Friday, May 28, 2010

Memory Playing Tricks

Reviewed by Phee Paradise

Yesterday’s Promise
By Delia Latham

Memory is a tricky thing, and Latham uses its mysteries to create an intriguing story. Hannah Johns falls in love with, and marries, a handsome stranger who abandons her after fathering her child. Three years later he buys the lounge where she works, but acts as if he’s never met her. What should Hannah do?

The book is the story of how Hannah resolves that question. In spite of the insecurity Brock has created in her, she tries to interact with him in a godly manner. She doesn’t tell him who she is, but patiently tries to find out what has happened to him. She also
takes time to face the past and the emotions she has suppressed.

The way Latham tells the story reminds me of the gothic novels I loved as a teen, by authors such as Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt. The difference is that Yesterday’s Promise is a much simpler story. It doesn’t have a second love interest to distract Hannah or a secondary plot to complicate the story. Nor does it have any deep themes. It’s a simple love story with an intriguing premise.

I enjoyed reading it and liked the characters. The descriptions of Yosemite National Park grounded the story in a real setting. But I had a problem with time. I couldn’t quite place when the story was set. Hannah drove a Mustang and cell phone, but her childhood was so sheltered, I wanted to place her in the early part of the 20th century. The flashbacks confused me and I had to keep checking when things had happened. It also felt to me like the whole story was rushed. Less than four years pass from their first meeting to the end of the book and Brock and Hannah fall in love in a week. Later we’re told that neither of them are impulsive. That didn’t ring true.

The book isn’t very long and definitely worth devoting an afternoon to read it.

Pros: Interesting plot with a satisfying ending. Good love story.

Cons: It’s only available as an e-book.

About the book:

Hannah Johns supports the child born of that ill-fated union by singing in a dinner lounge. Her dream of someday owning the elite establishment and turning it into a venue more suited to her Christian values is shattered when an unexpected transaction places it in the hands of Brock Ellis, the handsome biker who abandoned her in their honeymoon suite.

Ensuing sparks fly high, revealing buried secrets and forgotten pasts. Seeking to find peac
e with her painful past, Hannah returns to Yosemite, and Brock follows hard on her heels. Back where it all began, she finds herself in danger of losing her heart yet again to the man who shattered it the first time around.

About the author:

Writing has been Delia's passion since third grade, when she won an essay writing contest and took home the coveted prize: a beautiful bed doll with a pink quilted satin skirt. Winning that contest made a profound impact on her young psyche - enough so that she never stopped writing. Delia writes songs, poems and greeting card verse as well as short stories, articles and novels.

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LuAnn said...

Phee makes the point that she's not sure when the story takes place. Can you clarify that for us?

reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

Delia Latham said...

Thanks so much for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed Yesterday's Promise. It is a simple love story, and an easy read.

For the record, I grew up in a fundamentalist church family, and was extremely sheltered. In that respect, I borrowed from my own background for Hannah's character. There are still elements of the Christian community who raise their children in exactly this same sheltered manner - even now. I guess whether or not that rings true depends on how/where/by whom each person was raised.

I appreciate you reading the book, and sharing your take on it.


Delia Latham said...

I wrote the story in 2005, and my intention was for my story to work for that particular time. That said, I don't like to designate a certain year to my storylines. I want them to be read and enjoyed 5-10-15 years from now, with the feeling that it could be taking place "right now."

Thanks for making yet another appearance on my blog stops, LuAnn! :)

covnitkepr1 said...

I’ve enjoyed looking over your blog. I came across it through another blog I follow, and I’m glad I did. I am now a follower of yours as well. Feel free to look over my blog and perhaps become one as well.

Phee Paradise said...

Thanks for clarifying the time issue in the book. I appreciate your presence on the blog. And I really did enjoy the book.

covnitkepr1 - welcome to Pix-N-Pens. I hope you enjoy all the features. Tracy Ruckman is the genius behind the blog and I think she's provided a rich amount of support to writers, photographers and Christians of all sorts.


Delia Latham said...

Thanks, Phee!

By the way, this is one of the prettiest blogs I've seen. I love the colors!