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A Mother's Promise

Title:  A Mother’s Promise
Author:  Anna Schmidt
Pages:  320
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Barbour Books
                Have you ever heard the phrase, “never judge a book by its cover”?  Sometimes people use it in reference to not judging people by their looks.  Other times it is in reference to a literal book, whether fiction or nonfiction.  Here the phrase is really true because in between the covers of this book, lays a true gem of fiction that spoke to my heart and maybe it will speak to yours as well.  The basic theme is how the characters handle adversity, not the short term kind but the long term.  How do people handle very heartbreaking times, even more so those around them?
                Here, Rachel has a 10-year-old son, Justin.  Her world is radically changed forever when her husband is killed by a drunk driver.  Her brother-in-law and his family move to the family farm house to take over the care of the farm.  Rachel and her son still stay on the farm, living in the house with more people and new expectations.  Rachel decides she can’t live there any longer.  Her brother-in-law is being way too different in interacting with her son Justin.  However, it doesn’t end there.  Luke has totally different expectations and demands as does his wife.  Somehow Rachel must find a way to support her and Justin.  Hester, Rachel’s college roommate and friend, encourages her to move to Florida and take a position at the local hospital caring for children’s spiritual needs.  Can a move to Florida along with Justin temporarily attending public school till Rachel secures her job be the answer?  Can Justin adjust to public school until they find a house near the local Mennonite community so he can switch to the Mennonite school?
                There is a family who has an only daughter, Sally, who is hopeful that her body won’t reject the bone marrow transplant.  The changes to Sally’s body make her a target for the school bully who has befriended, it appears, Justin.  Justin lives in the guesthouse on Sally’s parent’s property.  To complicate matters, Sally’s father is on the hospital board where Rachel works.  Darcy has never like Rachel; Darcy is the hospital administrator who is out to prove Rachel is inept in handling responsibilities.  Dr. Booker has found Rachel more than capable, but is blind to Darcy’s real reason for disliking Rachel.  Sally sees right through it all.  Can Sally help her Uncle Ben to see through a woman’s eyes even if she is only twelve years of age?
                The fictional story will grip your heart in many ways.  It is hard not feel for Rachel suddenly becoming a widow.  Justin is unable to discern real friendship from false.  Bullying in schools all over America is a real issue and a real problem.  Deciding to stay and befriend people during a long term and difficult trial is a choice.  I found the story heart-gripping and heartwarming at the same time while I was reading.  In fact, I read this novel in one sitting as it was that good.  I wanted to see how the author was going to bring about the solutions to the dilemmas and challenges the various characters faced.  The story, while fictional, has some familiarity in my personal experiences so it was all the more engaging.  I believe all who read this will be able to relate to the tale being told.  Read and enjoy!
                My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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