Promises I Made by Michelle Zink – A Book Review

25056008Grace is coming undone.

After the disastrous events of Lies I Told, life is more than different. Her mother, Renee, has left them, her brother Parker is in jail and her father, Cormac, is already on to the next con. And Grace? Grace is tired.

She is having serious doubts about her ability to carry on with the current con and watch another person’s life be ruined by Cormac’s actions…and hers. Grace is still reeling from the Playa Hermosa con that left an entire family in ruins. She can’t stop thinking about Logan and her part in hurting him.

With Parker in jail, convicted of a shooting he had no part in, she has lost her only confidante, her only piece of sanity in the life that she leads. Cormac keeps saying that they will go after him and get him out, but it’s been months and Cormac hasn’t done a thing.

So while Cormac is out with his newest con, Grace makes a decision: she will get Parker out of jail herself. Taking all of the money that they have left, Grace decides to go back to Playa Hermosa and set things right.

Only thing is, she has no idea how to do this. She wants to put things right, to make up for the choices she made, but undoing a con is impossible and doing the right thing is even more difficult.

She does the only thing she can think of: contact the detective in charge of Parkers case to work out some kind of deal. When she was with Cormac and Renee, contacting the police would have been a stupid move. However, now her choices are her own. Will she turn herself in or break Parker out of jail?

She will have to decide soon. Time is running out…

Zink continues to outdo herself. I loved this book. While Lies I Told had an urgent feel while I read it, Promises I Made is its twin in that it has that same urgent feel with something different. How does Grace undo what she’s done? How can she come to terms with her actions but still call herself a good person?

I also loved the isolation in Promises I Made. In Lies I Told, Grace has a family and is part of a family unit, such as it is. In Promises I Made, she is alone and Zink writes this so well that midway through the book you are aching for Grace and hoping for her.

I loved the character development in this book. Grace has to make some difficult decisions and come to terms with a lot of heavy stuff: what makes a family, can she live with the choices she made, can she be responsible for terrible decision but still consider herself a good person? Grace grew more as a person trying to live beyond the con and form a life for herself, on her terms.

We spend a lot of time alone with Grace and we really get to know her better. This would not have worked in the hands of a lesser writer, but Zink pulls it off with aplomb.  I thought I knew what Grace was capable of after reading Lies I Told, but in Promises I Made, you learn the true strength of her spirit as she comes to grips with the decisions she has made and chooses to make new ones instead.

This book moved me, incredibly so. We’ve all struggled with finding our place in life, with choices we’ve made, with being told what we must do but rebelling against it. Watching Grace struggle, survive and grow on this journey was a privilege and a joy.

You don’t merely read Promises I Made. You live it.

One Comment on “Promises I Made by Michelle Zink – A Book Review

  1. Pingback: The Best Books of 2015 | Jamieson Wolf

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