Saturday, November 5, 2011

"A Promise of Safekeeping" (ARC) ~ Lisa Dale

A Promise of Safekeeping: A Novel

This was another good read from Netgalley!  Interesting storyline, complex characters and positive themes of facing the truth, forgiveness and second chances.

Lauren sends Arlen to jail for a crime he doesn't commit and he loses nine years of his life as a result.  Will, Arlen's best friend, spends those years hating the woman who ruined his friends life and thus, had a negative effect on his own.  When she shows up in his store looking for Arlen, Will isn't too quick to let her back into Arlin's life or his own.  Lauren claims she's only seeking forgiveness for her mistake but Will doesn't trust her as far as he can throw her.  (Not, that he's throwing her anywhere.) 

But when his hopes for Arlin's reacclimation into society aren't going as smoothly as he'd hoped, Will decides to give Lauren a chance but only if he gets something out of it.  He needs short term help "picking" for his antique store and she needs access to Arlen so together, they come to an agreement for the few days she's in Richmond.  Things don't work out quite the way they planned, in fact, they begin to head in a direction neither one of them expected but is exactly what they both need.

Will and Lauren are both harboring secrets, ones they aren't ready to divulge to their families, leaving them no choice but to confide in each other.  This not only brings them closer together but allows them to see each other more clearly.  Will realizes maybe Lauren isn't so morally bankrupt as he originally thought and she realizes maybe there's more to this backwoods guy then he's letting on. (That and it might be really nice to run her hand through his slightly messy hair...) 

Lauren also comes to the realization that Arlen may never forgive her and if so, she'll have to find a way to live with that.  Will will have to figure out how to let go of not only the anger he's held towards Lauren for so long but a lot of other stuff too and Arlen, well, Arlen just has to learn to live again.

This book focuses a lot on the importance of truth within the justice system but also touches on the need to face the truth in our lives.  What are we hiding from?  What do we use as our safety blankets?  Forgiveness is a running theme but it comes with a price and while we may seek it, it may not be readily given. 

I enjoyed this book but thought the ending was a little abrupt. It was heading in the right direction but it would've been nice to have glimpsed the future, maybe five or ten years down the road to see how or if the characters had overcome their issues. (Go Team Epilogue!) 

Book Club Fans will enjoy the Q&A in the back as well as the author's personal invite to have her join your book club session. (How cool would that be?!)   

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