Lilly’s Promise, by Terrie Todd (Word Alive Press, 2022)
In 2019, Diana has a perfect life—if you don’t count the recurring nightmares of her disastrous wedding. She’s single, with a successful career and a meaningful Big Sister relationship with a needy teen girl, Carly. And her best friend Shane is as happy as she is to leave romance off the table.
Discovering a twist in her family tree and learning the story of her grandmother Lilly will affect Diana’s present—and her choices for the future. When Diana quizzes her father, Dale, he decides to write the story for her as a book, one tantalizing chapter at a time.
Diana’s portion of the story is told in first person, present tense and Lilly’s in third person past (1922-1944). In the 1920s, children Lilly and Tommy commit a crime with devastating consequences. Bound together by the secret shame of what they’ve done, they spend their lives trying to atone.
Richly told with settings solidly anchored in present and past, Lilly’s Promise is a thought-provoking book that touches on a number of hard topics including infidelity, abortion, and wartime injuries and trauma. Yet it’s a hopeful story, pointing toward God’s love, encouraging its characters (and readers) to choose life, forgiveness, and freedom from fear.
This is one of those books where the characters stayed with me between reading times. And even as Lilly’s choices went from bad to worse, the present-day presence of her now-elderly son, Dale (Diana’s father) gave hope that her story would turn out.
Lilly’s Promise is a Braun Book Awards Winner. Canadian author Terrie Todd writes heartfelt historical and contemporary women’s fiction and has a nonfiction book as well. She is the author of The Silver Suitcase, The Last Piece, and more. For more about her books and to read her blog, visit terrietodd.blogspot.com.
[Book provided by the author. My choice to write a review.]