Summary (from Oasis Audio’s site):
Mallory’s search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal — and danger.
Mallory Hammond is determined that no one will stand in the way of her goal — to save a life. She had that chance years ago, and she failed to take it, leaving her adrift and in search of the real meaning of her life. Finally, she meets a man online from a volatile corner of the world who offers her the chance to find that purpose. But she will have to leave everyone she loves behind in order to take it.
Tate Webber has loved Mallory for many years. He understands that Mallory will never be happy with him until her deepest heart’s desire is satisfied. When Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfill her dreams, Tate begs her not to go but tries to give her the space she needs. Mallory embarks on her dangerous journey only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. And Mallory can only pray that she will make it out alive.
Inspired by actual events, The Promise is a riveting love story that asks the question: how far will we go for love?
My Thoughts on the Story:
Beth Wiseman’s latest book, The Promise, offers a fascinating glimpse into a lifestyle and a culture a world away from what the main character is accustomed to experiencing at home in America. It’s also a cautionary tale of what can happen when someone is so fixated on a goal, that they’re willing to see and hear only what they want to be true, rather than critically evaluating a situation and considering the advice of those around them who care about them.
This book takes a bold step outside the proverbial box. It deals openly with potentially controversial subjects and raises some challenging theological questions. It doesn’t preach, and it doesn’t provide pat answers. Instead it presents a cast of characters with a variety of different worldviews and opinions and allows them to slog their way through the messes they find themselves in the best they can.
The Promise kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The characters felt real and I found myself becoming emotionally invested in their story, which made for some tense moments. It started with a gut feeling that someone or something wasn’t what they seemed and that things could go south quickly. And right up to the end, I wasn’t at all sure whether Mallory would survive her (mis)adventure unscathed or not.
Fortunately, by the end of the book, both the romantic and suspense elements wrapped up in a believable and satisfying fashion. My only regret was that I would have liked to see a bit more spiritual growth on Mallory’s part within the scope of the book, maybe taking another look at the doubts she expressed early on about the faith she was raised in. But perhaps that’s meant to be a journey for another day… or another book… when her life and immediate wellbeing aren’t hanging in the balance.
Overall, I enjoyed the story and would recommend it for readers interested in a thought provoking read a little outside the norm for its genre. I’m convinced this is the kind of book that would make for some very interesting and lively discussion in a book group. Just be aware that it does fall on the edgier side of things as far as Christian fiction goes.
My Thoughts on the Narration:
Rebecca Gallagher’s narration of The Promise was lovely. I was impressed by the accents she used when reading dialogue by characters of Pakistani background, as well as by the way she differentiated the characters’ voices. Both male and female voices were handled well, and overall, the reading was both clear and pleasant. I felt that the narrator’s reading subtly reflected the emotions of the characters in each scene, thereby heightening the listener’s connection with the characters. I would not hesitate to recommend the audio experience.
Thank you to Oasis Audio for providing a review copy of this audiobook.