Book Review

The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

Barbara Claypole White tells her readers that she usually has a theme of mental illness in her stories. Her writing speaks in an authentic voice. The characters present as people you know or someone you can relate to. They are real families having some kind of trauma that will tear them apart and possibly put them back together again.

Two of the main characters in The Promise Between us are Katie and Callum and they were both in serious trouble with their mental health when they married. Introducing a child into this marriage only made matters worse. They are not dealing with their problems and they will not go away on their own.  Katie’s OCD forced her to make a decision that I and most mothers can not fathom – leaving your own child. But to Katie’s credit, she choose that route to save Maisie from her own mother. Katie’s form of mental illness constantly made her brain suggest she was hurting Maisie and the line between reality and illness became more blurred. 

Callum could not deal with the fact that Katie needed any mental health care. He blamed her for  deserting himself and Maisie when they needed her. He forced her to make choices that Katie made in a state impossible for Katie to be rational. Callum leaned on his best friend, Jake, to help him. Jake and Callum raised Maisie together.

Fast forward nine years into the future where Maisie and Katie meet again. The artist Katie is helping with a school program at a local museum that Maisie is also part of. Katie recognizes the signs of OCD in her own daughter. The story continues to unfold with the character’s revealing parts of the past that effects where they are in the present. Callum has remarried and his new wife, Lilah, has a child on the way. 

All of these characters come together and the secrets they are holding onto are revealed. There is a lot going on in this book but Barbara Claypole White weaves their stories around and under each other as we work toward the ending. There is so much amazing information about OCD and Metal sculpture that the details are vivid and bring the characters to life. This is a good one that will wring your heart out and teach you not to assume you know what someone else is going through. We all walk our own path. A solid 4 stars and worth every minute you read it. An honest look at mental health, but this is more than a book about mental health, it tells the true stories of many people dealing with their lives and problems. You will want to invest some time in this book. 

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