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.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 16th 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
ISBN 1542048982 (ISBN13: 9781542048989)
About the Author
Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, and Echoes of Family. The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity.
Check out the author's website
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Crouched in the corner of my baby girl's bedroom, we both shake, the three-legged mutt and the mother with a colony of fire ants multiplying in her brain.Katie is an artist who has been hiding the fact that she suffers from OCD. She's also been hiding her past from those who are a part of her "new life". Nine years ago she ran out on her husband and baby girl, and later promised her husband that she would stay out of their lives and play dead. She's begun a new life for herself as a metal artist, and she has a good man in her life. She keeps pushing him away, but he seems to keep coming back.
Daughter Maisie is a bit quirky and very smart. Her mother died when she was just a baby and she was raised by her single father who is a professor. Now she has a new stepmom and is about to start middle school, and she's beginning to feel the pressure.
Through happenstance Maisie and Katie meet, and Katie recognizes the signs of OCD in her own daughter.
This is my first exposure to this author. I enjoyed this book for the most part. The author has a relaxed writing style, and really does a great job of making the characters come to life. But a few things did bug me.
First was the fact that Maisie always felt younger than the ten years of age she is supposed to be in the story. She felt like she was more like six or seven years of age. And her biological mother Katie would speak to her like she was a little girl, using childish phrases and words. That really kind of annoyed me.
Secondly was the descriptions of the OCD experience. Maybe it's accurate and I'm way off (after all, it seems the author got her insight through speaking with people who suffer with OCD, including her own family member). So maybe those who suffer from OCD will read this and think it is spot-on, but for me it felt over-dramatic in the same way that Maisie felt overly young. Both things just felt "off".
I would like to thank TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour. Check out the website for the full tour schedule:
Tuesday, January 16th: Doing Dewey
Thursday, January 18th: Books and Bindings
Friday, January 19th: Readaholic Zone
Monday, January 22nd: Kritters Ramblings
Thursday, January 25th: Leah DeCesare
Friday, January 26th: What Is That Book About
Monday, January 29th: Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, January 30th: Book by Book
Thursday, February 1st: Wining Wife
Wednesday, February 7th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, February 8th: Novel Gossip
Monday, February 12th: SJ2B House Of Books
Tuesday, February 13th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Thursday, February 22nd: The Geeky Bibliophile
Wednesday, February 28th: Comfy Reading
TBD: Instagram: @writersdream
TBD: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
My final word: Despite my reservations about the internal descriptions and dialogue with OCD, and the childishness of Maisie, I really did enjoy this story. I wasn't a fan of Maisie's father Callum, and Katie's sister Delaney felt a little one-dimensional. But Katie was a highly fallible character that you could root for, Maisie was an endearing off-beat little kid, Lilah was the stepmom who surprised everyone with her strength and loyalty and determination, and Maisie's "Uncle Jake" was also a very flawed human being who I wound up liking. I would especially recommend this one for those who enjoy stories involving mental health, and those who like stories centered around family dramas. I will be happy to read this author again.
Barnes and Noble
Writing Style: A-
The Cerebral Girl is a forty-something blogger just digging her way out from under a mountain of books in the deep south of Florida.
I received a copy of this book to review through TLC Book Tours and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release.