Customer Reviews for

Promise Not to Tell: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 247 )
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5 Star

(83)

4 Star

(100)

3 Star

(36)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

A Moving Story, but ends a little weak

This was a good, fast-paced novel, where the ghost story aspect played second fiddle to the greater story about shame and regret, and what happens to a person's heart and soul when they have to live with a decision they can never, ever take back. Kate, 41, returns to he...
This was a good, fast-paced novel, where the ghost story aspect played second fiddle to the greater story about shame and regret, and what happens to a person's heart and soul when they have to live with a decision they can never, ever take back. Kate, 41, returns to her childhood home in Vermont to try to make some decisions about what to do for long term health care of her mother who is afflicted with Alzheimers. The first night she is home, a young teenage girl is gruesomely murdered, and the details of that murder strongly resemble those of another girl, Delores 'Del' Griswold, who had been murdered some thirty years earlier. Ridiculed in life as 'the potato girl' for her dirt poor existence and outsider ways, her death has made her legendary, with every bad thing that ever happens in town being blamed on the ghost of the potato girl. Kate's own involvement with Del when they were children, and--in a desperate attempt to fit in with the popular crowd--her fateful decision to not stand up for her friend at a critical moment has haunted Kate for years. The novel is written in chapters that alternate between present day and thirty year old events, and as Kate begins to unravel the mystery of who killed Del all those years ago, she is granted the impossible gift to finally make amends. While I recommend the book, I did feel it was weak at the end. Without giving away the 'who-dun-it' of the story, the climax where Kate confronts the murderer while he/she is in the act of trying to commit a third murder just doesn't work. We are asked to picture four and then five people all standing in the same room discussing in a fairly calm and rational matter what happened to these girls while the murderer is also trying to kill a third victim. Uh-uh. Doesn't work. And we never get much of a look into the psyche of the murderer in the first place. Fortunately, the larger story of regret and redemption carry the story and make it a worthwhile read. I'll be watching for further works by this author.

posted by Anonymous on February 8, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Fast, interesting read -- weak end

As one or more previous reviewers have mentioned, this book read pretty well, but seemed to have an identity crisis, and ended very weakly. I couldn't tell from chapter to chapter what the author meant the book to be. I have to say I was surprised and disappointed when ...
As one or more previous reviewers have mentioned, this book read pretty well, but seemed to have an identity crisis, and ended very weakly. I couldn't tell from chapter to chapter what the author meant the book to be. I have to say I was surprised and disappointed when the ending got wrapped up in the most nonsensical manner, as if the publishers had said, "Get a move on, willya?" and she was forced to write the ending as quickly as possible. Her prose is enjoyable, but her characters were not very likable and I couldn't find myself caring about any of them (except for one distasteful scene about how cruel children can be).

I would read another book by this author to see if she grows and matures, but probably only if someone bought it and let me borrow it.

posted by Tweenthepages on April 6, 2009

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Fast, interesting read -- weak end

    As one or more previous reviewers have mentioned, this book read pretty well, but seemed to have an identity crisis, and ended very weakly. I couldn't tell from chapter to chapter what the author meant the book to be. I have to say I was surprised and disappointed when the ending got wrapped up in the most nonsensical manner, as if the publishers had said, "Get a move on, willya?" and she was forced to write the ending as quickly as possible. Her prose is enjoyable, but her characters were not very likable and I couldn't find myself caring about any of them (except for one distasteful scene about how cruel children can be).

    I would read another book by this author to see if she grows and matures, but probably only if someone bought it and let me borrow it.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

    Nxk

    FE FI FO FUM!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    This was a good read.

    This book had me from the first page til the end. I never thought it would end like it did. Hope others like this read like I did.

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  • Posted March 3, 2012

    Easy read with decent story. Character development drops off ea

    Easy read with decent story. Character development drops off early which is disappointing. The story felt rushed at the end. The author seemed to run out of energy to explore the characters or explain the motives or ties between the events. This could have been a really good book but went blah halfway.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Ehhh...

    I had previously purchased island of lost girls and loved it from the beginning. This book took a while to get interesting. It didnt really spark my interest until about 100 pages in. I was a little disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    Mystery Lovers check this book out

    A real mystery, nice quick read

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    Fun and chillling

    I honestly loved it. Not my normal read but I could not stop. It gave me chills. Easy and entertaining to the end. Worth the buck.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Okay, but not great

    The writing was better than I thought it would be, but nothing great about this book. The story had some interesting directions, but then ended a little silly for me. I think it was like the cheap teenage scary movies they put out. Not one I'll pass on to friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    An interesting book.

    If someone asked me for a good book to read, this one probably wouldn't be one I'd recommend, but if you are bored, this is an easy fun read. Its got simple characters, which is appealing, but the end never really addresses some of the things that happened during the story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2007

    It was good until the last few chapters

    Agreeing with another reviewer, I think perhaps I didn't like the ending because I am not a big ghost person. The book really had me (I couldn't put it down) until the last few chapters when it started getting kind of silly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2007

    A reviewer

    Though a meaty story, the author seems to lose her way. The Prolouge is written in the first person promising a neat conclusion, but the novel ends in the third person with no reference to the intial discourse. ? Also, seemingly random details and events are never explained, which would be fine except- they just don't seem plausible in retrospect. Those daunting words across the cover 'I killed someone tonight' seem to me a futile effort to throw off the reader. Like an over exuberant child telling an extrodinary story, this one loses all credibility at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2007

    ehh..

    After reading the positive reviews for this book, I thought it would be an excellent and quick summer read. I found myself getting bored with the story and had difficulty relating to or empathizing with the characters. I didn't find the book to be that scary, but maybe because I'm just not big on ghosts. Interesting premise, but just sort of dull.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2007

    Feels like Nancy Drew - Predictable!

    I was disappointed with this book. It seems like it was written for teenagers 'or younger'. I felt like I was back in 3rd grade reading Nancy Drew! Don't waste your time with this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

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    Posted February 29, 2012

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    Posted January 5, 2012

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    Posted July 17, 2012

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    Posted June 21, 2011

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    Posted November 9, 2014

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    Posted May 24, 2011

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