Sometimes the most selfless thing you can do for the people you love most… is to leave.
Katie Mack had a family once—her husband Cal and a beautiful baby daughter named Maisie whom she loved more than anything in this world. Katie was terrified she would somehow harm Maisie, and her mind plagued her with horrifying images of the many ways it could happen. When she finally admitted these frightening thoughts to her husband, he turned away from her. Distraught, Katie did the only thing she could to keep her beloved daughter safe… she left, and later gave up her parental rights to Maisie.
Over time, Katie learned how to cope with the obsessive-compulsive disorder that destroyed her family. Many years later, a chance meeting allowed Katie to spend time with Maisie. Her joy turned to heartache when she recognized Maisie displaying signs of obsessive-compulsive behaviors. She knows she’s the best person to help Maisie… if her ex-husband will allow her to do so.
I was completely blown away by The Promise Between Us. Not only is it an emotional story with characters you can’t help but become deeply invested in, it also imparts knowledge about an illness that is far more complex than I ever realized it could be, with several different types of the disorder, most of which I knew nothing about. One of Katie’s methods for dealing with her intrusive thoughts is to remind herself that thoughts are only thoughts, and can’t hurt her. She faced her fears head-on when possible—for example, she had a fear of fire when Maisie was a baby, so she learned how to weld, and she has a calming mantra she repeated to herself throughout the book: “I control fire. I am strong.” Katie is definitely a character with tremendous strength of will, and I found her to be quite admirable.
Simply put, this is a beautiful story. Told through several points of view—Katie, Maisie, Cal (Maisie’s father), Lilah (Maisie’s stepmother), and Jake (Cal’s best friend and Maisie’s honorary Uncle)—you get a complete picture of the most important people in Maisie’s life and what motivates their actions. Cal, Jake, and Lilah’s portions add layers of depth to an already complex story and making it even more poignant.
This is the first time I’ve read Barbara Claypole White, but it certainly won’t be the last.
Highly recommend this book… this is one you definitely will want to read!
About the Book
“This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things
Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.
But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?
To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.
About the Author
Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, and Echoes of Family. The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity. To connect with Barbara, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com, or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook.
Tuesday, January 16th: Doing Dewey
Thursday, January 18th: Books and Bindings
Friday, January 19th: Readaholic Zone
Monday, January 22nd: Kritters Ramblings
Thursday, January 25th: Leah DeCesare
Friday, January 26th: What Is That Book About
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Wednesday, February 7th: A Chick Who Reads
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TBD: Wining Wife