Books & Literature

Book Review: The Promise, by Lucy Diamond

CONTEMPORARY FICTON: As Dan Sheppard tries to hold on to the unravelling threads of his late brother’s family, he begins to see that his brother’s legacy might not be all that perfect.

The Promise is a moving novel of love and loss.

Dan Sheppard has always lived in his older brother Patrick’s shadow, and he’s always longed for a life like Patrick had: a beautiful wife, three children who adore him and a successful business.

But when Patrick dies in a mysterious accident, Dan needs to step into Patrick’s shoes and try to fill the gap Patrick has left in his family’s heart … but in doing so, he discovers that his brother’s legacy might not be as perfect as he had thought. Does he expose Patrick and break the hearts of his grieving family all over again or keep his secret to protect them all?

This heart-warming tale follows Dan’s journey into supporting Patrick’s wife Zoe as she struggles to keep life going in the wake of Patrick’s death. Dan’s mundane existence suddenly has a renewed purpose. We are introduced to many characters along the way, all of whom are well developed and interesting, making it easy for the reader to invest in the story. There is a sense of raw grief that is very real but it’s mixed with just the right amount of humour and happy moments to keep it from being a depressing read.

With 19 novels under her belt, the Sunday Times bestseller Lucy Diamond (whose real name is actually Sue Mongredien) has once again delivered a hit with The Promise. Her clever multi-layered writing style keeps readers guessing as the plot takes many surprising twists and turns until the final mystery is laid to rest. 

Somewhat unusual and refreshing for a book of this genre, it is mostly told by a male lead, Dan, with glimpses into other viewpoints. Dan is awkward and clumsy as he checks off good deeds on the ‘Patrick Plan’ but his heart is in the right place, making him a relatable and likable character.

Ultimately, this is a feel-good tale about self-discovery and growth, realising what truly matters in life, and making the most of it. After all, we never know what is around the corner.  

You can keep up with Lucy’s work by visiting her website here.

Reviewed by Karlie Naulty

Distributed by: Pan Macmillan
Released: 29 December 2020
RRP: $32.99

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