Saturday, February 28, 2009

Promises to Keep by Dean Hughes

Promises to Keep: Diane’s Story by Dean Hughes.

Dean Hughes’ popular series Hearts of the Children left Diane’s open enough that fans kept bugging him for the rest of her story. This novel tells what happened to Diane’s life after she left her abusive husband with her young daughter Jenny. Diane is a working single mom raising her daughter the best she can. Her ex-husband Greg refuses to pay child support, but will buy Jenny extravagant gifts. Jenny wants to believe that her father is a good man, and accepts the explanations that he gives for his faults. This causes a rift between Diane and her daughter, Jenny, who wants more independence. Diane has tried to play the dating game, but has repeatedly failed. Then she meets a soft-spoken businessman named Spencer, whose wife died of cancer. They are interested in one another, but with their children pulling them in different directions it looks like they will never be together.

I really love Dean Hughes style! He’s one of my favorite historical authors. He adds small, social details that make his characters feel authentic to the time period. Basically, I could go on about how I really love how he characterizes his characters, but that would bore you probably. So, I’ll just say that I really enjoyed this read, and couldn’t wait to see how Diane’s life turned out. I also cared about Jenny, and was worried she’d never get the clue about what her dad was really like. I was mildly annoyed at the ending because it was still a bit of a cliffhanger, but I don’t think it is Hughes style to solve everything perfectly like a really predictable romance novel. Alas. If you love the Hearts of the Children series then you’ll enjoy this one too.

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