19 Jan Promise Me by Jill Mansell
A fabulously warm, uplifting story of fresh beginnings
As a big fan of this author, I was so happy to be invited to take part in this blogtour and spread the word about Jill Mansell’s latest story.
But wait – with main characters of a surly old man, a bad-tempered dog, and a young widow still emotionally bruised from her toxic marriage, how can this possibly be this popular author’s usual, feel-good offering?
Well, take my word for it, it is!
We meet widowed Lou just as she bumps into curmudgeonly 80-year-old Edgar Allsop outside the supermarket in Lou’s childhood hometown, where she’s visiting to catch up with her old friend, Sammy.
The rich old man is legendary for his unfriendliness, but Lou sees behind his façade to the loneliness beneath.
It’s not his offer to leave her his house when he dies that persuades her to become his live-in housekeeper. She genuinely feels sorry for him.
But when returning to Foxwell brings her back into contact with Remy, Sammy’s older brother, it looks like Lou is facing fresh heartbreak. For Remy sees her only as a friend.
Between Edgar’s frostiness, Remy’s indifference and Sammy’s hapless endeavours to succeed in his musical ambitions, it seems Lou has her work cut out to keep everyone happy. But she’s determined not to give up, even though her own happy-ever-after eludes her.
And what about the bad-tempered dog? I guarantee you’ll need tissues to hand when Edgar meets Captain Oates, named for his propensity to go out for some time, at the local dog shelter.
Does the ugly-looking Chihuahua hold the key to melting the old man’s heart? If only life were that simple!
Emotional depth keeps you fully engaged
This is a fabulous story. The characters are all so endearing – yes even Edgar and Captain Oates – that you quickly feel you have known them all your life. And as you get to know their back stories, from Edgar’s long-years-ago disappointment in love to Lou’s more recent bereavement, you cannot help but empathise with them.
While the narrative stays light, the strong emotional depth of the story keeps you fully engaged at all times.
Lou is a particularly strong heroine. Kind and caring, she’s suffered so much tragedy in her own life, but never stops looking out for others. She retains her humour and grace in the most trying circumstances – and things are going to get very trying as Edgar begins to come out of the shell.
The plot races along at a super pace, with plenty of action along the way, as Sammy’s love life takes off, and it looks like Edgar’s might, too, when an old flame reappears in his life.
Will he keep his promise to Lou? Will she keep her promise to him, to look after him to the end?
One thing is for sure. Promise Me delivers on its promise to readers of a wonderfully uplifting story, with a superb cast of characters who’ll stay in your heart after you’ve turned the final page.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Promise Me by Jill Mansell is published by Headline in hardback and ebook
About the Author
Jill Mansell has been writing Sunday Times bestsellers for over twenty years. Her hobbies include exploring the Cotswold and the south west of England, scouting for locations for future books, and discovering brilliant new restaurants along the way. She lives in Bristol with her family.
Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blogtour and to publishers Headline for the copy of the book.
Catch up with the rest of the blogtour at the links on the poster