The Promise is an unforgettable novel of love and loss, by the Sunday Times bestseller Lucy Diamond.
‘Life isn’t a spreadsheet, Dan! You can’t fit people into boxes and charts.’
But Dan had never before come across a spreadsheet that had let him down. At the top of the page he’d listed all the best things about his brother that he wanted to emulate, then, in neat, typed columns below, he had thought up a number of ways in which he could try to fill in the gaps Patrick had left.
When faced with a sudden family tragedy, Dan’s mission is clear. He puts together a project to help pick up the pieces and support his grieving sister-in-law Zoe, plus her young children. This is Dan’s promise – to ensure his family’s happiness, and to try and live up to the man his brother was.
But tying up loose ends brings a shocking secret to light, and calls into question everything Dan knew about his older brother. With more than just his promise on the line, Dan is faced with an ultimatum: Should he tell the truth and risk his family’s fragile happiness, or will his brother’s secrets end up becoming his own?
I’m a big fan of Lucy Diamond and this latest publication had me completely hooked from the first page.
Dan’s brother Patrick dies suddenly leaving behind wife Zoe with three young children, all heartbroken, lost and vulnerable. Dan decides to make a promise to himself and do whatever he can to help the family. He takes over Patrick’s business commitments, spends time with the children and tries to ease the burden of grief that his sister in law is left with.
The circumstances around the sudden death are not revealed straight away and you also get a distinct feeling that Dan is feeling guilty and is trying to make amends by reaching out. The secrecy element also becomes more prominent when he finds that his brother is not the perfect family man, that everyone seems to think he is.
I loved the dynamic between Dan and his nephews and niece. It felt clear to me that he had been somewhat overlooked by family and friends as the least popular brother and that Patrick had been put on a pedestal by those close to him. Should Dan reveal the truth and his brother’s secrets or let the true facts die with him?
The book is about loss and how it can affect people in different ways. Far from being morbid or desperately sad there are warm, loving and kind moments especially from the younger cast members. Dan doesn’t get everything right but you really feel that his heart is in the right place and that he is far too hard on himself. I enjoyed the slow reveal , the charming and relatable characters and the uncomplicated, well written plot.
Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.
Lucy Diamond Book Review