The ominous skies are just a warning of the story to come. PROMISE by Minrose Gwin will get under your skin and stick in your craw. You will never forget the story or the unforgettable characters within.
Based on a historical event that happened in the thriving cotton mill town of Tupelo, Mississippi, on Palm Sunday, April, 1939. Just before nine o’clock that evening a tremendous funnel cloud took over the entire sky, turned into a fire-ball, and then took out the city. Well, most of it. The tragedy was that one-third of the population were black. And none of the dead in the black part of the community were ever counted. This is a fact. Sad, but true. Devastating, actually.
I love a great story written around a real historical event. I knew nothing of this. But have made it my business to find out as much as I can now that I am aware. Gwin
gives life to two women, one black, one white. The story is told through their very real voices. Dovey is a great-grandmother helping to raise her grand daughter’s little boy, Promise. Jo is a teenager trying to keep her baby brother alive.
I don’t remember ever reading a book that grabbed me so quickly. Gwin sets up the coming of the storm in such vivid prose that you almost feel your own feet lift off the ground. Scenes of babies flying through the air and landing in trees and bushes are so lifelike that you might even find yourself running to your own window to look out, just in case… After the storm devastation prevails and Gwin has you right in the thick of it. We find Dovey barely surviving and trying to navigate the treachery of the ruined streets in the total darkness. It’s a harrowing stretch of the novel. Told in such realistic thoughts. I will remember it always.
You know you’re in the deep South when you encounter the degree of racism that exists during this time period. But this wonderful novel doesn’t just deal with race. There are issues of family, loss, death, betrayal. These are issues of both white and black.
Some readers may feel this book is similar to THE HELP. This novel beats the pants off THE HELP. It’s much more sophisticated and realistic. It’s not tame. It’s like nothing else you’ve read. And you’ll want to immediately reread PROMISE. It’s just so hard to believe this could have happened, but it did.
I truly believe PROMISE will be on every book club list this season and seasons to come! PROMISE has an on sale date of Feb. 6. We will be selling this amazing novel at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida, next week.
My review copy came from William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. I LOVED it!!!