Yesterday author Cindy Bradford joined me to talk about her novel, Promises Kept. I had read the book before it was released and I’m adding my thoughts about the novel today.
Promises Kept, the sequel to Keeping Faith, is the continuing story of Faith O’Brien. The book opens as the novice lawyer attempts to bring to justice a priest who abused her father when he was a boy. Pitted against a veteran defence lawyer, she has a steep learning curve for her first case. But she successfully prosecutes the abuser, winning her case and the respect of the senior partners in the law firm she recently joined. She also wins the respect and love of her colleague at the firm, Tyler England. As the story continues its focus shifts to their love story and the life they make together. The novel reaches its climax when the couple are confronted with a battle for one partner’s survival.
I enjoyed Promises Kept and found myself turning the pages to find out what happens next. The tension of the legal case quickly drew me into the story. I became absorbed in the dramatic courtroom proceedings and willed Faith to win her case.
The middle segment of the book allows the reader time to catch his breath and deepen his knowledge of the characters and their lives. The main characters are firmly rooted in Texas. Without being caricatures, they gave me an insight into a region and its people which I know little about. They speak and act in accordance with their culture, yet each character, from Faith and Tyler to their extended families, is distinct and interesting. Faith is an especially well drawn, strong heroine who carries the story.
The pace picks up again in the final segment. Life for Faith and Tyler takes an unexpected, devastating turn. The final pages barrel towards the climax without time for anything except the main chain of events.
The book’s plot is an engaging one but I felt that it could have been better paced. The opening scenes progress at a speed appropriate to the courtroom action depicted and grip the reader. But the middle section develops more slowly than I would have liked. While time for character development is essential, I would have preferred a shorter middle section; fewer details could still provide adequate insight into the characters. The dramatic events in the final section felt a bit rushed to me. Expanding and slowing this section would improve the overall pace.
The story is told mainly through dialogue. This writing style keeps the story moving forward but I would have liked more description and action to vary the pace and supply necessary details unobtrusively.
Despite my preference for a different writing style than the one the author uses, I enjoyed the book. Promises Kept presents a memorable heroine, living a challenging life. Faith has triumphs and heartbreaks and I rooted for her throughout the novel. She caught my interest sufficiently that she won’t just fade from my memory. She has stepped off the page and into my mind; I would love to know what happens to her next.
Dianne, I enjoyed reading your perspective on Promises Kept. I can appreciate your comments on the pace and the dialog. In contrast, Cindy’s first novel Keeping Faith had a lot more description.
Stay tuned. Faith will show up again in book three.
Thank you for what I thought was an “on target” review. I should have had you read it before publishing! I totally agree with all your assessment. As Chris said, the first book had much more description; the third will have even more. Somehow, this one came out lighter, but, hopefully, will have enough substance to persuade readers to keep following me. Again, thanks for what you have done to help me along this incredible journey. Best wishes to you.
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