Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham

Hi everyone! It's been a while. My son is now 7 months old, which is absolutely crazy. Time flies even faster when you become a parent!

Today I've got a review of Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham, which was sent to me by Simon and Schuster Canada. As always, opinions are my own.

I was initially drawn to this book because a.) it's by a Canadian author and b.) it takes place (partially) in Nova Scotia. I think I've mentioned it before, but I love Nova Scotia. I've only been there twice, but it completely stole my heart both times. I was also drawn to this story because it's based on actual events. In 1755, the Acadians of Grand Pré, Nova Scotia were expelled from their land by British soldiers. They were forced onto ships and sent away to various parts of Canada and the US. Promises to Keep tells the story of Amélie Belliveau and her Acadian family and their expulsion. Amélie and her family are loaded onto two separate boats and sent off to sea.

Amélie is a strong willed, spirited girl who falls in love with someone she shouldn't - a soldier for the British, however, Connor is not the soldier he appears to be. He is not as loyal as the British think he is. Amélie lives with her mom, dad, two sisters, and two brothers. She also has a close relationship with some members of the Mi'kmaq tribe who live in the forest nearby.

I liked Amélie because she was tough. She didn't just sit back and let the awful expulsion happen without consequence. She was perhaps a little too headstrong, but I liked her fearlessness. She was the sister and daughter her family needed her to be. I liked Connor for the same reasons. He was definitely not afraid of the British and had no trouble trying to undermine their mission.

I did feel like the connection between Amélie and Connor was a little instantaneous, but it felt and read genuine. I loved that it was written in dual perspective, because I was able to read how both were feeling and it made the whole experience that much more emotional.

I also really enjoyed the character of Me'tekw. He only has a couple of chapters, but they are so significant integral to the whole story. His story begins as a prequel and just leaves you wanting to know where his story ends.

I gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars because I really enjoyed it and it was a quick read. If you're looking for a great historical fiction based on actual events then definitely pick this up. Pick it up if you're looking to read beautiful descriptions about Nova Scotia. Graham made me remember why I love the province so much and reminded me that I need to get back there immediately.

I've never been to Grand Pré (it poured rain the day we were going to go), but we did go to a lookout spot that overlooks the general area of where Grand Pré is. Fun story, our car died at the top of the lookout point.

Isn't it pretty? Go and buy Promises to Keep so you can read about these beautiful views. It's on sale today!

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