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Feature book: Promises

8 August 2012

Promises by Cathryn Hein

Life can be easy if you are determined to make the best of a situation; but if there are family secrets, it can make life a little tougher to get where you want.

Sophie Dixon wants to run her family farm by herself. She loves the property and she loves her horses and is involved in eventing. She has responsibility for the family property as her father is a politician and he is in Canberra most of the time. He doesn’t seem to have much time for Sophie but does have his reasons, which Sophie eventually discovers. Her mother died when she was twelve and decisions made then by her father have a great impact on her future, although she doesn’t realise it at the time.

Aaron Laidlaw is Sophie’s neighbour and has some financial difficulties. He is the keeper of some of Sophie’s family secrets. This creates some antagonism between the families. Aaron has his own issues with his parents and has the downward spiral and eventual demise of his father on his conscience. He is reluctant to get involved with Sophie as he believes that he is responsible for her mother’s death, even though he was a teenager. Aaron also has to live with the fact that his father took the blame for doping horses when he, Aaron, was doing so at his mother’s behest. Later he makes another discovery that changes some other things for him.

Into the mix is a very bitter and drunk Tess. Tess is Sophie’s aunt and has to live on the property to look after Sophie. As Tess spitefully tells Sophie it is because they are afraid that Sophie is unbalanced and may try to do what her mother did. Tess has her reasons for being as she is but thankfully, while she may still be antagonistic towards Sophie, Sophie is able to give her what she really wants even though it comes later in life.

Ian, Sophie’s father, at first appears to be a cold man who doesn’t care much for his daughter. But it is the secret he keeps that makes him minimise his involvement with Sophie on a regular basis. It is when she finally makes a demand that he realises that he needs to tell her the truth. Their relationship does change when he is honest, as there are no longer any secrets between father and daughter.

If you love horses, you will adore this story as the horses have a personality of their own and this comes through on the pages of the book. If you don’t particularly like horses, you will still have an enjoyable read. There is enough tension and secrets between Sophie and Aaron for the reader to cheer them on as they know that this pair are suited.

reviewed by Heather

A review copy of this book was provided by the author. All ARRA members who leave a comment will go in the draw to win the book. The giveaway closes 29 August 2012. (The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Lyn.)

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10 Comments
  1. 8 August 2012 12:15 pm

    This book is definitely on my list of must reads! All the best Cathryn

  2. lynette williams permalink
    8 August 2012 1:25 pm

    this book looks to have a lot of issues it will be interesting to see how it all evolves

    • 9 August 2012 8:23 am

      Yes, there are definitely a lot of secrets affecting Sophie’s life, Lynette.

  3. Barbara permalink
    8 August 2012 7:55 pm

    This sounds another good book and I love Aussie books by Aussie authors… thanks for the review Heather

    • 9 August 2012 8:24 am

      I love Aussie books too, Barbara. Wonderful to be able to read about our own country.

  4. aimskye permalink
    21 August 2012 10:50 am

    Great review Heather. Sounds like a great read Cathryn, you must be thrilled.

    Aimee

  5. 21 August 2012 3:12 pm

    I am, Aimee. I am! Both Promises and Heart of the Valley have had some really heart-warming reader feedback.

  6. Na S. permalink
    21 August 2012 4:07 pm

    I like that I’ll get to meet so many different characters in this story. It addresses some touching issues as well.

  7. 24 August 2012 8:33 am

    Some of the issues Promises looks at are very difficult, Na S, and took some careful writing. But it’s a story of hope too, with romance and fun horsey bits!

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