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Mallory’s search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal—and danger.
Mallory Hammond is determined that no one will stand in the way of her goal—to save a life. She had that chance years ago, and she failed to take it, leaving her adrift and in search of the real meaning of her life. Finally, she meets a man online from a volatile corner of the world who offers her the chance to find that purpose. But she will have to leave everyone she loves behind in order to take it.
Tate Webber has loved Mallory for many years. He understands that Mallory will never be happy with him until her deepest heart’s desire is satisfied. When Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfi ll her dreams, Tate begs her not to go but tries to give her the space she needs. Mallory embarks on her dangerous journey only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. And Mallory can only pray that she will make it out alive.
Inspired by actual events, The Promise is a riveting love story that asks the question: how far will we go for love?
“Takes readers to a place where promises mean something very different than expected, and where her protagonist realizes that the life that needs saving is her own. . . . Wiseman draws readers into a world of deception, danger, and defiance. Readers will feel the anguish of Mallory’s loved ones as they pray for her to make it home.” —Booklist
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Beth Wiseman is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Daughters of the Promise, Land of Canaan, and Amish Secrets series, as well as novellas that have been included in many bestselling collections such as An Amish Year and An Amish Garden. Visit her online at BethWiseman.com; Facebook: AuthorBethWiseman; Twitter: @BethWiseman.
Read an Excerpt
By Beth Wiseman
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Elizabeth Wiseman Mackey
All rights reserved.
Mallory handed Rosa her empty plate. "As usual, dessert was awesome." The food was what kept the mandatory Sunday dinners at her parents' house bearable.
Rosa nodded. Though her dark hair was now speckled with gray, her smile still revealed her girlish dimples and laugh crinkles around her bright eyes. "Glad you liked it, Munchkin."
Mallory smiled at the maid's use of the pet name after all these years.
Rosa went around the table to pick up dessert plates, but Mallory's sister, Vicky, was still working on her key lime pie. Though Mallory missed seeing Haley and Braiden, who were with their father today, she was glad Vicky's children weren't present in case things were about to get ugly.
"Mom, Dad ... there's something I need to tell you." Mallory's stomach churned and her voice was shaky.
Her mother set down her wineglass. Mallory was pretty sure she'd seen Rosa fill it four times.
"What is it?" Her mother raised her eyebrows. Eyebrows that seemed to be higher up on her forehead. And the tiny lines of time that feathered from each of her eyes had disappeared as well. Mallory was studying the changes, not sure if she liked them or not, when her mother cleared her throat. "What do you need to tell us, Mallory?"
She swallowed hard. "I'm donating one of my kidneys."
Her father sat taller, his eyes sharp and assessing. Vicky halted her fork midway to her mouth, glancing back and forth between their parents. Her mother slammed a palm against the table, shaking the dishes that hadn't yet been cleared.
"No! We're not going through this again." Mom shook her head as she glared at Mallory.
"Mom, I'm an adult. And I've made my decision."
Her mother put her empty wineglass on the table, then pointed a finger at her daughter. "I knew this was why you took a job working for that man. This has never been about utilizing your business degree."
Mallory looked at her father. "Dad, please tell me you understand why I want to do this."
Her father leaned back against his chair and sighed. "Of course I understand, Mallory. But it's a dangerous procedure, and you're our daughter. You need to understand how we feel too."
"I get that, Dad. I really do. But I'm going ahead. I've signed up in a paired kidney exchange program."
Mallory's mother blinked her eyes a few times as she raised her chin. "This isn't the only way to help. Do you have any idea how much money I have collected over the years through fund-raisers? Money specifically for the Kidney Foundation."
"Mom." Mallory sighed. "That's wonderful. But this isn't a problem that you can just throw money at. People have to make real sacrifices to save lives."
"Did that Muslim put you up to this?" Her mother looked around for Rosa, then pointed at her glass again.
"That is beyond offensive." Mallory glared at her. "I'm going to write that comment off to the wine."
"They do all hate us, you know." Vicky eased a piece of pie onto her fork. "We're all infidels to them. They want us all dead."
"You don't even know what you're talking about," Mallory said to her sister. "Ismail is a doctor. He's in the business of saving lives, not taking them."
"That's enough." Dad lifted both his palms, and after he slowly lowered them, he said, "We can't control what you do, honey."
Not this time.
"But we want to make sure you've thought this through." He laid his napkin on his plate.
Mallory blinked back tears. "I've had twelve years to think it through. And I made a promise to Kelsey."
Tate slid off the piano bench and went to the door. "Why don't you use your key, babe?" he asked, stepping aside so Mallory could come in.
She leaned up and kissed him. "Because I don't live here."
"Then move in." He smiled, knowing what she would say. He'd asked plenty of times.
Mallory sat down on the couch and leaned her head back, giving her blond waves a toss. She closed her eyes. "Your mother would have a fit."
Tate made a quick scan of the room and found ET curled up in the corner behind the rocking chair. Twice the orange-and-white tabby had mistaken Mallory's hair for a plaything when she'd draped it over the back of the couch.
"She'd get over it. You know she loves you." Tate sat down beside her. "So how'd it go?"
Mallory inhaled a big gulp of air, blew it out slowly, and turned to face him. She pulled all her hair over her right shoulder and started braiding it. Tate knew she'd braid it to the end, undo it, and run her fingers through it. Then probably braid it again. It was something she did when she was nervous or upset.
"It went about how I figured it would. Mom went nuts, Vicky made a stupid comment, and Dad tried to keep the peace."
Tate reached for her hand and gave it a squeeze.
"I know you don't want me to do this either. But at least you understand, right?"
Tate kicked his shoeless feet up on the coffee table. "Yeah, I understand. But you blame yourself too much. You were only seventeen. Your parents made the decision."
She was quiet for a while, then sighed. "Maybe I didn't fight hard enough. Maybe if I'd been more insistent, they would have agreed. And Kelsey would be alive right now."
Tate shook his head. "No. Don't do that to yourself. Your parents made a choice not to let their seventeen-year-old child have major surgery."
"I guess. But I was the youngest one tested. Girls of childbearing age are never even considered as donors, but since we already knew I couldn't have children, there was no worry about a high-risk pregnancy down the line. I was the perfect person to do it."
Tate waited. He knew about Mallory's condition, of course, and had assured her that it wasn't going to bother him not to have children. If she wanted to adopt someday, fine, but he wasn't sure he was father material anyway. He'd been around kids plenty when he'd taught music at the junior high, and most of his piano students now were children.
"Anyway, no one else was a match. And I had a young, healthy kidney that would have saved Kelsey's life. When I couldn't give that to her, I made a promise that I'd save another life since I couldn't save hers."
"I know. But it wasn't a promise she asked you to make."
Mallory leaned her head on his shoulder, and he wrapped an arm around her and kissed her on the cheek.
"I want to make a difference."
"You do make a difference, each and every day. Just by being you."
She snuggled in closer. "Do you know how much I love you, Tater Tot?"
Tate grinned. "You know how I feel about that name." It seemed unmanly not to put up a little resistance.
She looked up at him with her big, blue eyes and batted her lashes. "I think you secretly love it."
Tate smiled. "Do ya now?"
ET padded across the living room floor, stopping to yawn before he continued on to a small bed in the corner. Tate yawned as well.
"Nap time? I'm guessing you and your mother went to Mass, then to IHOP You ordered two pancakes and some fruit. And instead of syrup, you put honey on your pancakes." She nodded toward the front window. "Then you came home and mowed the yard." She glanced at her watch. "So, this would make it nap time."
Tate frowned. "Wow. You make me sound so OCD."
She giggled. "No. Just structured."
Tate supposed that in comparison to Mallory, he probably was a little obsessive-compulsive. But it gave him comfort to stay organized and on a schedule. Mallory just winged it and lived spontaneously, on the edge.
"But that's why we complement each other," she added. "That whole opposites attract thing—maybe there's something to it."
"Maybe," he said, half yawning again. He pulled her closer. "You gonna take a nap with me?" As tired as he was, sleep wasn't his top priority.
"I'm not tired," she said with a grin. "But you go ahead."
What he really needed was a distraction. He glanced at his cell phone on the end table. He'd even kept it on vibrate during Mass so he wouldn't miss a call. He wasn't sure if no news was good news. Either way, he'd chosen not to say anything to Mallory yet. If he was offered the job in Chicago, it was really going to shake things up for the two of them.
"Why don't you play something for me? Something pretty and soothing," she said softly.
Tate eased his arm from around her and made his way across the small room to his first love: the baby grand that had been a gift from his uncle nearly thirteen years ago. The black finish shone as brightly today as it did back then. He slid onto the bench and lowered his fingers to the keys and played one of the many songs he'd written for Mallory.
Once again she closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the couch.
Tate stopped abruptly when his cell phone started to ring.
"Aren't you going to get that?" She slid to the end of the couch and peered down at the caller ID. "Chicago Academy for the Arts? Why would they be calling you?"
Tate swallowed hard but didn't move. Was calling him on a Sunday afternoon going to be good news or bad?CHAPTER 2
Mallory picked up her pace on the treadmill but didn't bother to dab at the sweat beading on her forehead and dribbling down her cheeks.
"Are you going to tell me what's bothering you?" Soraya had kept a steady pace alongside, though she'd barely broken a sweat. "You should tell me before you pass out." She turned to Mallory and grinned.
Mallory knew that if anyone could cheer her up, it was Soraya, but still she hesitated.
The two women had met at a Pilates class six months earlier. Soraya was from Lahore, where she'd led a privileged life with her family in Pakistan before moving to the United States ten years ago. She was engaged to Ismail, Mallory's boss, and it was she who'd told Mallory about the job opening in his office.
Mallory wasn't sure her friend would understand her dilemma. She lowered the incline on the treadmill and kicked the speed back a few notches. "Tate might have a job offer in Chicago."
"Oh." Soraya's eyes widened a little. "And of course you would move with him."
Mallory hung her head for a moment before she looked back at her friend. "I — I don't know. I — I love Tate. With all my heart. I can't imagine being with anyone else." She sighed.
"There is a but in there somewhere," Soraya said as she smiled again.
"I love my job." Mallory raised her shoulders and lowered them slowly as she reached for the towel she had draped over the handrail.
"Of course you do. Who wouldn't love working for my Ismail?" She winked at Mallory.
"You're right to be proud of him, Soraya. He exudes positive energy in everything he does, and he's a great doctor." Mallory caught her breath as she settled into a steady cooldown. "You know that if something happened—and I did have to quit—I would give Ismail plenty of notice."
Soraya raised a sculpted eyebrow. "I know this. I would tell you that there are many Ismails out there to work for"—she pushed her bottom lip into a pout—"but that would be a lie. However ... you must ask yourself how many Tates are out there. And, by the way, when am I to meet this fabulous fellow?"
"Soon. The four of us need to get together. And I know you're right. I can't imagine my life without Tate."
Soraya finally slowed down on the treadmill, her thick, dark ponytail bouncing in step with her. "I would follow my Ismail to the end of the earth." Her dark eyes lit up when she talked about her fiancé.
"Sounds like you are doing exactly that. I know when the wedding is here, but when is the second celebration?" Mallory knew how much effort was going into the two wedding ceremonies Soraya and Ismail were planning. One here in Houston, the other in their homeland.
"Two months after the one here." Soraya took a sip from her water bottle. Mallory's had been empty for at least the past ten minutes.
Soraya worked out daily, while getting to Pilates once a week was a struggle for Mallory, and the gym was a hit or miss. She thought about Tate and his exercise ritual.
"Right now I am trying to stay focused on our trip to Italy," Soraya added.
They were leaving soon, and Ismail had asked Mallory if she could feed his fish while they were away.
"Ismail seems excited about it."
"Positano is one of my most favorite places in the world, and Ismail has never been there. We considered it for our honeymoon, but we could both use a vacation right now. And Ismail wants to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon."
Soraya stepped off the platform and picked up her phone from the holding area on the treadmill. "No e-mails. No texts. No missed calls." She set it back down and smiled. "Good. I don't want work getting in the way of lunch today. I do believe there is a crème brûlée with my name on it somewhere." She brought a hand to her chest and let out a small gasp. "Can you even imagine life without crème brûlée?"
Mallory knew her friend had fasted for Ramadan, so maybe that explained her appetite today. Although, Mallory wasn't sure she'd ever seen Soraya pass on dessert, and yet she was in great shape. Note to self—more exercise.
"It's my favorite dessert too." Mallory sighed as she ran her small towel across her face. "But I might as well slap it to my thighs."
"Life is too short, my friend." Soraya started toward the locker room. Mallory followed. "Which brings me to another point," Soraya said over her shoulder. "Why haven't you and Tate made plans to marry? You've been dating four years."
Mallory was still trying to catch her breath. "Tate wants to get married."
"And you don't?" Soraya raised an eyebrow again as she turned and waited for Mallory to catch up.
Mallory shrugged as Soraya opened the door to the dressing and shower room. "I can't imagine marrying anyone else. Tate is the only man I've ever loved. I mean, I dated guys in high school and college, but I never felt anything like this." She smiled. "Tate is amazing."
"Hmm ... I'm not sure you answered my question."
"Of course I want to marry him. Just not yet. There are things I want to check off my list first."
"Ismail tells me that you have signed up in the kidney exchange program. He also told me the reason you want to do this. A promise you made to your cousin." Soraya pulled a bag from her locker, then moved toward the shower. "So is this one of the things you are checking off your list?"
"Yes." Mallory looked at the time on her phone and knew she'd need to shower quickly and hurry back to the clinic. She'd sacrificed lunch to work out. "And I don't want anyone telling me I can't do it. I'm not saying that Tate could or would forbid me from doing it, but ..." She paused. "But he isn't happy about it."
"I understand that. He loves you, so naturally he is worried. He thinks of you as the mother of his future children, yes?"
"That's not in the cards, Soraya. I've known since I was fifteen that I can't have children. Tate knows, of course. It doesn't bother him."
Soraya stared at Mallory. "You've never mentioned that before. I'm sorry, Mallory."
"I've had a long time to get used to the idea."
Soraya shook her head. "We never know what Allah's plan for us is."
Mallory wasn't sure that God had a plan for her. If He did, He needed to go back to the drawing board and make some adjustments.
The doorbell rang just as Tate was scooping ET his usual ration of dog food. Crazy cat wouldn't eat anything else. He glanced at the clock on the wall. Verdell. Tate sent up a quick prayer for patience as he crossed the living room.
"Hello, Verdell." He forced a smile as the boy walked past him, knowing how Verdell would respond.
"Hello, Mr. Webber." Verdell shuffled to the piano, head hung low, as if he were walking a plank. He put his lesson book against the stand and sat down.
Verdell's blond hair was cut high above his ears with a noticeable cowlick that caused a few strands to spike on the top of his head. He was a skinny kid at that awkward age, teeth too big for his mouth. And for reasons Tate didn't understand, Verdell often stole weird things. Little things. Like Tate's toothbrush one week. And a week before that, a bottle of Visine. At first Tate thought he was imagining it, but they were items he would hardly misplace—and Verdell was the only one of his students who always asked to use the bathroom.
"Did you practice this week?" Tate sat down in his chair next to the piano bench. Verdell had a baby grand at his aunt's home too—a Steinway. Tate's dream piano. For a kid who hates to play.
"No, I didn't practice, Mr. Webber." Verdell sat taller, his chin in the air and his lips clamped tight.
Tate felt sorry for the child. Both his parents had been killed in a boating accident the previous year, and his aunt was raising him. Tate had told Chantal that she was wasting her money by sending her nephew for lessons, that Verdell had no interest in the piano despite the potential for being good at it. But Chantal begged Tate to keep trying.
Verdell settled his hands on the keys, looked at the music in front of him, then played every note and rhythm perfectly. Like a machine without an ounce of passion for the music.
Excerpted from The Promise by Beth Wiseman. Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Wiseman Mackey. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really liked the premise of this book. (A woman is seduced into traveling to Pakistan by a charming man who tells her that she will be saving the life of a young girl.) This kind of thing does happen, so I was intrigued. Let me first say that this was a good story and I enjoyed it. Mallory, the heroine, is motivated by a desire to help someone in a sad situation. Several characters who are of the Muslim faith are portrayed very well. (My favorite character was Mallory's Muslim friend Soraya.) Often discussions about faith in books like this one are stilted and forced, but Mallory and Soraya's conversations felt real and honest. Having said all that, I still felt like Mallory was crazy! I'm not skeptical of the situation and I don't want to judge anyone who's made those choices, (this book is based on a true story) but I didn't feel that there was enough motivation for Mallory to make the choices that she did. I think that's on the author, but maybe it's just me. I was ready and willing to be convinced and I just couldn't quite get there.
Floored is an understatement. I am in awe as I sit here to type my review. This book had me wanting to know more, it kept my eyes moving with the action in the words. I wanted to did sit, in one sitting, just to finish the book, and to say I finished it in a day is unbelievable, but I did it. I couldn’t believe at all the things each character went throughout the book, but for this to be based on a true story… wow! I loved the fact that we got to understand more about life overseas, and what they have to endure. I couldn’t imagine the lifestyle there, it really brings everything into prescriptive on how much we have it made in America. It also brings to light of the not so good, and how much the internet can lie to us. The Promise is just brilliantly done, and I can not put into words how much it meant for me to read such an incredible story. My niece even looked at me to say, “Wow, you must really like that book. You are so into it” I would definitely recommend this book if you like a mystery, true story based events, and are looking for some action. Will definitely be looking for more of Beth’s work.
I adore berh wisemans books butg ihad a lot og pronlems reading this one. I almost didnt finish it. Only ast the end did i realize it was my abhorance of violence that made me so uncomfortable. Beth is a fantastic writer and she wrapped it up beautifully.
Mallory Hammond is determined not to let her boyfriend Tate, her parents, or anyone else get in the way of her goal to save a life. She had that chance when she was a teenager and the opportunity slipped away, leaving a void she was desperate to fill. Then a new friend she met online offers her the chance she has dreamed of, but she’ll have to leave behind everyone she loves to take it. In a bold move and with lots of resistance from Tate and those closest to her; Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfill her dream. Tate begs her not to go, but Mallory embarks on the dangerous journey to Pakistan anyway, only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. Her new friend isn’t who he says he is, and Mallory can only pray she’ll make it out alive. I was looking forward to reading another book by this author. Although this book was based on real events and worthy of a story, I was disappointed in this story and the way it unfolded. I understand the need to portray people of other religions as normal the way we in the west see things, but it didn’t read well for me. The writing was good but maybe someone else could have addressed the issues better. I received copy of eBook from Thomas Nelson Fiction through Net Galley
WOW! WOW! WOW! The Promise is the kind of story that every single young person needs to read! Parents – BUY this book for your young women! Because I can tell you, FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, that this kind of thing does not ONLY happen when going across oceans to another culture! It can happen right in your own backyard! One reviewer said “I know things like this happen….sometimes it is just easier to put our heads in the sand.” and that seems to be what far too many of us parents do. DON’T! THANK YOU to Beth Wiseman for taking such a courageous step and writing this amazing book! I can not imagine the depths your research took you to – BRAVO! And THANK YOU Beth, for infusing this story with such a powerful message of God! If ever there was a place for it… BRAVO! I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
Intense. Frustrating. Eye-opening. The author Beth Wiseman personally knows the young woman whose experience this story is based on and does an amazing job bringing the realities of the other side of the world to the page. Told from multiple points of view, the reader is able to sense that not all is what it seems. Mallory's compassionate and emotional nature overrides her common sense and she is focused solely on having an amazing "life experience" despite the warnings and red flags that she chooses to disregard. As I was reading I felt a combination of pity for her circumstances and what-did-you-expect?!?! I appreciated that there was a subplot with Tate's side of the story of a piano student abandoned to his care which showed more dimension to his character besides the constant worrying for his relationship with Mallory and her safety. The book starts out relatively slow but momentum builds with the suspense and climaxes with an intense ending. (Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing and Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
I wasn't sure what to expect from reading The Promise. It definitely turned out to be quite different than what I thought it would be. The story deals with the aftermath of 9/11 in some ways, specifically with air travel, security, and how both Americans and Muslims felt towards each other. There was definitely a lack of trust created from those terrorist attacks and the subsequent reactions. The story revolves around a woman, Mallory, in her young 30's whose tunnel vision for what she believes she should do tends to rule her life. What I wanted her to do was to stop and really think and be honest with herself. I also wanted her and Tate's relationship to be more resolved, or maybe it's more that I felt they never actually talked through or really worked out anything. I wanted it all to feel more authentic and for all involved to act reasonably. Of course, what would be the fun in that, right? The story felt a little stilted at the beginning (had some issues connecting with it) and then flew by towards the end as I could feel Mallory's fear and desperation. There were some inspirational moments and discussions, but I felt they were on the lighter side and many things were left open. I wanted Mallery to go and figure things out and make it home. I wanted things to work out with Tate. I wanted Verdell to open up more and to get his own happily ever after. The potential was definitely there. I won't spoil anything and tell what happens. Content: References to abuse, partners sleeping over, rape, violence, and adultery. Source: From the publisher through Litfuse, which did not affect my review in any way.
See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com Special thanks to Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Beth Wiseman was introduced to me a few years back when my mother brought me a bag full of books that her neighbor gave her because she knew I was a big reader. I have several of her earlier books, but I was very excited to see her newest novel on my list. I love journeying with an author through their career and seeing them progress. This is a book that can be relatable for contemporary audiences, and that's something I can definitely appreciate. One of the great things about this story is that it's based off a true story. As far-fetched and bizarre as some of it may seem, this actually happened. The main character, Mallory, has a heart to change the world. However, Mallory is still a bit naive about things. This is a huge part of what got her in such trouble. This book serves not only as an adventure story, but a good warning for those with good intentions, but susceptible to getting caught in online scams. It has a lot of good messages to it, and I believe this is Wiseman's best work yet. I very much enjoyed this book! I think my only complaint would be that I wish there was more of the story that set the book off, Mallory and her cousin. It seemed to be really important at first, and then we moved on without looking back. After you read the book description and then read the first few chapters, you get a little confused as to what the book is actually about. Other than that, I thought this was a great book and would definitely recommend it!
The Promise By: Beth Wiseman A very thought-provoking book based on a true story. What if the reason for doing what you did was a lie? Mallory Hammond had one goal in life: to fulfill the promise she made to her dying cousin. She was unable to fulfill that promise, so she set out to find another way to do it: all the way across the world. Mallory made a promise to her cousin. Many years later, she is finally able to fulfill that promise. But will it be at the cost of her own life? As she travels across the world to fulfill this dream, cultures clash and she may not make it out alive. Tate Webber loves Mallory, but knows she cannot live her life in peace until she has saved a life. When that journey takes her overseas, she takes his heart with her. It’s a different culture, different men, different way of doing things. Mallory is unprepared for what she encounters. Can she make it back home? Will she realize before it’s too late who she really loves? What if the unexpected happens? Was this what was supposed to happen all along? God can use our plan to accomplish His will. Tate believes this; he puts Mallory’s well-being in God’s hands. A riveting story of faith, hope, love, and trust in the God who can use us to fulfill his purpose.
Ms. Wiseman tells a compelling story in The Promise. With twist and turns of honor and deceitfulness, she captures the readers attention and holds it the entire time. I have lived in Pakistan and know of the hardship of like there, Ms. Wiseman captures not only the differences in cultures but in religion too. The Promise is a must read for the time we are all living in now.
The one thing Mallory Hammond knows is that she vowed to save a life when the promise she made to her cousin at 17, was over rulled by her parents and left her cousin to die when they refused to let her donate a kidney. Now it is the first item on her bucket list and now that she is older, she can make those decisions for herself even if her parents object. When she tries to donate her kidney years later, she is determined to have a genetic disposition for pre-diabetes that once again robs her of the desire to help someone and fulfill the promise she made so many years ago. Tate Webber has hoped that some day he and Mallory might get married but until she is able to fulfill her promise she will keep Tate at arms length and refuse to make plans to get married. When she learns that a child suffering from leukemia in Pakistan, a niece to the man she works for Ismail at his office, she believes this may in fact be the last opportunity to save a life. With little time left for Majida to get treatment to come to the United States, Ismail and Abdul are convinced the only way to expedite things in time is to find someone to marry Abdul in name only, and allow Majida and Abdul to be able to travel to the United States for treatment. Now if they can only convince Mallory. Fortunately Abdul knows just what will motivate Ismail to help convince Mallory to come to Pakistan and marry him and that will mean threatening his future fiance' Soraya with harm. It is a fear that Ismail has lived under long since leaving his own country, but the hand of his family and father can make it more than just a threat but reality as well. When things between Tate and Mallory seem to go south in terms of their relationship, Ismail knows just the time to ask Mallory if she might consider helping Majida get treatment to save her life, since the medical care in Pakistan is limited and not likely to help her survive. For Mallory feeling like she has no options left to fulfill her promise agrees to talk to Abdul over the phone to see what they can work out and come to an agreement. Mallory knows if she tells her family or Tate what she is considering, neither of them will support her decision. So she decides to take a risk that may lead to more than she is bargaining for. I received The Promise by Beth Wiseman compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This novel is based on real life events from a friend close to Beth Wiseman who found herself in similar circumstances when she fell for an offer of marriage to a Muslim man and found herself being held against her will. It conveys how very different the two cultures are and how often women are misled to make the trip to foreign countries only to find themselves trapped and unable to return. A very chilling reminder to be a warning to women who may be considering the very same thing as Mallory. It conveys just how different it can be in two very different countries and just because you maintain citizenship in the United States, you lose much of that control being married in a Muslim country now controlled by your husband. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and applaud Beth for sharing this story that may help other women from making these same mistakes in their own lives.
This is one of those books that I had to finish within days of first opening it. From start to finish, it was captivating. Wiseman does an excellent job of portraying the essence of humanity without pointing fingers at one religion or glorifying another. Questions are raised like, "Do Muslims and Christians serve the same God?" without ever pushing an opinion on the reader. Instead, we're encouraged to explore a vastly different culture with respect, while being sharp and defending ourselves from evil. Despite the horrific and terrifying circumstances presented (inspired by true events), the ending is well-woven, beautiful, and quite satisfying: the mark of a great storyteller. All in all, The Promise is a thrill ride laced with romance, suspense, intrigue that I highly recommend.
RIVETING AND GRIPPING.....BE CAREFUL FOR WHAT YOU WISH!! RIVETING!! Reading this book left me angry with those that make choices without God. This is a compassionately written story concerning a true interaction of events that occurred to a friend of Beth Wiseman. I admire Beth’s trust in God and bravery to write this story. She is to be congratulated. Without a doubt – it would not have been published in a country different from America – our home. Our protagonist, Mallory Hammond was blinded to the truth that she was making bad choices for herself at the exclusion of what those that loved her felt. At the age of seventeen, she desperately wanted to donate a kidney to her teenage cousin, but did not understand her parents would not allow it out of love and concern for her. Mallory still mourned the death of her cousin and her desire to help someone – anyone – became obsessive. Now in her thirties, she worked for Dr. Ismail Farim, a Muslim. He was engaged to Soroya, Mallory’s best friend also a Muslim who came from a wealthy family in Pakistan. With Dr. Farim’s help, Mallory enrolled in a kidney exchange program – in my thoughts, a sub-conscious rebellious action toward her parents. Mallory did not have a good Christian foundation to support her hearts’ desire of saving a life in proper perspective. She wanted to be known for something – even if that something took her around the world under false pretenses. Her boyfriend, Tate Weber, was a Christian with a Catholic background. To my thinking, Mallory’s selfishness about her obsession tainted her life as she began to doubt the seriousness of her relationship with Tate – a piano teacher who had a chance to take a new job with the Chicago Academy for the Arts. GRIPPING !!! Sinister forces began to work in Mallory’s life. Dr. Farim’s father was tyrannical in insisting Ismail find an American wife for his nephew Abdul, whose daughter Majida had cancer and because of several obstacles In Pakistan – an American wife would be able to bring the girl to the United States for treatment. Mallory empathized with her boss and began to Skype with Abdul. Mallory was mesmerized into becoming attracted to Abdul and agreed to a marriage in name only and travelled to Peshaway, Pakistan only to be caught up in a disastrous web of deceit – a real mess! Tate is struggling over his own problems, having a ten year old orphan Verdell dumped on his doorstep and abandoned by his aunt. Life becomes all about survival for Mallory. Realistically, certain references toward human frailties such as sex, and a curse word bothered me – however it was necessary to the truth of the story. Beth Wiseman did an extraordinary job authoring this entire book. She conveyed the truth of Christian beliefs versus the Muslim law. Clearly, we do not worship the same God. Beth Wiseman has taken a true example of how life can fool us and wrote a blaring example that should be read by many – having faith or not. Particularly worthy of note and mind-blowing is the part at the back of the book entitled “Group Guide – A Letter from the Author.” I highly recommend Beth Wiseman’s “The Promise” be placed at the top of your reading list. Find out how God proves his promises again and again. Thank you Beth Wiseman for your incredible job with a tough subject. Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.