Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

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 peels back the reality of people who live with the crippling 'what ifs'. Her character Katie has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A knife sends her into panic: what if she harmed someone with it? What if she killed with it? Before she was diagnosed and treated she abandoned her beloved husband and their child to save them from the acts she envisioned she might commit that would bring them harm.

Years later Katie unexpectedly finds her daughter Maisie in her life and recognizes the early symptoms of OCD. Somehow she must intervene and help her daughter before her life becomes the horror she knows so well. The complication is that Maisie believed that her mother had died.

Readers have loved this book, especially impressed by how White brings Katie's disease to life. We hear the internal dialoge of OCD and are shown how Katie self-talks to control it.

Along the journey we learn the tragic back stories of Katie as well as that of her husband and his best friend. Broken hearts and romance will be found in these pages.

The secondary story of the husband's PTSD, for me, was a bit too much for a book already brimming with broken people. The repetition of Katie's internal voices and the talk about how her daughter can control her thoughts took up a lot of space and slowed the story.

But who can blame White? In her Backstory page found here, we learn she is intimately knowledgeable about her subject matter. Her husband and their son has OCD. I commend the author for bringing understanding and insight. We are all better for it.

Readers will be propelled by the well-drawn characters and will adore Maisie. Book clubs can find lots to discuss with the help of the Reading Group Guide found here.

I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

The Promise Between Us
Barbara Claypole White
Lake Union Press
$14.95
ISBN:9781542048989