I received this book from Tyndale Publishers for no charge for my honest review of this book.
Michael Dunnagan was never supposed to sail on the Titanic, nor would he have survived if not for the courage of Owen Allen. Determined to carry out his promise to care for Owen’s relatives in America and his younger sister, Annie, in England, Michael works hard to strengthen the family’s New Jersey garden and landscaping business.
Annie Allen doesn’t care what Michael promised Owen. She only knows that her brother is gone—like their mother and father—and the grief is enough to swallow her whole. As Annie struggles to navigate life without Owen, Michael reaches out to her through letters. In time, as Annie begins to lay aside her anger that Michael lived when Owen did not, a tentative friendship takes root and blossoms into something neither expected. Just as Michael saves enough money to bring Annie to America, WWI erupts in Europe. When Annie’s letters mysteriously stop, Michael risks everything to fulfill his promise—and find the woman he’s grown to love—before she’s lost forever.
Promise Me This is the first book by Cathy Gohlke I have had the pleasure of reading. Promise Me This is a beautiful story that starts in Southampton week before Titanic is set to sale. Owen Allen, a gardener, gets a job aboard Titanic so he can get passage to America to help his Aunt and Uncle with their Nursery. Also to get away from the cruel Aunt he and sister have had to endure for years. So Owen secures schooling and boarding in Southampton for his sister, Annie, to get her our of the grips of their Aunt with the promise that as soon as he has the money he will make sure she gets passage. Before Owen leaves he meets Michael,a 13 yr old runaway trying to get away from his cruel Uncle and a painful past. Owen helps Michael secure a job in Southampton and does what he can in the little time left in Southampton for Michael. Michael ends up stowing away on Titanic and Owen, again finds him and helps him. Owen starts teaching Michael about God and the gift of his Son and having faith. Owen also vows to Michael that they are brothers and that Owen, Michael and Annie will be a family. Titanic starts to sink, Owen gets Michael on one of the last life boats but makes Michael promise that if Owen doesn't make it that Michael will continue with their plans of going to America to Owen's family and to take care of Annie. Michael makes it to America but finds out that Owen didn't survive. Michael continues on with their plans to work with Owen's family and to get passage for Annie as soon as possible.
This story just grabbed me and hung on to me. I found I couldn't put the book down. The historical facts of this book were very well researched and very well known by Cathy Gohlke. The characters were real and had depth. The author truly depicted good and evil in this story. The different characters and the different places they go you could "see" as you read the details. I found myself lost in this world. I highly recommend this book to others who enjoy historical fiction, especially about Titanic and WWI. I look forward to reading more my Cathy Gohlke.