by Genevieve Graham
Narrator: Alexis Quednau
Length: 8 hours and 16 minutes
Genres: Historical Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 3.5 cups
Summer 1755, Acadia.
Young, feisty, and beautiful Amelie Belliveau lives a contented life with her family on their idyllic farm in Grande Pré, Nova Scotia. The Acadians are a peaceful people, and she and her family enjoy a good relationship with their Mi’kmaq neighbours. But peace can be fragile. Soon, British soldiers invade her life, claim her family’s farm, and ship away her brothers and father, all the while demanding that all Acadians pledge allegiance in their Seven Years’ War against the French.
Fortunately, Amelie has made a powerful ally. Corporal Connor MacDonnell is a reluctant participant in England’s plan to expel the Acadians from their homeland. His sympathy for Amelie gradually grows into love, and he resolves to help her and her family in any way he can—even if it means treason.
As the last warmth of summer fades, more ships arrive to ferry the Acadians away, and Connor is forced to make a choice that will alter theirs future forever.
Heart-wrenching and captivating, Promises to Keep is a gloriously romantic tale of a young couple willing to risk everything amidst the uncertainties of war.
In Promise to Keep, Genevieve Graham transports readers to the shores of Grande Pré, Nova Scotia during the summer of 1755, where the peaceful Acadian farmers, experience life-altering changes as their land becomes British Occupied. Narrated by Alexis Quednau, I quickly became caught up in Belliveau families story through the voice of Amelie Belliveau. Beautiful, captivating and heart-wrenching Promise to Keep is a story that will stay with you.
When the story first begins, Amelie and her family live in a small farming community. Life is good, as in their friendship with the local Mi’kmaq tribe. Britain occupies their land, but her people continue living as they always have. That is until the King gives new orders and life slowly begins to change until nothing is ever the same. One of the young British officers befriends Amelie, who is young, stubborn and often outspoken. What first began as acts of kindness turns into something forbidden. Promise to Keep held me in its grip.
Graham is an eloquent storyteller who weaves history and fictional characters into stories that steal a little piece of your heart. I sighed, grew anxious and wept like a baby on more than one occasion. Everything felt very surreal, from their departure to seeking shelter in an unknown land. I loved the Belliveau family, their friends, and Corporal Connor MacDonnell. Graham fleshed them out and breathed life into them.
Her writing style is poignant and poetic bringing the characters, surroundings, and circumstance to life. I was with them in the hull of the ship, held my breath when they faced the enemy and wept when they felt loses. I cannot even imagine the research that went into telling this story, but I certainly appreciated how Graham transported me. She made me research events and break out maps as Amelie and her family traveled to the Americas. I wanted to see pictures of their homeland, of the ports and tribes there.
The romance is subtle but powerful. It is one you want to see fulfilled despite the obstacles. While the romance is understated, it impacted the story and the lives of the characters. Graham allowed the reader to hope for a happily ever after.
The story is narrated by Alexis Quednau whose wide range of accents was impressive. She beautifully captured authentic French, Britsh, Native American, and New Englander accents. For the most part, I enjoyed listening and felt she captured the characters. However, some aspects were very monotone and lacked any inflection. This was particularly true when there was lack of conversation. The audio itself could have been edited better as sounds such a the narrator swallowing were heard.
Promise to Keep shared one family’s story of survival, hope and new beginnings while Graham wrapped it in rich history and transported me to 1755.
[bctt tweet=”A captivating and heart-wrenching tale that transported me to 1755 and stole a piece of my heart. Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham #iloveaudiobooks #historical #romance ” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Oh Gosh, this sounds epic and intimate all at once! I love how it tugged at your heart and how emotional it made you!! <3
The Orangutan Librarian
Shame some of the tone was monotonous- but it’s impressive that the narrator was able to do so many accents! It also sounds like it was beautifully written 😀 Great review!
I completely agree!
oh this sounds like a very enchanting one. I’m a sucker for poignant and poetic! It does transports you indeed! and New England! yay!
Her writing is wonderful. I hope you try it.
that is awesome that the narrator has such a great range. The story looks beautiful. I still want to read something from her.
I’ve enjoyed all of her books Lily.
I have read a few books by this beautiful author. SHE is amazing! I haven’t read her recent books but I will have to, I just know I am in for an emotional ride. She is just that great. I will have to get this book.
Yay! I am glad you love her too Mary 🙂
An interesting time period, I wouldn’t think much was going on, but I am sure I am wrong. I like the sound of the subtle but powerful romance.
It was a time of great exploration and Britain was staking claims in the Americas and shores of Canada.
Ronnie @ Paradise Found
Eighteenth century romance between a farmer girl and a British soldier? Yes, please!! This one has landed on my TBR. Thank you for letting me know about the existence of this book.
Happy to hear that Ronnie! Enjoy 🙂
Omg I want this one
I hope you get a chance to read it Linda 🙂
From reading your review, I can tell this novel really grabs a reader’s emotions. Thanks for the post.
Thanks, Angela, it is nice to be transported and learn along the way.
This seems like an interesting time period. Usually historical fiction is about WWII.
Exactly, this in Canadain history.
Jenea’s Book Obsession
You have me wanting to read this so badly, but I will definitely be needing some times. I am not a pretty cryer. 🙂 Wonderful review!
Yeah, I did get attached and some of the sufferings were so sad.
It’s not really my type of book but it sounds good for others and very emotional.
Thanks, Mary, I love historically based fiction
I totally agree with your review Kim it was such a poignant unforgettable tale and I loved these characters and the tragedies bestowed upon them in the name of war. I also loved her historical accuracies that had me googling events, timelines and places. Great review. Genevieve has quickly become a favorite author so much as I was able to convince my editor to let me review her upcoming April release, Come From Away for the publication I work for.
That is fantastic. I could not ft it in my schedule, but if it doesn’t come out on audio I will add it to my tbr pile 🙂
Thank you, Debbie! x
Ooo, I want to read this one so badly! I love that it’s a period in history I’m unfamiliar with and the story just sounds so captivating. I’m happy you enjoyed it, Kimberly! I’m going to see if my library has it…if not, I’ll use an Audible credit. 😉
I hope that you do 🙂
This is an interesting time era that I don’t usually read. Glad to hear that it was quite captivating and I do love a subtle yet powerful romance! Lovely review, Kim!
I hope you try this author Cyn.
I love that the author made you want to learn more by simply listening to her story. I love when an author can inspire that kind of passion in their readers. This sounds like a heartbreaker but one well worth reading because of it.
It had heartbreak, but it also showcased the incredible strength and resilence of these characters.
untold war stories in romantic ways. I would remember to pick this up, kinda rare these days to see such genre
I hope you try her Ailyn
This one really hit me in the heart, too. These people endured so much.
I wept quite a few times and smiles at others. It was a powerful story.