A Promise to Catie: A Novel

A Promise to Catie: A Novel

by Judd Holt
     
 


You've read ghost stories, but not like this one. When Billy Griffin moves from Dallas to the small town of Oakpoint, Texas in 1955, he thinks life will be simpler in the country. Instead, his life is turned upside-down by a series of inexplicable events. He has been living in the old ranch house only a few weeks when the silhouette of a woman appears in his…  See more details below

Overview


You've read ghost stories, but not like this one. When Billy Griffin moves from Dallas to the small town of Oakpoint, Texas in 1955, he thinks life will be simpler in the country. Instead, his life is turned upside-down by a series of inexplicable events. He has been living in the old ranch house only a few weeks when the silhouette of a woman appears in his bedroom window. Objects disappear from his desk. His sister Beth is bitten by a rattlesnake, then miraculously and mysteriously saved. Billy must call upon an old conjure woman, Hebronetta Sikes, to make sense of the events, but to do so he must get past her fierce companions, a Doberman and a German Shepherd. What he does, who he meets, and what he learns will surprise you. Folklore, race relations, and small town life form the background of this unusual first novel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In an affecting first novel, a middleage narrator looks back on his 1950s adolescence in rural Texas. Uprooted firom his comfortable Dallas home to live on a run-down farm outside the small college town of Oakpoint, where his father has taken a teaching position, Billy Griffin becomes aware of a mysterious presence: a young girl whom only he can see. With the aid of an eccentric old black woman, he contacts his ghostly friend, Catie, who died in 1938. Although at first she doesn't speak and appears only occasionally, Bill falls in love with Catie and even takes her out on a date to the Burgers and Cream Drive-In. They share a year of wistful romance; then Catie vanishes again, after Billy promises he will never forget her. The matter-of-fact style and flat delivery of the adult Billy's naation make these unusual events believable; Catie becomes as real to the reader as she is to him. Holt's affection for the East Texas landscape is evident on every page, and his chronicle of growing up there evokes a time when children's imaginations had not been flattened by television. This sweet and simple story will appeal to those partial to a gentle tale of love. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
YA-- In 1955 Billy, his sister, and their parents leave Dallas for a small college town just as he's entering junior high. He meets and falls in love with Catie, spends long evenings talking to her, writes her notes, leaves her presents, and takes her on dates--even though she's a ghost. At first the boy doesn't believe in her, even though he knows someone has been watching him. It takes old Hebronetta Sikes, a conjure woman, to make him realize that he's really involved with a ghost. For six years, Billy is in love with Catie; he grows into his high school years and plays basketball. Although mainly a benchwarmer, he excels in the biggest game of the year with a little help from a spirit. The Texas countryside is superbly described as is America in the 50's. As Billy tells his story, this happy-go-lucky, athletic girl becomes so real that readers almost see her. And then there's the one magical, memorable day when the couple discovers the power of true love. A captivating romance. --Pam Spencer, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780929398419
Publisher:
University of North Texas Press
Publication date:
09/28/1992
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
242
Product dimensions:
5.72(w) x 8.85(h) x 0.94(d)

Meet the Author


Judd Holt has drawn upon his wide range of experiences as a Yellowstone Park Ranger, a teacher, a coach, and attorney to write this novel. A native of Denton, Texas, he currently practices law there.

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