A PROMISE REMEMBERED - Elizabeth Mowers
Chinoodin Falls, Michigan
Annie Curtis has no family other than her two children. Betsy is eight-years-old, and James is six. Betsy's father Julian deserted them and Annie divorced James's father, Sean Butler, three years ago. Sean is both a manipulative and dismissive bully. Annie tries to shelter James from Sean's tyranny and prevent any change to their informal agreement giving her full custody. She supports herself and her children through her job at the local diner, Pop's Place. The owner, Joyce, is more than an employer--she is a good friend. Annie has helped Joyce through some personal crises including her son William's desertion. He has been gone twelve years and is a young man Annie once loved. Now she is just angry when he shows up.
William Kauffman, a recently dismissed member of the U.S. Navy, is on the run. He needs to disappear before being arrested but wants to see his mother first and collect her dead husband Dennis's 1981 vintage motorcycle. He can sell his old truck for cash and use the money in his escape. Dennis was an emotionally abusive step-father who drove William away. Emotional scars remain. Although his mother needs him and he still loves the girl he once knew in high school, he knows he cannot stay.
Both Annie and William are fighting their pasts, which makes them wary of commitment. How can Annie love someone who is determined to leave, especially when dealing with threats from her ex? Yet William loves her children and is very good at drawing James from the withdrawal his father has driven him into. How can William stay when he is afraid of being sent to prison? This small town on the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is full of emotive characters sure to engage readers. Being a Troll (someone from below the Mackinaw Bridge), I still love stories about the Yoopers. This one is worth reading even if you are not a Yooper or a Troll.