I love a good natural disaster. When I was in college studying to be a broadcaster, I took many meteorology classes because of how fascinating I found hurricanes, tsunamis, and tornados. How they came on so suddenly and the damage left in their wake. When I first read the premise for Promise, I couldn’t wait to read the story.
Author Minrose Gwin grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, the site of an F5 tornado in 1936, one that leveled half the town. It’s on record as the fourth deadliest in the history of the United States. What fascinated me was that even then, they didn’t count African-Americans in the total death or injured count, basically erasing them from history.
While this story is fictional, it’s based in fact and follows two protagonists, Dovey, an African-American great-grandmother and washwoman, and Jo, a white teenage girl trying to find her place in her family. As the tornado destroys their homes, they realize they might be connected by more than just tragedy.
Faced with tremendous loss, both women need to be strong in piecing their lives back together. But racial tension in this town is thick, even after everything that’s happened.
Fans of The Help and Calling Me Home will find much to love in this novel. The writing is beautiful, yet propels the narrative along. Even though the story takes place over a few days, I felt like I had spent years with these families.
My thanks to the publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the author: Minrose Gwin is the author of The Queen of Palmyra. She has written three scholarly books, coedited The Literature of the American South, and teaches contemporary fiction at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.
Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy to give away to a lucky reader. U.S. and Canada only, please. Enter on the Rafflecopter.
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