Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Review: Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham has quickly become an auto read for me.  I love how she brings a piece of Canadian history front and center in each of her novels and how her characters will embed themselves in readers/listeners hearts. I'm hoping she'll become a US household name because she is a fantastic storyteller.
This novel showcases a tumultuous time in Canadian history and a pivotal moment for the future of the Country.
Enjoy!

Promises to Keep

By: Genevieve Graham
Narrated by: Alexis Quednau
Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
Release date: 09-19-17

ADD TO: GOODREADS

Overview:

An enchanting and poignant story about the unfailing power of love in a world turned upside down by war - from the best-selling author of Tides of Honour.


Summer 1755, Acadia
Young, beautiful Amélie Belliveau lives with her family among the Acadians of Grande Pré, Nova Scotia, content with her life on their idyllic farm. Along with their friends, the neighbouring Mi'kmaq, the community believes they can remain on neutral political ground despite the rising tides of war. But peace can be fragile, and sometimes faith is not enough. When the Acadians refuse to pledge allegiance to the British in their war against the French, the army invades Grande Pré, claims the land, and rips the people from their homes. Amélie's entire family, alongside the other Acadians, is exiled to ports unknown aboard dilapidated ships.
Fortunately, Amélie has made a powerful ally. Having survived his own harrowing experience at the hands of the English, Corporal Connor MacDonnell is a reluctant participant in the British plan to expel the Acadians from their homeland. His sympathy for Amélie gradually evolves into a profound love, and he resolves to help her and her family in any way he can - even if it means treason. As the last warmth of summer fades, more ships arrive to ferry the Acadians away, and Connor is forced to make a decision that will alter the future forever.

Heart-wrenching and captivating, Promises to Keep is a gloriously romantic tale of a young couple forced to risk everything amidst the uncertainties of war.


Listen to a sample ––

My Review

Promises to Keep
Genevieve Graham 
Novel rating 5-
Graham’s Promises To Keep is a poignant and brutal reminder that real history is full of victims as well as victors as she retells what really happened in 1755 when the English forcibly expulse the peaceful residents of Acadia in what is present day Nova Scotia. The author uses two voices to tell her story, 1st person of her female lead Amélei Belliveau and 3rd person of Connor MacDonald the English soldier who becomes her unlikely savior, giving readers a unique fly on the wall view of the entire story. The dialogue definitely contains a taste of France and a hint of the Mi'kmaq Indians as she tells her heartbreaking tale of the harrowing journey of these people who lose their homes their land and many lose their lives during their tragic trail of tears. The characters are life like and utterly believable especially her courageous Amélei who suffers unimaginable hardships and still keeps her head held high and hope in her battered heart. Both history fans and lovers of literary historical fiction will devour this amazingly heart-rending novel. 

NARRATION: rating 3-
There are a few issues with the audible narration- The narrator Alexis Quednau has Amélei down pat and is the perfect choice for her, however her recitation of the other characters is at times very monotone and non-emotional and lacks the versatility needed for the other parts, especially the male voices. Also her lilting French accent, with which she absolutely nails the French and Mi’kmaq Indian words and makes her perfect for Amélei makes it somewhat difficult to understand some of her enunciations of English. She does however get better with the emotional aspect later on in the novel. 

SUMMARY:
In the mid eighteenth century in Grand Pré, Acadia the non-violent farmers of French descent and the Mi'kmaq Indians share the land and live in peace during the constant turmoil and battles between the French and English armies. But all that changes when in 1755 the English finally defeat the French and the lives of these peaceful people change forever.
Seventeen-year-old Amélei Belliveau and her family have a small farm in Grand Pré, Acadia and are happy to share their bounties with their neighbors and the English army, she has even started a friendship with one of the soldiers, a man who knows all too well what she and her family are going through. But the winds of change are blowing and none of them good when the English turn from neighbors to aggressors and turn the people of her village into prisoners.

Connor MacDonnell finds himself in Acadia as a victim of circumstance belonging to the same English army that ten years earlier killed his parents and destroyed his Scottish way of life. After getting to know Amélei she has become more than important to him and he is determined to ease what he is sure will be a terrifying change for herself, her family and her entire community.
Other works by Genevieve

               See my review HERE        Watch for my review in the May
                                                       RT Book Reviews Issue
     


Connect with Genevieve - Website - Facebook - Twitter

Meet Genevieve:
Genevieve Graham is the bestselling author of Tides of Honour and Promises to Keep. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Genre: Historical Romance and AdventurePublisher: Simon & Schuster Canada