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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
The Promise by Michelle Vernal is a mesmerizing story that melds different themes into one: an adventure, a romance, and a tale of closures. Isabel Stark is a backpacker from Britain who comes across a car accident on a lonely road in New Zealand. Before the lone passenger, Ginny Havelock, takes her last breath, she entreats Isabel to do her a favor. Isabel accepts to find Constance and tell her Ginny is sorry. The words, “Wanted to go back to Wight. Tell Constance I’m sorry. Was wrong — should never have left — too late, too late…” will start Isabel on a journey that will bring her face-to-face with herself and with a distressed woman in a life-changing encounter. It’s a journey of reconciliation and redemption.
This novel is heartwarming, cunningly plotted, and featuring exceptional characters. The story begins with a prologue that introduces the conflict — the accident and a woman wounded and dying in regret. This event makes the protagonist, Isabel, a woman who seems to drift aimlessly through life, begin to give serious thought about her life and to undertake a mission that is as transforming as it is inspirational. The writing is gorgeous, filled with powerful and vivid descriptions and exciting dialogues. Michelle Vernal evokes compelling images of both the locales, the landscapes, and elements of the setting while exploring deeper layers of the characters. The story is emotionally rich and dotted with psychological conflict that adds to the realism of the narrative. The Promise is engaging, delightful, and hugely entertaining. But what makes it stand out is the humanity infused in the characters.