By: Marin Thomas
Publisher: New American Library
Publication Date: March 2016
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: March 19, 2016
Marin Thomas delivers an enjoyable read about family and its many complexities in her latest novel, The Promise of Forgiveness.
Mia was growing up way too fast for Ruby’s liking. It wasn’t her fault. Making a choice to grow up wasn’t an option for Ruby once she became a mom. Mia was barely four months old when Ruby’s parents died. She still struggled with the knowledge that she learned her parents weren’t her real parents—after they were already dead. To compound her troubles, the day Ruby came home to find her fourteen-year-old daughter in bed with a boy, it was time to make a change—a drastic change. Call it coincidence, but some power greater than Ruby sent that letter in the nick of time. With nothing more to lose, it was time to go to Unforgiven, Oklahoma, and meet the man responsible for her creation. Mia had no choice but to tag along with Ruby.
Ruby Baxter is somewhat of a drifter. The problem is, she’s supposed to be a responsible mom. She would do anything for her daughter if she could just get her own life on the straight and narrow. When the bus deposits Ruby and her daughter Mia at the depot in the dust pit of Unforgiven, Oklahoma, it wasn’t hard to recognize where its name came from. It’s tough to believe less than a week before, she and her daughter Mia were living out their days in Missouri. Granted, the trailer wasn’t anything that would be on the cover of House Beautiful, but it sure beat the pants off what she was looking at now. She would have never dragged Mia away from Missouri had she not received the letter from her father’s attorney—a father who gave her up thirty years ago...
Marin Thomas knows how to paint a picture of absolute destitute and sprinkle just enough intrigue to keep the reader turning pages. Main character Ruby is salty and has been around the block a few times, but Thomas tempers the rough edges with a heart that is in the right place. There’s nothing and no one who will stand in the way of Ruby protecting her child. Thomas brings the reader to the edge and just when he/she feels as though the turn of the next page will plunge the reader into the abyss, Thomas whips up a passage of hope and promise. This see-saw writing effect creates a solid tempo throughout the book. Her dialogue is real and as a result, one can hear the conversations. Even though this book is over 300 pages, it goes by quickly and the reader is engaged throughout. As an added bonus, Ms. Thomas has included a reader’s guide of discussion questions at book’s end which is a terrific enhancement.
Quill says: The Promise of Forgiveness is a great read for a book club group. The tempo is smooth and the plot provides ample subject matter for group discussion.