Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Review of PROMISE: One of the BEST BOOKs I have read in a long time

Hardcover, 400 pages
Publication: February 27th, 2018 by William Morrow
ISBN 0062471716 (ISBN13: 9780062471710)

In the aftermath of a devastating tornado that rips through the town of Tupelo, Mississippi, at the height of the Great Depression, two women worlds apart—one black, one white; one a great-grandmother, the other a teenager—fight for their families’ survival in this lyrical and powerful novel.

A few minutes after 9 p.m. on Palm Sunday, April 5, 1936, a massive funnel cloud flashing a giant fireball and roaring like a runaway train careened into the thriving cotton-mill town of Tupelo, Mississippi, killing more than 200 people, not counting an unknown number of black citizens, one-third of Tupelo’s population, who were not included in the official casualty figures.
When the tornado hits, Dovey, a local laundress, is flung by the terrifying winds into a nearby lake. Bruised and nearly drowned, she makes her way across Tupelo to find her small family—her hardworking husband, Virgil, her clever sixteen-year-old granddaughter, Dreama, and Promise, Dreama’s beautiful light-skinned three-month-old son.
Slowly navigating the broken streets of Tupelo, Dovey stops at the house of the despised McNabb family. Inside, she discovers that the tornado has spared no one, including Jo, the McNabbs’ dutiful teenage daughter, who has suffered a terrible head wound. When Jo later discovers a baby in the wreckage, she is certain that she’s found her baby brother, Tommy, and vows to protect him.
During the harrowing hours and days of the chaos that follows, Jo and Dovey will struggle to navigate a landscape of disaster and to battle, both the demons and the history that link and haunt them. Drawing on historical events, Minrose Gwin beautifully imagines natural and human destruction in the deep South of the 1930s through the experiences of two remarkable women whose lives are indelibly connected by forces beyond their control. A story of loss, hope, despair, grit, courage, and race, Promise reminds us of the transformative power and promise that come from confronting our most troubled relations with one another.


You Must Get A Copy Below:
Minrose Gwin deserves a standing ovation for PROMISE. This is the most outstanding book based on true events that I have read. Hence, this book stands alone above all others due to so many factors which I will discuss later in the review. 

Gwin’s writing is powerful with the Characters jumping off the pages so as a reader, you're experiencing what it is like to walk in these individuals shoes, enduring everything that they had to go through in the backward thinking of 1936. As a result of the entitlement mentality of most white individuals in that era, one of the main characters Jo, had me so riled up I wanted to rip her from the pages and pound some sense into her 16-year-old head. Obviously, this is a prime example of how first-rate the prose is since I have never had my blood pressure go up because I was so enraged by a fictional character before. Breathe… The next main character is Dovey, who is a smart, hard working black laundress for white people. I just want to mention that usually in a review I don’t mention the color of the character's skin, but due to segregation in 1936 it matters immensely. Also, my opinion of race has nothing to do with this review, this is just how it’s looked upon in the book. Back to the review… Dovey is my favorite individual in the book. She loves her family more than anything and will fight to the death to protect them. They live a taxing life just for the most meager of necessities. Furthermore, when this tornado hits (and before) to be treated like animals because of the amount of melanin in their skin. 

Unquestionably, PROMISE should be on the bestseller list. It transports you back to 1936, as if you had a time machine, causing you to feel like what it is to go through a natural disaster when medicine was not highly advanced, it also meant different things depending on your race. When you wake up from the storm are you on a makeshift bed with the cockroaches or in a real hospital bed off the floor? Is your family on a list of where they had been transported/dead or are you searching through the dead bodies in alleys looking for your loved ones? This book hits you at the core of your being. Definitely, get your copy and let me know what you think!

There are gobs more I want to write about this book and how I felt about it. Consequently, that is not my place. My place is just to tell the bare bones and how I felt about the style and writing of the book. I hope I did that well. One last thing, the author did phenomenal research about the tornado of 1936 and at the end of the book, you will find pictures of the destruction of Tupelo, Mississippi. 

*Check out the video below to see footage of the tornado of 1936 .

Minrose Gwin is a writer, scholar, and educator. Her most recent books are a novel, The Queen of Palmyra (Harper Collins/Harper Perennial) and a memoir, Wishing for Snow (HarperCollins/Harper Perennial). She lives in Chapel Hill, NC, and teaches literature and creative writing at the University of North Carolina and fiction and creative nonfiction workshops at the University of New Mexico Taos Writers Conference. 
Minrose has been a writer all of her working life, starting out as a newspaper and wire service reporter and working in Mobile, Atlanta, Nashville, and Knoxville.


*This video is not associated with the book except for the fact it discusses and shows the damage that occured on that horrible night in Tupelo, Mississippi. Please, take the time to watch it. There is a lot of interesting photos of the disaster, more than I could have posted.  




TOUR SCHEDUAL:
Tuesday, February 27th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, February 28th: The Sketchy Reader
Thursday, March 1st: Readaholic Zone
Monday, March 5th: Lit.Wit.Wine.Dine.
Tuesday, March 6th: Tina Says…
Wednesday, March 7th: Peppermint PhD
Thursday, March 8th: Instagram: @_literary_dreamer_
Monday, March 12th: Literary Lindsey
Tuesday, March 13th: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, March 14th: Broken Teepee

2 comments:

  1. Wow! This book is skyrocketing to the top of my TBR list after reading your review - it sounds SO GOOD!!!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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    Replies
    1. It is SO GOOD!!! I am glad you enjoyed my review.

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