Promise Me This  -     By: Cathy Gohlke
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Promise Me This

Tyndale House / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

Michael Dunnagan survived the sinking of the Titanic, thanks to the courage of Owen Allen, and promised to help Owen's family, his younger sister, Annie, in England and the rest of the family living in New Jersey, since Owen could not. Michael started to communicate to Annie through letters, but her anger over her brother's death was steeped in each of her responses. Eventually, Annie begins to lay aside her anger and their letters become friendlier. Michael saves up enough money to bring Annie to America just as WWI breaks out in Europe...then all communication with Annie ceases!

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414353073
ISBN-13: 9781414353074
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Michael Dunnagan was never supposed to sail on the Titanic, nor would he have survived if not for the courage of Owen Allen. Determined to carry out his promise to care for Owen’s relatives in America and his younger sister, Annie, in England, Michael works hard to strengthen the family’s New Jersey garden and landscaping business.

Annie Allen doesn’t care what Michael promised Owen. She only knows that her brother is gone—like their mother and father—and the grief is enough to swallow her whole. As Annie struggles to navigate life without Owen, Michael reaches out to her through letters. In time, as Annie begins to lay aside her anger that Michael lived when Owen did not, a tentative friendship takes root and blossoms into something neither expected. Just as Michael saves enough money to bring Annie to America, WWI erupts in Europe. When Annie’s letters mysteriously stop, Michael risks everything to fulfill his promise—and find the woman he’s grown to love—before she’s lost forever.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

In Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke, fifteen-year-old Michael Dunnagan hardly dares to believe that God might hear the prayers of "a gutter rat" like him until the kindness of a stranger gives him hope. Meanwhile, fourteen-year-old Annie Allen only wants time to pass quickly so that she might join her older brother Owen in America, but tragedy forces her to learn the bitterness of sorrow and the freedom of forgiveness.

Gohlke's historical romance, set during the time of the Titanic and World War I, explores the depth of human nature and emotions through its three-dimensional, compelling characters, Michael and Annie, as well as numerous minor characters. They keep a familiar and sometimes overused setting from becoming a cliche. Placing the sinking Titanic within its historical context just before World War I also helps keep the story fresh.

Promise Me This illustrates the truth shown in John Bunyan's classic work, Pilgrim's Progress: when we drop our burdens at the foot of the cross, we find peace and freedom. Or, as Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you." Although this is not a book for readers who want heart-pounding action on every page, Promise Me This will certainly satisfy romance readers who enjoy historical details and character-driven plots. Ruth Anne Burrell, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

One afternoon, young Michael Dunnagan steals away from his job to see the Titanic off. Through a sudden turn of events, he meets Owen Allen, a young man off to America to help his uncle in a gardening business. After a series of deceptions, Michael, who is not supposed to be on the ship, boards the Titanic, hoping to follow Owen to America and join him in this new business venture. Owen has left behind his sister, Annie, promising her that he will call for her once he is settled in America. When the Titanic sinks, Owen dies and asks Michael to take care of his sister. Annie and Michael begin a correspondence that at first is friendly, but soon turns romantic. When WWI intervenes, it appears that the two may have lost each other because of various circumstances on both sides of the Atlantic, but love and grace prevail in the end. Two-time Christy Award winner Gohlke tells a gripping tale of sacrifice, loss, love, and hope against the setting of familiar historical events; the loss of the Titanic marks its centennial in 2012. Agent: Natasha Kern. (Feb.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

Taking a break from work to watch the Titanic set sail on its maiden voyage, Michael Dunnagan meets passenger Owen Allen and decides to stow away in hopes of convincing Owen to let him join his uncle’s business in America. But the so-called unsinkable ship strikes an iceberg, and a dying Owen extracts a promise from Michael that he will care for Owen’s relatives in America and his sister Annie, still in England. Annie can’t bear the thought that Michael lived when her brother was lost, but the two develop a friendship through the letters they exchange. When World War I breaks out and Annie’s letters stop, Michael drops everything to find the woman he has come to love.VERDICT: No matter how many times the Titanic’s sinking has been depicted in film and in print, the 1912 maritime tragedy continues to fascinate us. This dramatic and heart-wrenching interpretation by two-time Christy Award winner Gohlke (William Henry Is a Fine Name; I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires) will enthrall fans of character-driven CF and readers who enjoy Francine Rivers.
One afternoon, young Michael Dunnagan steals away from his job to see the Titanic off. Through a sudden turn of events, he meets Owen Allen, a young man off to America to help his uncle in a gardening business. After a series of deceptions, Michael, who is not supposed to be on the ship, boards the Titanic, hoping to follow Owen to America and join him in this new business venture. Owen has left behind his sister, Annie, promising her that he will call for her once he is settled in America. When the Titanic sinks, Owen dies and asks Michael to take care of his sister. Annie and Michael begin a correspondence that at first is friendly, but soon turns romantic. When WWI intervenes, it appears that the two may have lost each other because of various circumstances on both sides of the Atlantic, but love and grace prevail in the end. Two-time Christy Award winner Gohlke tells a gripping tale of sacrifice, loss, love, and hope against the setting of familiar historical events; the loss of the Titanic marks its centennial in 2012.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    LOVE Cathy Gohlke's characters!
    June 24, 2015
    Danielle Hull
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    My second Cathy Gohlke book in a week. I am hooked. I love her characters; they stay with me for days after I finish their story. Their situations are foreign to me, but their thoughts and emotions are not. They struggle and learn to trust God and do it His way. This story deals with forgiveness, trust, and learning to do the right thing even when it goes against expectations others have of you.

    I wasn't sure I'd like the historical and physical setting of the Titanic but I did really enjoy it. It made me cry. I was surprised that she had the ship go down in one piece, as my understanding is that it broke in half. Otherwise, I appreciated the historical setting of Titanic and WWI.

    Note: I noticed one of the critical reviews, and I must say that though the book was long, I read it in two days, and that's with 7 kids at home! It was that good! And I found the story to be believable in the chaos of war.
  2. Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Magnificent Inspirational Epic!
    February 9, 2015
    Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    An epic story; brilliantly written, reminiscent of a Shakespearean tragedy but penned from an entirely different perspective. Easy to read? Not particularly. Worth the investment of time and emotion? Absolutely.

    Annie and Michael's story was truly riveting, so much so that I allowed myself a couple of mental "recesses" between sections; reading two other books, primarily to refuel my emotional stamina. What a rare example of true inspirational fiction; this one is magnificent and that's a promise!
  3. Elkhart, IN
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    True selfless love
    July 2, 2014
    JMHochstetler
    Elkhart, IN
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    In Owen Allen, Promise Me This offers a portrait of true selflessness. Michael Dunnagan's life would have turned out much differently if his path hadn't intersected with Owen's. An orphan terribly abused by the uncle who was supposed to raise him, by God's grace, Michael meets Owen, who offers him the chance to build a new life in America. But tragedy strikes their ship, the Titanic, and Owen is lost, leaving Michael to find his way alone to Owen's aunt and uncle. There he finds a loving home and genuine redemption as he fulfills Owen's promise to rebuild this kindly couple's failing business.

    Owen left his sister, Annie, behind in England to finish her education, with the promise that as soon as their relatives' business prospered, he would send for her. After Owen's death she falls under the control of their vindictive aunt, but it is Annie's bitter heart that rules her life even more strongly. Yet over time Michael's letters soften that hard soil, and a tender love begins to grow between them. Through even the horrors of WWI, the selfless love Owen sowed in Annie's heart continues to strengthen, and then flower, until at last it chokes out the evil fruit borne of her aunt's injustice.

    I found this story to be both moving and convicting. We often give lip service to the concept of selflessness, but in reality we live according to our own selfish desires. Truly selfless love—like that of Jesus—joyfully sacrifices its life for others despite the cost, and by that love hurting people are made whole. How different is our perspective from God's!

    I love the way this author creates characters who become dear friends you come to care deeply about. I love her engaging plots and moving themes that seem simple on the surface but in fact are profound. Although, for me, the last part of the story seemed to drag a bit, the ending was wonderful and well worth reading through to the end. I highly recommend Promise Me This as a tender and life-changing story with many convicting take-aways we can all benefit from.
  4. The Maritimes
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great story!
    April 22, 2014
    CurledUpWithaBook
    The Maritimes
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Promise Me This - eBook.
    This was a fantastic story - a story of heartbreak and hardship, love and devotion, loss and struggle. The main characters were people I would want as friends. And I like the way the author portrayed the strong faith of Owen which began to grow slowly in Michael and Annie as they matured. I will certainly look for more books by Cathy Gohlke.
  5. PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Beautiful Book
    June 24, 2013
    rlighthouse
    PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Promise Me This follows Michael on his journey to America starting on the Titanic and his friend's sister, Annie left behind in England dealing with an overbearing Aunt. The pair face many obstacles at every turn that they have to overcome including Annie's hatred towards Michael. By the end of the story I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see if they had the happy ending I thought they should have.
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