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The Promise Between Us

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,661 ratings  ·  348 reviews
Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with ...more
Paperback, 369 pages
Published January 16th 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  1,661 ratings  ·  348 reviews


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Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends
Every thought is just a thought until you assign it meaning.
Angie Alexander, founder of friends with OCD

My rating for The Promise Between Us reflects how I felt about the story and how I connected with the characters.

Barbara Claypole White does a good job here with all the information and telling us what it’s like to live with OCD and I learned some things I didn’t know. She explores a different side of OCD. I really appreciated learning that different side to OCD that I was not aware of. She
...more
leslie hamod
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh Queen of mental illness knowledge! A triumph by Barbara Claypole White! Artist and mother Kate leaves her child and runs away.
She has a mental illness. She creates a new life for herself and received help.
Her husband deals with her loss and raised their daughter.
But what happens when she returns? What is it she sees?
This novel is a masterpiece of research and writing. I learned, laughed and cried.
Congratulations Barbara Claypole White!
A MUST READ!
Marialyce
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
3.5 sad but educational stars

This was a wonderful book enabling me to understand the issues and what a person has to deal with while having Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) considered as a type of anxiety disorder. It was a eye opening experience into the world where people afflicted with this sometimes life debilitating illness deal with. This illness traps people into repetitive behaviors that their mind tells them is necessary in order for them and others to survive. Many now believe that
...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
2.5 stars. I truly enjoyed the educational aspect of this novel, but the storyline completely missed it’s mark for me.

This story follows Katelyn, a woman who suffers from an extreme case of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Shortly after giving birth, she recognizes her OCD is something that could potentially harm her newborn child. Upon this realization, Katelyn divorces her husband and gives up parental rights to her newborn child, promising to never reenter their lives. Does this make her
...more
Bkwmlee
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Promise Between Us is the second book about mental illness that I’ve read so far this year and while I feel like this one didn’t have the emotional depth that the book I read earlier (Mira T. Lee’s Everything Here is Beautiful ) did, it was still a worthwhile read, and one that I would definitely recommend. One of the reasons why I love reading is because of the wonderful ability that books have to broaden my horizons and teach me things that I either did not know previously or I knew but ...more
Barbara White
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
For my fifth novel, I'm returning to my great passion: writing characters with OCD. As usual, I tackle some dark subjects but with hope. Tons of hope in this one. Tons! I'm super proud of THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, and I hope it's a thumping good read that also shines a light on an area of OCD that still carries unbearable shame: postpartum OCD, which often manifests as intrusive images of hurting your baby. As a new mother, can you image anything worse?

I could ramble on about the plot, the
...more
Laura Spinella
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In The Promise Between Us, bestselling author Barbara Claypole White explores survival, shame, and above all, compassion. With the deft hand of a true artist, the author creates complex characters, whose lives have been ravaged by mental illness—when it goes unchecked and through its tumultuous effect on generations of women from one family. Readers will be drawn into Katie Mack’s world, they’ll root for her and her daughter, Maisie. The Promise Between Us redefines motherhood and sacrifice, ...more
Judy Collins
5 Stars + + Bestselling author, Barbara Claypole White returns following (2016) Echoes of Family and (2015) The Perfect Son with her best yet, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US.

Heart-wrenching a profoundly moving, and insightful story of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and mental health. Relationships. Battling the monsters of the mind. Educating the family members and close friends. Deep understanding and empathy.

Compelling, beautifully written, and emotionally-charged, you sympathize with
...more
Marilyn Rothstein
A page turner!

Barbara Claypole White writes a book ripe for reading all night. Her understanding and painting of OCD is as fascinating as it is educational. Thumbs all the way up.
Amy
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ninja, netgalley
This is told from five different perspectives, you have Katie, Cal, Lilah, Jake and Maisie who’s life are all entangled in some way. I love books told by an ensemble cast, especially if they’re executed well and this one was flawless. The character development was incredibly strong and each and every one of them is vividly drawn, the type of characters that you forget are fictional. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to glance up from the book and see Katie standing in my living room, they’re ...more
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

You might have been blinded by love and lust, but Katelyn was always wound tighter than a dollar store watch.

How did this happen? Two PhDs between them, and they couldn’t figure out contraception.

I’m a welder who works in a helmet decorated with Power Girl stickers.

Why were these horrid thoughts taking up a whole room in her brain? No, multiple rooms!

Still as predictable as ever. Takes a small pair of balls to intimidate a small woman.

‘’Cause I feel as if I’ve been skinny-dipping
...more
Susan Peterson
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, its characters, and how touched I was by their stories...characters whose lives were broken, characters who showed strength in circumstances that would have defeated others, characters whose resilience and hopefulness get them through the darkest of times. At the heart of this book is family, and how different families can look, how many ways there are to be a mother and to care for a child, and what sacrifices a mother and father will make in order to save their ...more
Donna Everhart
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read an early copy of this book, and the author did not ask me to review it, so this is based on my own opinion of the book, in which I also provided a blurb.

From my blurb: In THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, Barbara Claypole White masters the art of bringing a reader up close and personal to the influences and forces of a mental illness. In this powerhouse of a story, Katelyn MacDonald’s decision to give up the precious gift of raising her baby, Maisie, in order to protect her, makes for a compelling
...more
Kerry
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Barbara Claypole White knocks it out of the park with her latest family saga, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. In this riveting page-turner, White digs deep into the intricacies of her characters’ lives and the devastating effects of a mental illness when left unchecked. It can easily be classified as a story about motherhood, family, and sacrifice. But mostly, it’s a tale of love, redemption, and renewal. THE PROMISE BETWEEN US has something for everyone: suspense, romance, and even a hint of mystery. A ...more
Kathryn
The Promise Between Us was my first read for 2018 and really it was a perfect choice. What a mind blowing, emotional, informative story. It is one that will stay with me and one that I will want to reread again.

The story is told mainly from Katie's point of view, the mother who walked out and left her child because she was terrified she would harm her. However we also have Cal - her ex husband, Jake his close mate, Lilah now Cal's wife and Maisie the daughter of Cal and Katie. As well there is
...more
Linda Zagon
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My Review of “The Promise Between Us” by Barbara Claypole White

WOW! I appreciate that Barbara Claypole White, Author of “The Promise Between Us” has written such a powerful and descriptive novel about mental illness. The genres for this book are Fiction and Women’s Fiction, but Barbara Claypole White describes mental illness in such a realistic and enlightening way.

The author describes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, High Anxiety Disorder Panic Attacks, and Depression which can be seen in her
...more
Carol Boyer
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Barbara Claypole White's latest novel is extraordinary, it brings such compassion, truth, love and hope to the story of a mother who suffers from postpartum OCD which led her to abandon her own child in order to save her from her own terrifying thoughts of harming her. The silent mental illness of OCD renders Katie powerless to escape her relentless fears. She can not be certain she would not harm Maise her daughter. She constantly needs to recheck her 'what if's' thoughts. She leaves home, ...more
Deborah Blanchard
This book is a poignant and heartfelt story of living with OCD and how it affects those we care about. Told in the voices of Katie, Maisie, Callum, Jake and Lilah, this is a beautiful story. Katie had postpartum OCD and left Maisie when she was a baby because of the intrusive thoughts that told her she would harm her child. Fast forward 9 years, she runs into Maisie in a metal artist docent program. This is their story. I learned so much about OCD from this book. I had never realized that it is ...more
Rebecca Rosenberg
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mental illness is the most insidious and hidden problem families face. Barbara Claypoole White brings it out in the open with this gut-wrenching, yet tender story. Jodi Picoult says it best.

“This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things
Christine
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I seem to have a very unpopular opinion of, The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White based on others reviews. It just wasn’t something that I loved; just average for me. I would rate this book as 3 stars, the story line lacked believability and the parenting was bothersome for me but based on the informative descriptions of OCD, Postpartum OCD, and harm OCD (rumination/intrusive thoughts) which are sub-types of OCD I felt that was very authentic and made me like the book more. The author ...more
Jamie beauty_andthebook_
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Whenever I read a blurb of a book that focuses on mental illness, I always approach the book with hesitation, given the anxiety I have in my own life. Anxiety is something I struggle with every day, is this really something I want to explore in fiction when I spend so much time trying NOT to focus on it in my life? My other fear is that an author will display a character who suffers from something like this as "cured" by the end of the story. I'm happy to report, Barbara Claypole White handles ...more
Christie Sitterly
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White is an amazing story that brings attention to the issue of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Maisie is a child character whose quirky personality the reader will immediately fall in love with. She is precocious and witty. Katie is the mother who left her shortly after she was born because her OCD convinced her she would harm her newborn. Maisie’s father, Callum, and his best friend, Maisie’s “Uncle J” have a myriad of issues themselves. Together, they ...more
Eldonna Edwards
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For me a great book needs to accomplish three important things: 1. I need to care about the characters 2. I need to identify with the characters 3. I need to feel that the story made good on its promise to show how those characters grow or are changed by their experiences. From the very first chapter I was drawn into the heart and mind of Katie, a mother who suffers from the type of OCD that invades her thoughts with images of harming the child she loves. I immediately cared about Katie and her ...more
Nancy
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
When I was a little girl I sometimes allowed my imagination to take me to dark places. Movies would run through my head after a thought like, "What would happen if Mom and Dad died?" I learned to push aside these 'what ifs' as I grew older.

But....what if...someone never was able to control these thoughts. What if they took over one's life, incessant and intrusive, so that with every moment one was confronted with the possibility of doom.

Barbara Claypole White's new book The Promise Between Us
...more
Elizabeth
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
How many of us know about the effects of OCD? I certainly did not. Therefore, this book was an education for me in addition to being an addicting read. I love books where I learn new things!

First of all, I found each and every character incredibly well defined and could picture them as I read the book. There are not many authors who can put that together. Second, the plot held my attention and kept me thinking about it even when I was not reading. This is another feat I don’t find often.
...more
Pam Jenoff
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a powerful book about a mother who left her family nine years earlier because she was afraid she would hurt her newborn. Though she has promised to stay away, a fateful encounter with the daughter she left forces her to confront the past and help her daughter with dark thoughts of her own. Bravo to Claypole White, who unflinchingly takes on the difficult subject of mental illness, its effects when untreated and the ways that it can tear apart or bring together families.
Padgett Gerler
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No stranger to the effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Barbara Claypole White once again writes eloquently of the trauma endured by those dealing with OCD, as well as the families of OCD sufferers.

In THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, Katie suffers from post-partum obsessive-compulsive disorder. Fearing she will harm her newborn, Maisie, Katie leaves her husband and child. When, years later, Katie reunites with Maisie and suspects her daughter, too, suffers from OCD, Katie pledges to help her child
...more
Cheryl
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
I am a member of several book groups on Facebook and after seeing many positive reviews and comments on this book, I knew I had to read it.

Ten years ago, Katelyn MacDonald ran away from her life. After having a beautiful baby girl, Maisie, Katelyn suffered from Postpartum Depression and a severe case of "harm" OCD, which consumed her, she felt the only way to protect her daughter was to leave.

Ten years later, Katelyn has gotten her life in a somewhat better place. Known now as Katie Mack, she is
...more
Kayleigh
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Barbara Claypole White takes us into a world of mental illness that we typically don't understand unless we're affected, and educates us. She writes Katie Mack as a mom who made a decision she was believed was right for her child, while in the throes of a battle with OCD that she didn't know she was fighting. Ten years later, she realizes it may not have been the right choice after all. Barbara creates characters that you empathize with and cheer for. I lost far too many hours sleep ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
DNF at 29%

I loved the premise of THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. It should have been right up my ally, as a child psychologist, yet I cannot read any further for fear of throwing my kindle against a wall.

Barbara Claypold White writes with a heavy hand, steering readers how to feel. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Katie and her OCD, understandably. Everyone else “done her wrong” Mental illness isn’t an excuse for letting bad behavior, particularly toward a child stand or even seem heroic. When Katie
...more
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2018.3: The Promise Between Us 6 44 Jan 30, 2018 12:34PM  

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Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White writes hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she lives in the forests of North Carolina with her beloved of thirty years, the Prof. She is passionate about her family, her garden, and chipping away at the stereotypes and stigma of OCD--a chronic illness her husband and son both battle. They are her real life ...more