Customer Reviews for

Promises to Keep

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 13 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    Very Enjoyable

    I read this book for a book discussion. Finished it with a week to spare which is unusual for me. But I enjoyed it so much it was an easy read for me. Then book discussion was canceled!

    Ms. Tatlock is a wonderful story teller. Her writing flows easily and your interest is kept and satisfied. Great story!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 24, 2012


    This was a very good book. Interesting and heart-warming story. I look forward to reading other stories by Ann Tatlock. Refreshing. No raunchy materials found in this!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 4, 2012

    Not good.............GREAT reading

    First time reading Ann Tatlock and was excellent story.
    Could not put the book down until finished.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    5 stars!

    Ann Tatlock's book "Promises to Keep" uses the voice of an eleven year old girl to tell the story of a family's life in the 1960s. Her writing style is reminiscent of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" and is very engaging. Roz Anthony is a young girl with who deeply craves the love and attention of her father. Her best friend, Mara, is a young black girl who struggles with similar problems. The two friends make a "cross your heart and hope to die" promise to keep each other's secrets. These secrets could very easily put Roz in danger and could be life changing for both girls. Janis, the mother of 3 children. moves to the idyllic town of Mills River seeking safety and security for her children. When she begins work to support her family, she is in need of someone to help watch her children. Janis, much like her daughter Roz, is seeking security and is willing to sacrifice love to feel safe. Tillie is found on the Anthony family's front porch claiming that the house is hers. She claims that ownership is a matter of the sweat, years and love a person pours into a house. She and her husband had built and lived in the house long before the Anthonys had moved to town and resents her sons for selling her home. Before long, Tillie has worked her way into the family's lives and could very well be an answer to prayer as she steps in to help Janis with the children. The oldest son, Wally is filled with anger over the treatment he received from his step-father. At the age of 17 he looks forward to being old enough to enlist and join the fight in Vietnam. Wally's father was a war hero, and he desires to follow in his father's footsteps. All of these characters, and more, build an awe-inspiring story of trust, love and courage. I've already read the book twice and highly recommend it. I'd give it 5 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Bethany House Publishing Group for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, part 255.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2011

    Keeping Promises

    Janis Anthony decides to leave her abusive husband, Alan, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, taking their three children, Wally, Rosalind (Roz) and Valerie along. With the help of her father (Grandpa Lehman), they purchase a home in Mills River, Illinois.

    Within a few days of settling in, Tillie Monroe, the former owner of the house, appears on their porch, reading their Sunday paper. She explains that she and her husband built this house, raised their family there, and that she has every intention of dying in 'her' house, as did her husband. Though Tillie's son continues to return her to the old folks' home, she ends up back at 'her' house. Soon she ends up living there, and she turns out to be a blessing in disguise in more ways than one. In fact, you, too, will come to love and appreciate Tillie and her love and wisdom.

    For those who grew up in a family with a mother and father, you will learn from Ann Tatlock's book, Promises to Keep, the hardships of being in a single-parent family. Some of the challenges include a teenager who's angry at life and wants to move on, the audacity of a mother dating someone other than daddy, the shenanigans pulled on that other someone, handling disciplinary problems alone, and the challenges of making ends meet on a mother's salary.

    One can hear about these issues, but it's another to experience them through the eyes of a young girl who is living it all first-hand. This story is told from Roz's point-of-view, and you become privy to her special heartaches, desires and secrets. Ann does a great job of bringing out characters that are so true-to-life, while at the same time tugging on your heartstrings at the broken hearts, fears, anger, and loneliness. It's Roz's close friendship with Mara that helps her through some of the tough times. They both love and miss their daddies, and make a 'daddy wish' pinky prayer promise, with a solemn promise to keep their secrets hidden.

    Unbeknownst to Janis, Alan Anthony has also moved to Mills River, but keeps himself hidden from all but Roz, who aches to have her daddy back, if he keeps his promises to change. You'll witness the unfair manipulations of a desperate dad who takes advantage of a very vulnerable girl who trusts him to make them a family again. Through the prayers of Tillie, we are privileged to see God turn the whole situation around.

    The slower life of Mills River is a quiet respite after life in the city of Minneapolis. Having experienced both, I really enjoyed the lifestyle differences portrayed by Ann.

    I won't easily forget this book, now knowing more deeply the pains of losing a mother or father to divorce, and the deep desire of many of the children who want to see them reunite. The whole book is gently, yet decisively, written to keep your interest.

    This book was provided by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. No monetary value was exchanged.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 29, 2011


    This is a really sweet story. The author brings the characters alive and real. As I read I felt as if I were there, in the heat, and then through the winter months, the freezing wind. I could imagine being a classmate of Miss Anthony. I loved the sense of home that I felt. This book is about a lost (or almost lost) time in history - a time of history I sometimes wish we could go back to again.

    A sweet story, with a happy ending.

    disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Real Story Full of Real Emotion

    The world is confusing to little Roz. Her mom has moved their family away from her violent, alcoholic dad. Her mom is sad, scared and lonely. Her older brother is angry, while their little sister is just a baby. Soon another twist is thrown in as Tillie, an old lady, shows up at their home claiming to own it. Who can Roz trust? Will her father change? Will their family ever be all together again? Who is Tillie?

    I wasn't sure if I could identify with the main character in this story, since it's told through the eyes of an 11 year old. However, I wasn't too far in Promises to Keep before my heart broke for Roz and her family. I felt her hope and her confusion. Now Tillie - what a wonderful character! I need a Tillie in my life! This drama was very emotional and very real. covering both the good and bad of their lives. This is my first book by Ann Tatlock to read, but it will not be my last!

    "Sometimes it's the dream that holds you down and keeps you from flying, if it's the wrong dream. You have to let it go if you're ever going to soar."

    Disclosure: I received book free from Bethany House Book Reviewers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2011

    Touching and Dramatic

    I received a copy of PROMISES TO KEEP by Ann Tatlock, from Bethany House. The cover is unique, an image of the back of a girl's head, her neck bared by two braids. On the back of the book is the picture of a house. That image fits the story perfectly, for it's the tale of a house and a family, the home important enough to be its own character.

    The story is told by Roz, short for Rosalind. She is eleven-years-old and trying to come to terms with her parents' separation. Her father, Alan Anthony, is vicious. He drinks a lot and beats her mother. He even tries to kill her brother once. Sometimes, when the whole family was in the car together, he would drive recklessly and threaten to crash if anyone cried out. Roz's mother has had enough of Alan - she packed up the kids and moved to her father's town. She feels sad and helpless, and struggles to provide for her family.

    This house is not just any house. It used to belong to Tillie Monroe. She and her husband built it, and raised their children in it, and she's not about to be put away into a nursing home. She wants to die in her beloved home, so she convinces Roz's mother to allow her to live with them. While Roz's mother works, Tillie looks after the chores and the children, Roz and her baby sister Valerie. Tillie helps the family build a new life for them. Roz still wants her daddy though, so when Alan meets her secretly, she's excited, and wants to help him back into their lives - even though he steals, lies, still drinks, and eventually tries to shoot them.

    I couldn't put the story down. The characters are not only believable, they are likable. The writing is smooth, and there were only two predictable moments - Roz's mother married Tillie's son and Roz's father turned out to be thoroughly "bad guy." I feel like I could go to the town and meet everyone, even though the story took place during the Vietnam War. The wide range of characters ensure that there will be someone to relate to, whether it is Wally, the young man who decides to take out his anger on Alan by joining the army, or Roz's best friend Mara, who suffers with prejudice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loving Family Story

    Told from eleven year old Roz's perspective, she along with her Mom Janis, brother Wally, and sister Valarie leave MN and move to IL. They no sooner move into their new home in Mills River when Tillie Monroe shows up on their front porch...reading their paper! They must have thought they had a real nut on their hands.
    Love the lessons Tillie is able to teach this family, guess the Lord knew what he was doing when he brought her there!
    The friendship between Roz and Mara will make you chuckle...can just picture the two of them placing the screaming Valarie on Mom's friend! Am so glad they were able to find one another...pinky sware, and Promises to Keep are sometimes dangerous as Roz finds out the hard way.
    This book does have spousal abuse, drug abuse, and the Vietnam War. Roz experiences some flashbacks of her life in Minnesota, but isn't sure about them. Just like most children she wants her Dad back in the family.
    I really enjoyed that this book has an Epilogue, love finding out the finishing parts of lives. Thank you Ann!
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A book well worth reading!

    Janis Anthony and her children Wally, Roz and Valerie leave their home in Minnesota and move to the town of Mills River with the hope of a new start away from an abusive situation. Janis has the promise of a job working in her stepmothers department store, and along with that job Janis' father has secured a house for them on McDowell Street. After living in the house for less than a week, they find an elderly lady sitting on the porch reading the Sunday paper. Turns out that lady is Tillie Monroe, whose only hope is to "die"in the home she and her husband built. Tillie moves in and soon becomes a member of the family. Meanwhile Roz makes her first friend Mara Nightingale, who has a complicated family life, which includes a secret about her father. The girls decide to make a Daddy Deal, where they pray daily that they will each be reunited with their father. Roz thinks her prayers just might be answered when she finds out that her father is in town, he tells her that he has plans to come home, but makes her swear not to tell anyone that he is even in town. Mara is sure that Roz needs to tell her mother, but Roz wants her family together, and holds onto the hope that her father has really changed!
    Ann Tatlock is a new to me author, whose writing style draws you into the story immediately. As the story unfolded I actually felt like I was a part of the family that I was reading about. As the story unfolds thru the eyes of eleven year old Roz, I found myself hoping right along with Roz that her father really had changed.Roz's friend Mara was quite like able as well, and because they had quite a bit in common, I enjoyed seeing her story unfold as well. My favorite character had to be Tillie Monroe! A seventy year old who has an unwavering faith in God, and is just what the Anthony's need. She easily reminds us that it isn't always blood ties that make a family.
    A family drama that readers will enjoy, but anyone looking for a good clean story with unforgettable characters should also check out this story, you won't regret it!

    I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Resonates long after you finish the book

    I always enjoy picking up an Ann Tatlock novel, because they are so easy to get lost in. I become completely immersed in the story and feel like I am right there with the characters. Promises To Keep was no different and I enjoyed every page. This book is a heart-warming story that tugs at your emotions as you travel along with Janis Anthony, a woman running from her abusive husband and trying to protect her children. Moving to the quiet little town of Mills River, Illinois to be near her father, Janis attempts to start over and offer as normal of a life as possible for her children. Hard as she tries to forget the past, Janis can't truly find rest because she's always looking over her shoulder fearful that her husband might find them. Readers are introduced to wonderful characters who round out the plot as issues of alcoholism, domestic abuse, racial tensions, coming of age and the aging are touched upon. This story takes place in the late 1960's and I found myself transported back to a time that was full of both innocence and turbulence. I did not want to put this book down or have the story end and many times while reading, I found myself holding my breath waiting to see what would happen. The story is captivating and definitely grabs the reader's attention. I adored Tillie Monroe, the sweet elderly woman who I couldn't help but fall in love with in spite of the abrupt manner in which she enters the lives of the Anthony family. At the end of the book I kept thinking that everyone should be so blessed as to have a "Tillie Monroe" drop unannounced into their life. I have long had Ann Tatlock on my list of favorite authors and this book is just another flawless example of why I love her writing so much. Ann writes to the heart and soul of her readers, pulling them into complex stories rich with emotion and drama. Every book of Ann's that I read ends up becoming my "favorite". Her stories resonate with me long after the book is finished. If you haven't had the joy of discovering this author, I highly recommend starting with Promises To Keep.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 11, 2011

    Historical family drama keeps the pages flying by

    Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock is a family drama with heart-stopping suspense. In 1967 Roz Anthony's mother, Janis, has moved with her children, seventeen-year-old Wally and two-year-old Valerie from their home in Minnesota to make a new start in Mills River, Illinois. Roz understands why her mother needed to get away from her father's drunken abuse, but being just eleven, she still wants her daddy. She meets Mara at school, a girl who is ostracized because of the color of her skin and who has her own secret about her father. The two girls bond and promise to pray that each will be united with her daddy. Added to the family drama is Tillie, who keeps turning up on the Anthony's front porch insisting that she is going to die in their house, the one she built with sweat and love with her husband before her sons sold it and sent her to a nursing home. Tillie becomes an answer to prayer when Janis needs a baby-sitter for the girls, but her presence is one more thorn in Wally's side until he just can't take anymore. Roz's prayers seem to be answered when her father shows up with a promise that he will make everything right, but Mara isn't so sure, and it puts their friendship to the test. Tatlock is a master of writing compelling, heart-breaking family drama while really getting into the heads of her characters. Readers will ache for Roz as her mother dismisses her missing her father again and again by telling her to simply forget him and move on. Janis' refusal to talk with Roz opens the entire family to tragedy, while Roz's refusal to trust her mother could just destroy them all. Through Roz's eyes, the world is a scary changeable place, and Tatlock w

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1