REVIEW: THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, BY BARBARA CLAYPOLE WHITE

 

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

My Thoughts: The opening portion of The Promise Between Us shows Katelyn MacDonald suffering in the throes of her fearful and anxious thoughts. Fears that she would hurt her baby; dark and frightening impulses that could lead to danger. The terrifying moments were excruciating, and when the story resumes, Katelyn is no longer in the picture, it is several years later, and her father, Callum, shows his perspective.

He and his wife Lilah are expecting a baby, while the two of them are trying to parent Maisie, now a ten-year-old child. Issues have cropped up for Maisie, and the two are struggling.

We then rejoin Katelyn, now Katie Mack, a metal artist. As she voices her thoughts, it is clear that she now has a diagnosis for her fears and anxieties: she is suffering from OCD. Not the kind of disorder that we often think of when we hear the term, but a much harsher, more painful version of the illness. The version that drove Katie away from her family in the fear that she would harm her baby.

I enjoyed learning more about OCD and discovering through the characters that there are strategies for dealing with the illness. Strategies learned in therapy.

How does an accidental meeting between Katie and her daughter Maisie, after nine years, offer up an opportunity for her to help her daughter, now struggling with the same disorder? How does she break through Cal’s fear and anger so that she can help her daughter? How does long-time friend Jake factor into the decision to communicate and learn from one another?

Secrets had kept them all at odds, but communication and help could bring healing.

This was an inspirational story, and I couldn’t stop reading it. My only problem was how many disabling disorders were going on within this small group, from the characters with OCD to some with PTSD. It was almost overwhelming, and sometimes I had to put the book down for a while. I did connect with the characters, though, and rooted for them all through their journeys. 4.5 stars.

***

REVIEW: EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES, BY LISA SCOTTOLINE

21853628

 

 

Dr. Eric Parrish, Chief of the Psychiatric Unit at Havemeyer Hospital in Philadelphia, is enjoying the fruits of his labor at work. His hospital has even earned an award for its performance, which many credit him for.

His personal life, however, is at an all-time low. His wife Caitlyn has left him, and she is doing sneaky things with regard to his visitation with their daughter Hannah. Eric realizes that she has a new boyfriend, and this probably explains a lot about her new attitude.

Then Eric is abruptly brought into the case of a seventeen-year-old boy named Max, who is suffering from depression and possibly other issues due to his grandmother’s impending death.

In treating Max, Eric soon learns of the boy’s obsessions, part of his OCD, which center on a young girl named Renee.

Suddenly everything is seemingly out of control for Eric, as Max goes missing after his grandmother’s death, and the young woman Renee has been found murdered. And at the hospital, a young medical student named Kristine has filed sexual harassment charges against him, which stuns Eric, since she has been coming on to him…and he has shut her down. Are these events random, or is someone pulling the strings? What is the end game?

Every Fifteen Minutes was a fast-paced suspense story narrated in Eric’s first person voice, and alternately narrated by an unidentified sociopath. The sociopath also uses the first person voice, and calls himself/herself a “sociopath” and outlines a vague plan to take Eric down. Who is this unidentified sociopath and why is he or she fixated on Eric?

I could not read this book fast enough, eager to find out who had done what. I had suspicions that the “puppeteer” had to be a colleague. But at the very end, a stunning reveal left me reeling. 5 stars.

SERENDIPITOUS WEDNESDAY: “EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday, our special day for sharing upcoming book releases.  Hop on over to Breaking the Spine to find out what everyone else is excited about.

Discovering upcoming book releases is a serendipitous thing that makes me happy.  Today I am featuring an upcoming release from one of my favorite authors:  Lisa Scottoline.  Every Fifteen Minutes, due out on April 14, 2015, is a visceral thriller that brings you into the grip of a true sociopath and shows you how, in the quest to survive such ruthlessness, every minute counts.

 

 

8199lzXrjoL._SL1500_

 

Amazon Blurb:  Dr. Eric Parrish is the Chief of the Psychiatric Unit at Havemeyer General Hospital outside of Philadelphia. Recently separated from his wife Alice, he is doing his best as a single Dad to his seven-year-old daughter Hannah. His work seems to be going better than his home life, however. His unit at the hospital has just been named number two in the country and Eric has a devoted staff of doctors and nurses who are as caring as Eric is. But when he takes on a new patient, Eric’s entire world begins to crumble. Seventeen-year-old Max has a terminally ill grandmother and is having trouble handling it. That, plus his OCD and violent thoughts about a girl he likes makes Eric a high risk patient. Max can’t turn off the mental rituals he needs to perform every fifteen minutes that keep him calm. With the pressure mounting, Max just might reach the breaking point. When the girl is found murdered, Max is nowhere to be found. Worried about Max, Eric goes looking for him and puts himself in danger of being seen as a “person of interest” himself. Next, one of his own staff turns on him in a trumped up charge of sexual harassment. Is this chaos all random? Or is someone systematically trying to destroy Eric’s life?

***

What do you think?  I am excited about this one because I love the variety of books this author writes, from stories about families and their issues, to thrillers, and then the occasional memoir.  So I really can’t wait when she has a new book coming out.

***