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June 2, 2024

Mary Ellen Taylor Explores Grief and Family Relationships in Beautiful New Novel

by Susan Roberts

The Promise of Tomorrow
 by Mary Ellen Taylor is a beautifully written and emotional book that kept me up past my bedtime.  I got so involved with the lives of the two main characters that I had to find out if and how they solved their problems.  This book deals with some heavy subjects - death and grief, love and loss, a parent with Alzheimer's and even though it's very sad in parts it also contains hopes for the future.  It's told in alternating chapters by the two main characters so that the reader is able to see how two people deal very differently with grief. 

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel The Promise of Tomorrow by Mary Ellen Taylor
June 2024; Montlake; 978-1662517822
audio, ebook, print (350 pages); women's fiction

One day, Olympia packed her car and drove away from her small Virginia hometown.  She's traveled all over the western states to complete her deceased mom's bucket list.  She appears resilient and strong as she travels, often sleeping in her car and only stopping to work to make enough money to continue her travels. A year later, she's back in her hometown for her only sister's engagement party.  Her plans are to only stay in town long enough to sign divorce papers to end her marriage with Spencer, visit the graves of her mother and daughter, and then get back on the road but things don't always work out like we plan.

Spencer is working hard to handle his father's diagnosis of Alzheimer's.  He has given up his place on the golf circuit to come home and take care of the family business.  He doesn't really understand why Olympia left but he still appears to be in love with her.  He, too, is dealing with grief from the death of their daughter as well as his strong father's mental decline.

Along with the fractured relationship between Olympia and Spencer, there is a tenuous relationship between Olympia and her sister and her negative treatment from Spencer's parents.  It looks at grief from all sides - not only grief from death but also grief from ended relationships and losing trust in family.  I really enjoyed both of the main characters and hoped they would have a happily ever after.

This emotional look at grief and loss along with hope for happiness is a book that I won't soon forget.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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