A Promise to Remember by Kathryn Cushman is the heart-wrenching story of two women brought together by tragedy. The Phelps family is the envy of the community of Santa Barbara, rich, beautiful, and charitable. The Johnston family is the opposite, as Melanie Johnston struggles to get by as a single mother of two. When Chad Phelps and Jeff Johnston die in a car accident, the two families are conjoined with eternal ramifications.
Andie Phelps begins to cope with her grief by attempting to complete a painting she had promised Chad before he died. However, her husband does not understand or value her art, and recommends that the family fund a scholarship instead to honor Chad’s life. When Melanie Johnston sees that Chad is being lauded after death and realizes she lacks the funds to honor Jeff in a similar way, she decides to take legal action against the Phelps family to insure Jeff’s “legacy.”
Things become more complicated after the lawsuit is made public. Andie’s powerful friends decided to stand up for her in ways that have a huge impact on Melanie’s life, and Melanie’s lawyer is not afraid to throw dirt right back at the Phelps family. Soon both families are caught in webs of their own actions, and both women stand to lose everything.
Those who enjoy women’s and inspirational fiction will enjoy this novel. Readers of authors such as Karen Kingsbury, in particular, should give Kathryn Cushman’s work a try. She does a great job of capturing the pain-inspired, and sometimes irrational, actions of those coping with intense grief. One of the best things about A Promise to Remember is that it is written in such a way that neither of the protagonists receives preferential treatment. There are times when both women are frustrating, and there are times when it is impossible to ignore their pain, which is the way real life tends to be. Kathryn Cushman obviously understands the complex nature of real conflict. Some of the minor characters and descriptive passages come off a bit flat, but the complex subplots and major characters make up for them. A Promise to Remember will be a fulfilling novel for any fan of the legal thriller genre. -- Althea Margaret Kalman, Christian Book Previews.com
Andie Phelps is the envy of Santa Barbara. A devoted mother with a loving son and a successful husband, her greatest joy comes from reaching out to others....
Melanie Johnston is the envy of no one. A single mom who works long hours to pay the bills, and her greatest joys relate to her teen daughter and son.
Then the accident that changes everything. When opposite worlds collide, the impact reaches far beyond these mothers' personal losses.
Two wounded women...Two families seeking hope...A community torn apart...How far will they go to fulfill A Promise to Remember.