Thursday, April 24, 2014
The Promise by Ann Weisgarber
Oscar Williams has transformed himself from the coalman's son who spent his days making deliveries to Dayton, Ohio's finest homes to a cattleman in Galveston, Texas. Catherine Wainwright comes from one of those fine homes, and she goes to college and becomes a pianist, performing in concert halls and at small private gatherings.
But life has a way of turning when things are going well. Oscar's wife sickens and dies, leaving him with a four year son to raise. Catherine is shunned by society when she makes an unfortunate association. Both desperate, they renew their slight acquaintance through letters and soon Catherine finds herself agreeing to move to Galveston and marry Oscar.
Life there is very different from what she has known in the society residences she grew up in and frequented. There is no electricity or inside bathroom and she knows nothing about cooking or keeping house or caring for small children. As she starts to grope her way to success in this new life, her music draws she and Oscar together into a unit and both find love. Love that can be short-lived in this new, harsher environment, where disease is always present and the land itself is a small island fighting for its own survival from storms and harsh weather.
Ann Weisgarber has written a fascinating look at life in the 1900's. The reader is caught up in the culture that exists with its strictures placed on women. Yet love finds a way in the harsher environments as individuals strive to find someone they belong to and with. This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction and those who long for a great love story.