I love historical fiction! I think it is important I state that to begin this review because I have read a lot of historical fiction novels and this was certainly one of the better stories I have read. The best part, in my opinion, of historical fiction novels is the author, if a good storyteller, has this ability to transport the reader to a moment in history and make it feel as if we are really there.
In 1936 in the town of Tupelo, Mississippi an F5 tornado blew through on an unassuming Palm Sunday and left behind substantial devastation, both in loss of life and in destruction of most of the town itself. This is the setting the narrator creates for us in Promise where we meet Dovey, a black great-grandmother and Jo, a white teenage girl. We see both of these characters find inner strength and resilience in the face of a devastating event. The novel takes place over a 6 day span and in those 6 days, not just in these two characters but in many of the characters of this book, we see how people fight to survive, but also are taken through the lives of Dovey and Jo, through flashbacks in time, and all they have experienced.
In my opinion this quote from the novel does an amazing job of summarizing this story: “…and it would be as if God had planned the storm all along to bring them together”. Promise was a captivating story that had me from the first page.