Cover image for The Promise
Title:
The Promise
Author:
Weisgarber, Ann
Subject:
Fiction
Literature
Historical Fiction
Description:
From the author of The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers and longlisted for the Orange Prize.1900. Young pianist Catherine Wainwright flees the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio in the wake of a terrible scandal. Heartbroken and facing destitution, she finds herself striking up correspondence with a childhood admirer, the recently widowed Oscar Williams. In desperation she agrees to marry him, but when Catherine travels to Oscar's farm on Galveston Island, Texas—a thousand miles from home—she finds she is little prepared for the life that awaits her. The island is remote, the weather sweltering, and Oscar's little boy Andre is grieving hard for his lost mother. And though Oscar tries to please his new wife, the secrets of the past sit uncomfortably between them. Meanwhile for Nan Ogden, Oscar's housekeeper, Catherine's sudden arrival has come as a great shock. For not only did she promise Oscar's first wife that she would be the one to take care of little Andre, but she has feelings for Oscar which she is struggling to suppress. And when the worst storm in a generation descends, the women will find themselves tested as never before.
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Date:
2014/04/01
Digital Format:
HTML

Kindle

Adobe EPUB
Language:
English

Summary

Summary

From the author of The Personal History of Rachel Dupree , shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers and longlisted for the Orange Prize.

1900. Young pianist Catherine Wainwright flees the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio in the wake of a terrible scandal. Heartbroken and facing destitution, she finds herself striking up correspondence with a childhood admirer, the recently widowed Oscar Williams. In desperation she agrees to marry him, but when Catherine travels to Oscar's farm on Galveston Island, Texas--a thousand miles from home--she finds she is little prepared for the life that awaits her. The island is remote, the weather sweltering, and Oscar's little boy Andre is grieving hard for his lost mother. And though Oscar tries to please his new wife, the secrets of the past sit uncomfortably between them. Meanwhile for Nan Ogden, Oscar's housekeeper, Catherine's sudden arrival has come as a great shock. For not only did she promise Oscar's first wife that she would be the one to take care of little Andre, but she has feelings for Oscar which she is struggling to suppress. And when the worst storm in a generation descends, the women will find themselves tested as never before.

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Author Notes

Ann Weisgarber was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. She has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Des Moines, Iowa, but now splits her time between Sugar Land, Texas, and Galveston, Texas. Her first novel The Personal History of Rachel Dupree was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In 1900, pianist Catherine Wainwright abandons her fashionable life in Philadelphia after her shocking affair with a married man is discovered. Heartbroken, destitute, and the subject of gossip, Catherine decides marriage is her only way out. She strikes up a correspondence with Oscar Williams, a childhood friend who once harbored deep feelings for her and is now living in Galveston, Texas, mourning the recent death of his wife and caring for his young son, Andre. Oscar proposes marriage, and Catherine soon finds herself living on Oscar's dairy farm and trying to acclimate to the quiet country life. Two people narrate the story Catherine, a sophisticated, professional city girl, and, later, Nan, Oscar's housekeeper. As relationships begin to unfold, the most powerful hurricane in Texas history descends upon the island. Based on the true story of one of the deadliest storms in American history, The Promise is the work of a skilled storyteller. Weisgarber (The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, 2010) has written a beautiful, deeply engaging story about love, loss, and the power of secrets to change our lives.--Gladstein, Carol Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

This second engaging novel from Weisgarber (The Personal History of Rachel DuPree) might have been written a century ago. Set in 1900, the story follows a young bride named Catherine Wainwright, who faces an array of challenges after impulsively leaving her Dayton, Ohio home and heading west to wed. The story has shades of Willa Cather, Sinclair Lewis, and Conrad Richter, and the prose has a streak of formality that gives the book a period flavor, but Catherine's first-person narration (and later that of Nan Ogden, the housekeeper at Catherine's new home) is also appealingly immediate. Catherine received acclaim and gained a bit of regional celebrity as a pianist in Dayton. But a casual friendship with a married man causes provincial tongues to wag, and the gossip leads to canceled concerts and lost teaching opportunities. When Oscar Williams, a childhood friend and prosperous rancher in Texas who has recently become a widower, sends Catherine a marriage proposal, she immediately accepts. It's a wonderful setup for solid storytelling: the city girl learns to do all the hard work of a farm wife and, in the process, gets to know her instant husband and his son, Andre. At first, Catherine and Oscar are less than completely honest with each other, and as truths are revealed, the plot thickens. Warm and winning. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

At the turn of the 20th century, ostracized by society following a scandalous romantic affair, pianist Catherine Wainright knows she must leave Dayton. There will be no more money coming in from her parents or musical engagements. In desperation, she accepts a proposal of marriage from a childhood friend, Oscar Williams, now a farmer on the island of Galveston, TX. Oscar had lost his wife to malaria, and his young son had become attached to their housekeeper, Nan. When Catherine arrives, Nan decides this new wife is far too highfalutin and hopes Oscar and Catherine's hasty marriage won't take. Yet when Catherine plays the piano, everyone in the household is enchanted. Though she is filled with doubts, Catherine begins to fall for Oscar. Then when a hurricane hits Galveston, matters of survival become paramount. VERDICT Excellent use of historical detail and strong character development mark this second novel by Weisgarber, whose 2010 debut, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, was long-listed for the Orange Prize, and it should attract wide readership.-Keddy Ann Outlaw, Houston (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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