s family. When I learned that I felt like a fly on the wall watching as things happened.

This is the story of Sibyl (yes, the spelling is correct) and her desire to please her father by promising him to be part of a political movement that would change the world. She comes from a well to do family and is used to the finer things in life.

Stephanie Norton
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited to be able to do a review for this historical fiction. As you all know I love historical fictions so much. "A Promis to Break" takes the reader back to the 1930s in Shawnee and Pottawatomie County in Oklahoma during the Great Depression. The Great Depressions really affected so many peoples' lives. Sybil goes from being a spoiled rich girl who falls in love with Fremont, a boy from the other side of the tracks to a strong and compassionate mother. She wants to make her Papa prou ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the information in Kathryn Spurgeon’s author’s note, A Promise to Break is based on her family history. For the first half of the book I could not relate to any of the characters and found only Fremont to be somewhat likable. Sibyl appeared to be a puppet of her father and couldn’t figure out right from wrong on her own, which frustrated me as a reader.

The socialist agenda is prevalent in the beginning of the book and readers aren’t exactly sure where the author is going with the agenda. I
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is not shy about its exploration of the explosive political and financial climate of the 1930s in Oklahoma. I really enjoyed the historical background of the book. I also love it when authors write about something that they have a connection to—and this author writes a fictional story about her very real grandparents! I thought that the story got bogged down at times by the political language (particularly the rants of the father of the protagonist) but nonetheless I liked the book ov ...more
Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read
I enjoyed this book from a historical point of view. The author did a good job of incorporating facts about the Trimble family in this novel. The author was able to interview family members and that added to the authentic feel of the family’s struggles and the time period in which these events took place.

The tone of this story reflects that of the times in which it occurred. Some families felt of a loss of direction because of the Depression and loss of jobs. They were struggling to make ends m
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Child, remember God has a plan for you....Never forget that!’

Set in the 1930’s the true story of this family is one of survival for some and not for others. The Great Depression has affected everyone, even those who live in town. Sybil wants nothing more than to make her Papa proud of her. This desire permeates almost everything she does. Deeply involved in socialism, Papa is a lot of talk and very little action. Realizing that she needs a purpose that is her own, spurs Sybil on to make very di
Tabitha Bouldin
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
It’s not easy to live up to our parents’ expectations. And it can sometimes be even more difficult for them to live up to ours. Both sides of this coin can be found in A Promise to Break. Sybil made her father a promise, and she spends a tremendous amount of time struggling to make him proud of her.

But not all promises can be kept, and sometimes they should not have been asked of us in the first place.

I greatly enjoyed this trip down memory lane. It was poignant and heartfelt while feeling true
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Promise to Break" by Kathryn Spurgeon is a book about Sibyl Trimble , a daughter who wants to please her father and makes a promise to change the world. But she learns she that her ideas and her father's are different.

This book is based on a true story and I really enjoyed it.

While reading this story I could feel Sibyl's joys and sorrow's. This book really helps the reader understand how people with money feel about those less fortunate.

I really like the Pope family, but I have to be honest an
Hallie Szott
Sibyl Trimble has a difficult choice before her. She comes from a wealthy family, made a promise to her father to follow in his footsteps and change the world, and has experienced little during the Great Depression besides luxury. However, when she meets charming hobo Fremont Pope, her perspective changes and she begins to understand that maybe holding to the promise she made her father is not the best way to make a difference.

Sibyl’s story in A Promise to Break reflects the experience Kathryn S
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I was reading A Promise To Break, I felt like it had "The Notebook" vibe to it, but from a Christian point of view. So naturally, we got a great story, and it was totally unique too, I just felt like it might have that kind of vibe to it. The history within is very detailed a researched, and gives you a real, un-romanticized view of the Depression from multiple viewpoints. Sibyl and Fremont each face their own challenges, and their very different worlds collide. The romance that blossoms i ...more
Becca (Reflections From My Bookshelves)
I really enjoyed this book. I loved how it was based on a true story. It's a story about a young women determined to make a difference in the world but then life happens and her plans change. I liked how real the characters felt to me. Sibyl especially. She struggled with questions about life and God just like we do sometimes. I didn't like some of the characters. Her father especially. Set during the depression, this story gives you a glimpse of how tough times were and how they survived and ho ...more
Patti Pierce
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Promise to Break is one of those books that took me a while to get into reading. I found it slow to get started with capturing my attention. However, the more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading. I found it interesting that the story was based on a true story.

I appreciated how one chance encounter with a young man who was a hobo transformed Sybil’s entire life and introduced her into Christianity. Learning about God is the most important life-altering event that can happen to a person. T
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I enjoy historical fiction and I appreciate when a book is set in a unique place and time. The depression era has always been interesting as it really wasn’t that long ago and many of us know or knew people who lived during that time. I love that this book is based on a true story, it really shines through on the pages. The characters are well written and unique as well but perfect for this book. I haven’t read a book by Kathryn before but I am excited to read what she writes next! If you are ne
Connie Carpenter
I feel like I do not read enough books set during this time period. I have been trying to expand my reading horizons since I am an American History Nerd. I was excited to read this one. This is a new to me author, and I will be checking out her other books as they are released. The author has done great research and created believeable characters. This is set during the Great Depression in Oklahoma. The author has done a great job balancing the chaos that was of this time period. Her writing sty ...more
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Kathryn Spurgeon grew up on a farm in Oklahoma. Two of her children are adopted from South Korean where she lived in an orphanage. After becoming a single mom, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and became a CPA and successful businesswoman.

An award-winning author and recipient of a 2018 Illumination Book Award, she has published 7 historical novels and over a hundred

Other books in the series

The Promise (2 books)
  • A Promise Child (The Promise #2)

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