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Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with t Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return. But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned? To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.


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Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with t Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return. But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned? To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

30 review for The Promise Between Us

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    Every thought is just a thought until you assign it meaning. Angie Alexander, founder of friends with OCD My rating for The Promise Between Us reflects how I felt about the story and how I connected with the characters. Barbara Claypole White does a good job here with all the information and telling us what it’s like to live with OCD and I learned some things I didn’t know. She explores a different side of OCD. I really appreciated learning that different side to OCD that I was not aware of. She d Every thought is just a thought until you assign it meaning. Angie Alexander, founder of friends with OCD My rating for The Promise Between Us reflects how I felt about the story and how I connected with the characters. Barbara Claypole White does a good job here with all the information and telling us what it’s like to live with OCD and I learned some things I didn’t know. She explores a different side of OCD. I really appreciated learning that different side to OCD that I was not aware of. She does a great job telling us and explaining the feeling of something is not right and how that can lead to obsessive thoughts and the snowball effect of those thoughts on someone who experiences OCD. Where I struggled with the story was, I felt it was told to us instead of showing us through the characters and allowing me to feel for and connect with the characters. All the information felt a bit overwhelming at times for me and that overshadowed the story for me. This was a sister read with Lindsay. Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Barbara Claypole White for a copy of this title to read and review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce

    3.5 sad but educational stars This was a wonderful book enabling me to understand the issues and what a person has to deal with while having Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) considered as a type of anxiety disorder. It was a eye opening experience into the world where people afflicted with this sometimes life debilitating illness deal with. This illness traps people into repetitive behaviors that their mind tells them is necessary in order for them and others to survive. Many now believe that 3.5 sad but educational stars This was a wonderful book enabling me to understand the issues and what a person has to deal with while having Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) considered as a type of anxiety disorder. It was a eye opening experience into the world where people afflicted with this sometimes life debilitating illness deal with. This illness traps people into repetitive behaviors that their mind tells them is necessary in order for them and others to survive. Many now believe that it is caused by biological issues and as we learn later the main protagonist's mother probably had OCD. Katie Mack is an iron welder who works in the field of art. Years ago, she gave up her new child, her husband and her life because of her overwhelming fear that she would do harm to the child, Maisie. Now through a twist of fate, Katie is reunited with her daughter although it is unbeknownst to her daughter that she is interacting with her birth mother. Maisie is surrounded by love, that of her father and her uncle Jake, her dad's best friend. Callum, the ex husband, is remarried and they are expecting a child. All seems well and Katie might have left this new family alone except she sees within Maisie symptoms of OCD. She knows what Maisie is experiencing, she feels the pain of this illness, and she wants to desperately help her child. This is a story of how all parties work towards the ability to help this child along while helping themselves. All the characters within this novel have experienced trauma and come away scared and really afraid to embrace life. Ms Claypole-White, herself an OCD sufferer, has done a large amount of research and used her own personal experience to help the reader get into the mind and thoughts of Katie. She created many endearing characters as all the adults try to help this child that they all love. If you are at all interested in what a person who experiences this traumatic illness goes through, I would recommend this book. There was just the right amount of suspense as we follow all the characters through their realization of grabbing onto life no matter what traumas have occurred to them in their past. Thank you to the author, the publisher and netgalley for providing an ARC of this novel.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    2.5 stars. I truly enjoyed the educational aspect of this novel, but the storyline completely missed it’s mark for me. This story follows Katelyn, a woman who suffers from an extreme case of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Shortly after giving birth, she recognizes her OCD is something that could potentially harm her newborn child. Upon this realization, Katelyn divorces her husband and gives up parental rights to her newborn child, promising to never reenter their lives. Does this make her 2.5 stars. I truly enjoyed the educational aspect of this novel, but the storyline completely missed it’s mark for me. This story follows Katelyn, a woman who suffers from an extreme case of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Shortly after giving birth, she recognizes her OCD is something that could potentially harm her newborn child. Upon this realization, Katelyn divorces her husband and gives up parental rights to her newborn child, promising to never reenter their lives. Does this make her a good mother for being strong enough to walk away? Or a bad mother for ‘giving up’ and abandoning her family? A very tough question. I thought the author did a wonderful job pulling the reader directly into the mind of someone living with OCD. It was very eye-opening to experience the struggles they face on a daily basis. It is a life consuming and devastating mental illness that has the potential to overpower your every thought and action. The problem I had with this book was that the storyline and characters didn’t feel remotely real to me. Much of the dialogue felt unnatural and bordered on cheesy. While I found it interesting to be inside Katelyn’s mind, I didn’t actually “feel” for her character. At times, it felt like an informational story where the illness was being explained to me, rather than the characters actually living through it. There was also quite a lot of implausibility to the plot. I read this with my Traveling Sister, Brenda, and it was a wonderful book to discuss. There are many fantastic reviews for this novel, so I suggest checking those out before making a decision about reading this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bkwmlee

    The Promise Between Us is the second book about mental illness that I’ve read so far this year and while I feel like this one didn’t have the emotional depth that the book I read earlier (Mira T. Lee’s Everything Here is Beautiful ) did, it was still a worthwhile read, and one that I would definitely recommend. One of the reasons why I love reading is because of the wonderful ability that books have to broaden my horizons and teach me things that I either did not know previously or I knew The Promise Between Us is the second book about mental illness that I’ve read so far this year and while I feel like this one didn’t have the emotional depth that the book I read earlier (Mira T. Lee’s Everything Here is Beautiful ) did, it was still a worthwhile read, and one that I would definitely recommend. One of the reasons why I love reading is because of the wonderful ability that books have to broaden my horizons and teach me things that I either did not know previously or I knew but perhaps had a limited, even flawed, understanding of. This book in particular was an eye-opener for me in that, through the story of Katelyn (Katie) and her struggle with OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) as well as how it impacted those close to her, I gained some much-needed insight that helped me correct some of the misconceptions I had about the illness. I will admit that prior to reading this book, I was one of those people who thought that OCD was a minor disorder which involved being obsessed with cleanliness, order, and avoiding germs. Like many others who may not have experience dealing with mental illness on a personal level, my perception of OCD was pretty much in line with the way the illness is typically portrayed in our society – namely that people with OCD wash their hands until they bleed, sterilize every utensil they use in restaurants, refuse to shake hands or be touched by anyone for fear of spreading germs. Now I realize how flawed and misguided that perception was. I was floored to learn the true nature of this illness, its pervasiveness, and how it can manifest itself in so many different ways. I appreciate the tremendous detail on OCD that the author Barbara Claypole White provided via her characters’ experiences and relationships, in a way that made it easily accessible and understood for readers such as myself who, up to this point, had such a flawed understanding of this debilitating illness. There is a particular scene in the book where Katie tries to explain her illness to her ex-husband Callum, tying it back to her past family history and the possibility that their 10-year-old daughter Maisie may be suffering from the same illness, to which Callum’s initial response is reflective of the stereotypical view of OCD: “…Maisie is a confident, happy child…she doesn’t wash her hands until they bleed. She’s not a neat freak.” So many powerful scenes such as this one, where we are given insight into the various manifestations of OCD (i.e. postpartum OCD, harm OCD, etc.) as well as other forms of mental illness such as anxiety disorder, PTSD, depression, etc. – all heavy topics, yet dealt with in a way that didn’t feel heavy-handed or preachy. Reading the author’s notes, her family’s history with OCD, her real-life inspiration for the characters in the story, also helped to put things in perspective for me. Of course, I will never understand mental illness the same way someone who suffers from it day in and day out does, but I appreciate the fact that books like this one help bring wider awareness to such important issues. The story itself was well-written, the characters well-developed and flushed out. I like that each chapter was told from the perspective of the various characters, though personally I feel that the story would have been more impactful if told in first person rather than third person. Though I liked the characters for the most part and felt that they were realistically portrayed, I wasn’t able to connect as much on an emotional level with them for some reason. Perhaps it is because I read this book not long after reading another book about mental illness, Everything Here is Beautiful , which did such an amazing job in terms of putting us into the minds of the characters and made the experience overall so much more personal – that book set the bar quite high for me, a standard that will be hard to top. Regardless though, The Promise Between Us was a great effort by the author to bring OCD and its impact to the forefront and I would definitely read more books by her! Received ARC from Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Barbara White

    For my fifth novel, I'm returning to my great passion: writing characters with OCD. As usual, I tackle some dark subjects but with hope. Tons of hope in this one. Tons! I'm super proud of THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, and I hope it's a thumping good read that also shines a light on an area of OCD that still carries unbearable shame: postpartum OCD, which often manifests as intrusive images of hurting your baby. As a new mother, can you image anything worse? I could ramble on about the plot, the themes For my fifth novel, I'm returning to my great passion: writing characters with OCD. As usual, I tackle some dark subjects but with hope. Tons of hope in this one. Tons! I'm super proud of THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, and I hope it's a thumping good read that also shines a light on an area of OCD that still carries unbearable shame: postpartum OCD, which often manifests as intrusive images of hurting your baby. As a new mother, can you image anything worse? I could ramble on about the plot, the themes, the characters who are still with me, but I'm going to let my real life heroine, Jodi Picoult, tell you about THE PROMISE BETWEEN US: “If you leave your newborn child because you have unstoppable thoughts of harming her, are you a good mother or a terrible one? This dilemma is at the heart of Barbara Claypole White’s novel, a wrenching story of how one woman’s OCD has a ripple effect on those around her - including the people she tried hardest to protect. This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness — a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.” - Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of SMALL GREAT THINGS

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laura Spinella

    In The Promise Between Us, bestselling author Barbara Claypole White explores survival, shame, and above all, compassion. With the deft hand of a true artist, the author creates complex characters, whose lives have been ravaged by mental illness—when it goes unchecked and through its tumultuous effect on generations of women from one family. Readers will be drawn into Katie Mack’s world, they’ll root for her and her daughter, Maisie. The Promise Between Us redefines motherhood and sacrifice, del In The Promise Between Us, bestselling author Barbara Claypole White explores survival, shame, and above all, compassion. With the deft hand of a true artist, the author creates complex characters, whose lives have been ravaged by mental illness—when it goes unchecked and through its tumultuous effect on generations of women from one family. Readers will be drawn into Katie Mack’s world, they’ll root for her and her daughter, Maisie. The Promise Between Us redefines motherhood and sacrifice, delivering a heartfelt story with a powerful message. A must read for lovers of women's fiction, deeply emotional, a unique thought-provoking read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    5 Stars + + Bestselling author, Barbara Claypole White returns following (2016) Echoes of Family and (2015) The Perfect Son with her best yet, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. Heart-wrenching a profoundly moving, and insightful story of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and mental health. Relationships. Battling the monsters of the mind. Educating the family members and close friends. Deep understanding and empathy. Compelling, beautifully written, and emotionally-charged, you sympathize with eac 5 Stars + + Bestselling author, Barbara Claypole White returns following (2016) Echoes of Family and (2015) The Perfect Son with her best yet, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. Heart-wrenching a profoundly moving, and insightful story of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and mental health. Relationships. Battling the monsters of the mind. Educating the family members and close friends. Deep understanding and empathy. Compelling, beautifully written, and emotionally-charged, you sympathize with each of the characters as they come alive on the pages. A story of shame, love, hope, and redemption. “Every thought is just a thought until you assign it meaning.” — Angie Alexander, founder of Friends with OCD Written passionately, from five viewpoints —meet Katie, Callum and Maisie MacDonald. Second wife, Lilah, and Callum’s best friend, Jake. In Raleigh, NC after the birth of Katelyn (Katie) and Callum’s daughter Maisie, Katelyn begins experiencing harmful thoughts and images. As a mother, she is afraid she will hurt her child. She wants to protect her, and she doesn’t understand what is happening. She wants nothing more than to be a good mother. She worries about everything. Her daughter's safety. Katelyn has told no one of her private horror movies playing inside her head. Violent images. Not Cal, not the doctors. Images that play over and over. She is powerless. They may take her away from Maisie. She would lose her forever. She wants to protect her. They would lock her away and think she was crazy. She had told the doctor she was worried all the time and he said it was depression and PTSD. Easy fix, they say, “pills and think happy thoughts.” She knows nothing of postpartum OCD. Katelyn has a haunting past. According to the professional, adults never escape their childhoods. She saw her mother stab her father at the kitchen table. The dad ran off, and her mom prayed and drank, while she raised her baby sister, Delaney. She was only twelve years old. When she finally asks for help, her husband does not understand. He has his inner demons (which he has not shared with his wife). She senses her husband is terrified of her. Flash forward we hear from Callum (Professor) which is now raising ten-year-old daughter Maisie. He is newly married to Lilah which is pregnant. Jake (uncle J) has been a best friend of Callum’s since grade school and is single. He is a big part of their lives. We also learn later in the book; he also has secrets of the past. Why is he so engrossed in their lives? Katie (former Katelyn) now a metal artist living in Durham, NC. She works with Ben, the star of the studio. He took her on as a project, years earlier when she became his intern. Her work takes her to a docent program in Raleigh, where she lived with Callum and her daughter. She is very nervous about returning to the area. Her anxiety level is high. A student. A talented fifth grader, Maisie. Her daughter. She believes her mother is dead. Katelyn now goes by the name of Katie Mack. She keeps quiet and enjoys interacting with the girl. Her precious daughter. However, immediately, she suspects her daughter has inherited her OCD. She has all the signs. She becomes concerned for her well-being. She knows what she will face and how she thinks. She will be the one to help her. However, how will she convince Cal, his new wife, and J she has Maisie's best interest at heart? “OCD goes after what matters most." Tortures you with your worst-case scenario — Staying away from Raleigh was no different from dumping all the knives in the trash nine years earlier. Avoidance. Katie still hears the voices inside her head. However, she has learned to deal with them differently. She knows she has OCD. OCD lies. It does not go away; however, it is up to her to manage them. A woman desperate, abandoned her daughter and family because she thought she, was a monster. Living with her dog in a tent for seventeen months with her dog until he died. She wanted to go home, but suicide seemed the only option. When that did not work, she knew she had to do something. Without the resources and money to get the help she needed. Self-directed therapy. She grew up with an unfit mother and knew she did not want that for Maisie. She decided to tackle her fear. She had nothing to lose. Her first welding class. If she could control fire and make something beautiful of it, she could do so with her life. The author cleverly unravels the past and the horrific journey of Katie. From being alone, helpless, homeless, with no health insurance, or anywhere to turn. At one point she turned to suicide but was saved. With her sister’s help and her new career, she was making a life for herself. She continues to tell herself. “I control fire; I am strong. I’m a welder who works in a helmet decorated with Power Girl stickers.” Riveting and thought-provoking! The author gets into the minds and hearts of each character. Each person plays an essential part in the overall storyline. (the twist with Cal and Jake) Thereby, providing further depth. Their history, tragedies, anxieties, fears (both past and present). THE PROMISE BETWEEN US reminds me of the show (I love) This is Us. And back for the next season. Especially this past week’s new episode with (Kevin) in therapy and the family is called in for a joint session. An often misunderstood illness leads people to make desperate decisions, which change the course of their lives. A group of people trapped in a difficult situation with difficulties. A ripple effect on those they hold close. The author does an extraordinary job tackling the topic of mental illness with meticulous research and well-developed characters. The title, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, speaks volumes. More than one promise. More than one with mental illness in this story. Some only hide their illness. White skillfully demonstrates how everyone has a different form of the disease. Everyone handles it differently. When spiraling out of control, it can be devastating. From childhood to adulthood. OCD is an illness of the mind. When thoughts are not the problem, but how we deal with them. Written with intensity, and a mix of humor, a total package from the first page to the last. Not an ordinary family drama. It almost reads like domestic suspense. It is riveting, and readers will be turning the pages dying to discover the mystery behind Cal and Jake's personalities. The author is at the "top of her game." A perfect choice for book clubs with discussion question included the inspiration behind the book and additional resources for OCD. Highly recommend! For fans of Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain and of course, the TV series, This is Us. A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. JDCMustReadBooks.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Rothstein

    A page turner! Barbara Claypole White writes a book ripe for reading all night. Her understanding and painting of OCD is as fascinating as it is educational. Thumbs all the way up.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This is told from five different perspectives, you have Katie, Cal, Lilah, Jake and Maisie who’s life are all entangled in some way. I love books told by an ensemble cast, especially if they’re executed well and this one was flawless. The character development was incredibly strong and each and every one of them is vividly drawn, the type of characters that you forget are fictional. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to glance up from the book and see Katie standing in my living room, they’re This is told from five different perspectives, you have Katie, Cal, Lilah, Jake and Maisie who’s life are all entangled in some way. I love books told by an ensemble cast, especially if they’re executed well and this one was flawless. The character development was incredibly strong and each and every one of them is vividly drawn, the type of characters that you forget are fictional. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to glance up from the book and see Katie standing in my living room, they’re just that realistic. I knew that OCD is something that the author lives with every single day as her her son and husband both have it, but even if I hadn’t known that I think it’s evident that this is a deeply personal topic for her and one that she is well informed of. She writes about living with OCD both as one who has it AND as a family member in an unflinchingly honest manner that gets you right in the heart. This was such an emotional read and such an eye opening one for me, at times it was hard to read but only because the author writes in such a fearless manner. Motherhood is hard enough for an average woman and reading about Katie’s struggles trying to navigate parenthood and OCD was both heartbreaking and beautiful. This is one of those books I could discuss for hours, I totally recommend it as a book club pick. The discussion topics are endless and I really can’t imagine anyone not feeling something for these amazing characters. The Promise Between Us in three words: Brave, Raw and Poignant.

  10. 5 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: You might have been blinded by love and lust, but Katelyn was always wound tighter than a dollar store watch. How did this happen? Two PhDs between them, and they couldn’t figure out contraception. I’m a welder who works in a helmet decorated with Power Girl stickers. Why were these horrid thoughts taking up a whole room in her brain? No, multiple rooms! Still as predictable as ever. Takes a small pair of balls to intimidate a small woman. ‘’Cause I feel as if I’ve been skinny-dipping Favorite Quotes: You might have been blinded by love and lust, but Katelyn was always wound tighter than a dollar store watch. How did this happen? Two PhDs between them, and they couldn’t figure out contraception. I’m a welder who works in a helmet decorated with Power Girl stickers. Why were these horrid thoughts taking up a whole room in her brain? No, multiple rooms! Still as predictable as ever. Takes a small pair of balls to intimidate a small woman. ‘’Cause I feel as if I’ve been skinny-dipping with snapping turtles. And oh, Lordy’—he tossed out an expression that reminded her of Robin Williams playing Mrs. Doubtfire—‘you know how much I value my body parts.’ Delaney had once complained that it was impossible to make Patrick jealous, but the look he gave Jake was, surely, reserved for muggers of little old ladies. My Review: This book should be required reading for all medical and psychological graduate students and interns. Written from five viewpoints The Promise Between Us was smartly written and endlessly fascinating, yet surprisingly easy to follow. I was quickly mesmerized and completely embedded within the craniums of these peculiar and cringe-worthy characters and have yet to fully resurface. I have a strong suspicion that these singularly unique yet fully formed individuals will be residing with me for quite some time. The storyline was tragic and heartbreaking while the characters were deeply flawed, fractured, and somewhat repellent, yet oddly compelling and endearing for their efforts. But the writing, oh the writing, it was stellar, superb, well-crafted, tantalizing, heartrending, poignant, painfully insightful, sharply honed, and exquisitely observant with unexpected yet perfectly pitched twists of levity, primarily from the most under-appreciated characters. I adore this author and would worship at an altar laden with her works.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan Peterson

    I absolutely loved this book, its characters, and how touched I was by their stories...characters whose lives were broken, characters who showed strength in circumstances that would have defeated others, characters whose resilience and hopefulness get them through the darkest of times. At the heart of this book is family, and how different families can look, how many ways there are to be a mother and to care for a child, and what sacrifices a mother and father will make in order to save their ch I absolutely loved this book, its characters, and how touched I was by their stories...characters whose lives were broken, characters who showed strength in circumstances that would have defeated others, characters whose resilience and hopefulness get them through the darkest of times. At the heart of this book is family, and how different families can look, how many ways there are to be a mother and to care for a child, and what sacrifices a mother and father will make in order to save their child. Barbara Claypole White has the amazing ability to write about characters with mental illness, exposing the ugliness of the disease without sacrificing compassion and empathy for her characters. I loved that this book was written from 5 points of view; each of these characters has a story to tell, each of them have their own distinct voice to tell their own version of events that shaped all of their lives. The author has tackled the difficult, misunderstood, often-trivialized subject of OCD and anxiety, in such a way that it will educate readers without being preachy; and so that readers can really feel what it's like to be in the head of someone who suffers from this devastating illness. No punches are pulled when it comes to exposing emotions; the scenes between the characters, their conversations honest and raw. From the brilliant opening prologue, filled with fear; through all the ups and downs as relationships break and heal and break again; I read this book with my heart in my throat, pulse-pounding, tears in my eyes. I'll be revisiting this book again and again, because I will never be able to walk away from these characters and their stories.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Donna Everhart

    I read an early copy of this book, and the author did not ask me to review it, so this is based on my own opinion of the book, in which I also provided a blurb. From my blurb: In THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, Barbara Claypole White masters the art of bringing a reader up close and personal to the influences and forces of a mental illness. In this powerhouse of a story, Katelyn MacDonald’s decision to give up the precious gift of raising her baby, Maisie, in order to protect her, makes for a compelling I read an early copy of this book, and the author did not ask me to review it, so this is based on my own opinion of the book, in which I also provided a blurb. From my blurb: In THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, Barbara Claypole White masters the art of bringing a reader up close and personal to the influences and forces of a mental illness. In this powerhouse of a story, Katelyn MacDonald’s decision to give up the precious gift of raising her baby, Maisie, in order to protect her, makes for a compelling page turner. This is an in-depth portrayal of what it means to live in a world where every single thought or action comes into question, it is a story for the times, a story filled with stark realities, but most important of all, it is a story about hope, healing, and the strength of a mother’s love. Beyond the blurb: I loved reading each character's chapter. BCW has created characters who are multi-dimensional and real. They stand out on their own, and take you with them through their struggles and triumphs - each and every one. Another great story, and one I'm sure will open your eyes to what this particular mental illness does and can do.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    Barbara Claypole White knocks it out of the park with her latest family saga, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. In this riveting page-turner, White digs deep into the intricacies of her characters’ lives and the devastating effects of a mental illness when left unchecked. It can easily be classified as a story about motherhood, family, and sacrifice. But mostly, it’s a tale of love, redemption, and renewal. THE PROMISE BETWEEN US has something for everyone: suspense, romance, and even a hint of mystery. A Barbara Claypole White knocks it out of the park with her latest family saga, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. In this riveting page-turner, White digs deep into the intricacies of her characters’ lives and the devastating effects of a mental illness when left unchecked. It can easily be classified as a story about motherhood, family, and sacrifice. But mostly, it’s a tale of love, redemption, and renewal. THE PROMISE BETWEEN US has something for everyone: suspense, romance, and even a hint of mystery. A fast-paced read that captivates from the first word until the last. A definite book club selection that I highly recommend.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    The Promise Between Us was my first read for 2018 and really it was a perfect choice. What a mind blowing, emotional, informative story. It is one that will stay with me and one that I will want to reread again. The story is told mainly from Katie's point of view, the mother who walked out and left her child because she was terrified she would harm her. However we also have Cal - her ex husband, Jake his close mate, Lilah now Cal's wife and Maisie the daughter of Cal and Katie. As well there is D The Promise Between Us was my first read for 2018 and really it was a perfect choice. What a mind blowing, emotional, informative story. It is one that will stay with me and one that I will want to reread again. The story is told mainly from Katie's point of view, the mother who walked out and left her child because she was terrified she would harm her. However we also have Cal - her ex husband, Jake his close mate, Lilah now Cal's wife and Maisie the daughter of Cal and Katie. As well there is Delaney - Katie's sister and Ben the guy who just might be someone important in Katie's life. While the last two do not get a 'viewpoint' they have important roles and I love how Barbara Claypole White portrayed them The other 'main character' in the story is OCD, Katie lives with it and now after accidentally meeting Maisie, she fears Maisie has it too. As a reader I learned so much about OCD through the book and how important treatment is for it and how courageous one has to be to live fully and not let the OCD take over your life. And so terrible things happen in this story, but always there is courage and hope and that stood out right the way through. As it turns out Katie and Maisie are not the only ones suffering from anxiety - and that was a heart breaking aspect as well to this story - I am not going to say who or how as I do not want to spoil the story if you read it. However it is handled gently and in a positive manner. I loved the emphasis on truth and honesty, and kudos to Lilah, what a wonderful young woman - so wise. At the beginning of the book Jake seems to be a frivolous, happy go lucky man, but in actual fact he has hidden depths and I can see as the future evolves he and Katie will work together on some project close to their hearts. A favorite quote from the book: " Perfection stops you from enjoying the wonder of what is. It snares you with unrealistic expectations. Tells you constantly things can only be a certain way, and that's how you fall into the trap" This was a wonderful story to read, just as a story - but as well it helped me see into the mind and heart of others and invited me as a person to expand my heart and mind to believe all over again that darkness does not win; compassion, love and hope are far stronger.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda Zagon

    My Review of “The Promise Between Us” by Barbara Claypole White WOW! I appreciate that Barbara Claypole White, Author of “The Promise Between Us” has written such a powerful and descriptive novel about mental illness. The genres for this book are Fiction and Women’s Fiction, but Barbara Claypole White describes mental illness in such a realistic and enlightening way. The author describes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, High Anxiety Disorder Panic Attacks, and Depression which can be seen in her cha My Review of “The Promise Between Us” by Barbara Claypole White WOW! I appreciate that Barbara Claypole White, Author of “The Promise Between Us” has written such a powerful and descriptive novel about mental illness. The genres for this book are Fiction and Women’s Fiction, but Barbara Claypole White describes mental illness in such a realistic and enlightening way. The author describes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, High Anxiety Disorder Panic Attacks, and Depression which can be seen in her characters. Many of the disorders that are mentioned cause feelings of shame, self-deprecating behavior, guilt, repetitive thoughts or ruminating, loss of worth, and are emotionally painful to deal with. The author gives some past family history to describe what factors that could contribute genetically , emotionally or physically to some of these disorders. The author also discusses emotional and sexual abuse, which is significant. Through the characters, we can see how this affects their relationships and lives. Metal artist Katie Mack realistically is aware that she ran away from her baby daughter Maisie nine years ago,in an attempt to Maisie safe from her obsessive compulsive thoughts, and fear of hurting her. Katie’s husband at the time could not comprehend what was going on, was not capable of giving Katie emotional support. He could not recognize that Katie needed psychological help. Katie could not afford the proper Psychologist or Psychiatric help, and trying to self-educate herself to become aware, she tries to deal with her OCD. Katie tries facing her fears. One of her fears is fire and Katie uses fire and metal to make artistic creations. Katie is showing her artistic metal creations to students and meets her daughter Maisie. Maisie thinks that her birth mother is dead. Katie notices that Maisie is showing many of the symptoms of OCD. Katie is facing a dilemma. How can Kate help Maisie get the proper help? In this novel, the author discusses mental illness, making therapy available to those who need it, encouraging honesty in relationships, and having a support system in place. Barbara Claypole White also discusses the importance of family, friends, support, love and hope. I would highly recommend this significant novel to readers of Women’s Fiction. I received an Advanced Reading Copy for my honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carol Boyer

    Barbara Claypole White's latest novel is extraordinary, it brings such compassion, truth, love and hope to the story of a mother who suffers from postpartum OCD which led her to abandon her own child in order to save her from her own terrifying thoughts of harming her. The silent mental illness of OCD renders Katie powerless to escape her relentless fears. She can not be certain she would not harm Maise her daughter. She constantly needs to recheck her 'what if's' thoughts. She leaves home, prom Barbara Claypole White's latest novel is extraordinary, it brings such compassion, truth, love and hope to the story of a mother who suffers from postpartum OCD which led her to abandon her own child in order to save her from her own terrifying thoughts of harming her. The silent mental illness of OCD renders Katie powerless to escape her relentless fears. She can not be certain she would not harm Maise her daughter. She constantly needs to recheck her 'what if's' thoughts. She leaves home, promising her husband Callum she will never return. An accidental reunion shocks Katie as she meets Maise and recognizes she also has troubling compulsive behaviors. There are multiple layers in this story told in different points of view from each character and how each are affected. The events that collide are suspenseful, heart breaking and heart warming that made me cry, smile and laugh out loud for Barbara's unique skill for writing quirky characters with depth and passion. There are invaluable insights in this book about the nature of OCD and some helpful behaviors. Her writing always shows her love of nature as also seen in the tender viewing of a hummingbird spirit as well as her rich descriptions of gardens and forests she brings to this story. This deeply emotional novel is one I highly recommend. Engrossed in the minds of the characters, I am reluctant to leave them, as I read the last page. I loved this book, I devoured it, and I highly recommend it! I think it is Barbara's best book to date!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Blanchard

    This book is a poignant and heartfelt story of living with OCD and how it affects those we care about. Told in the voices of Katie, Maisie, Callum, Jake and Lilah, this is a beautiful story. Katie had postpartum OCD and left Maisie when she was a baby because of the intrusive thoughts that told her she would harm her child. Fast forward 9 years, she runs into Maisie in a metal artist docent program. This is their story. I learned so much about OCD from this book. I had never realized that it is This book is a poignant and heartfelt story of living with OCD and how it affects those we care about. Told in the voices of Katie, Maisie, Callum, Jake and Lilah, this is a beautiful story. Katie had postpartum OCD and left Maisie when she was a baby because of the intrusive thoughts that told her she would harm her child. Fast forward 9 years, she runs into Maisie in a metal artist docent program. This is their story. I learned so much about OCD from this book. I had never realized that it is an anxiety driven illness. I have anxiety disorder and the author described panic attacks to a tee. I felt like I knew these characters and loved how fact was intertwined in a fictional story. The characters are complex and well developed. You will know each and every one of them. You will feel their pain and turmoil. Your heart will go out to them. You will come to understand the levels of OCD and how profoundly it affects people with its intrusive thought processes. This book is so well written and the flow is beautiful. It made me laugh at times and shed a tear at others. It will make you understand this illness though. Barbara Claypole White is a master at taking mental illness and turning it into a beautiful work of fiction. This book will make you think, help you understand and empathize with those who are suffering. I never realized that it could affect children as well as adults. This book opened my eyes. "Healing's painful, but it gets you to the other side." That is my favorite quote. Healing is a painful process, but we must go through the darkness to find the light. I highly recommend this incredibly insightful book. You will learn and you will love. I know that I did. Thank you Barbara, for another beautifully written book. You are my hero.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Rosenberg

    Mental illness is the most insidious and hidden problem families face. Barbara Claypoole White brings it out in the open with this gut-wrenching, yet tender story. Jodi Picoult says it best. “This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I seem to have a very unpopular opinion of, The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White based on others reviews. It just wasn’t something that I loved; just average for me. I would rate this book as 3 stars, the story line lacked believability and the parenting was bothersome for me but based on the informative descriptions of OCD, Postpartum OCD, and harm OCD (rumination/intrusive thoughts) which are sub-types of OCD I felt that was very authentic and made me like the book more. The author I seem to have a very unpopular opinion of, The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White based on others reviews. It just wasn’t something that I loved; just average for me. I would rate this book as 3 stars, the story line lacked believability and the parenting was bothersome for me but based on the informative descriptions of OCD, Postpartum OCD, and harm OCD (rumination/intrusive thoughts) which are sub-types of OCD I felt that was very authentic and made me like the book more. The author did a good job of depicting the suffering of not only the person with OCD but the ripple effect of all those who surround them. I have worked in mental health for over 10 years and in that time Hoarding OCD has been widely acknowledged thanks to the television show Hoarders; hopefully this book is able to help shed some light on alternate types of OCD. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and felt anxious often while reading, The Promises Between Us. I’m not sure if my professional experiences hindered my ability to establish connections with the characters due to sometimes feeling like I was in the office and not on the couch enjoying a book in my off-hours. I can understand why many people have raved about this book as the description and information presented would be interesting to someone who did not have much knowledge on this disorder. I would recommend this book to those who are looking to understand more on the sub-types while being entertained with a storyline. I might even recommend this to clients so they can see they are not alone in their experiences and you CAN improve. ***Thank you Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christie Sitterly

    The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White is an amazing story that brings attention to the issue of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Maisie is a child character whose quirky personality the reader will immediately fall in love with. She is precocious and witty. Katie is the mother who left her shortly after she was born because her OCD convinced her she would harm her newborn. Maisie’s father, Callum, and his best friend, Maisie’s “Uncle J” have a myriad of issues themselves. Together, they The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White is an amazing story that brings attention to the issue of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Maisie is a child character whose quirky personality the reader will immediately fall in love with. She is precocious and witty. Katie is the mother who left her shortly after she was born because her OCD convinced her she would harm her newborn. Maisie’s father, Callum, and his best friend, Maisie’s “Uncle J” have a myriad of issues themselves. Together, they have done their best to raise Maisie. Lilah Rose is Callum’s new wife who is expecting. All of the new situations in Maisie’s life are hurtling her toward a breakdown. Katie and Maisie unexpectedly meet and Katie recognizes that some of Maisie’s tics could be precursors to full-blown OCD. She is afraid for Maisie (whom she has not told is her daughter) and this fear propels her to get in touch with the Callum even though they have an agreement that she will never make contact with Maisie. This was an amazing story of the power of love and forgiveness, and the importance of seeking help for mental disorders. Readers who enjoyed Colleen Oakley’s Close Enough to Touch will love this book too!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Rosenblit

    Whenever I read a blurb of a book that focuses on mental illness, I always approach the book with hesitation, given the anxiety I have in my own life. Anxiety is something I struggle with every day, is this really something I want to explore in fiction when I spend so much time trying NOT to focus on it in my life? My other fear is that an author will display a character who suffers from something like this as "cured" by the end of the story. I'm happy to report, Barbara Claypole White handles t Whenever I read a blurb of a book that focuses on mental illness, I always approach the book with hesitation, given the anxiety I have in my own life. Anxiety is something I struggle with every day, is this really something I want to explore in fiction when I spend so much time trying NOT to focus on it in my life? My other fear is that an author will display a character who suffers from something like this as "cured" by the end of the story. I'm happy to report, Barbara Claypole White handles the subject of OCD and anxiety in the most perfect way. In the author notes, she mentions that she has first hand experience with this through her family, which absolutely contributes to her accurate depiction of the issues in Katie's head. I cared about Katie and Maizie and all the characters so much beyond the illness that had cast a shadow over their family and wished they were real so I could reach out and hug them. When I want to meet a character in real life, I know that's a hallmark of a story well told. This was my first Barbara Claypole White book but I will definitely be rushing to check out her backlist now. I received an advance copy from the Great Thoughts' Ninja Team. All opinions are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Eldonna Edwards

    For me a great book needs to accomplish three important things: 1. I need to care about the characters 2. I need to identify with the characters 3. I need to feel that the story made good on its promise to show how those characters grow or are changed by their experiences. From the very first chapter I was drawn into the heart and mind of Katie, a mother who suffers from the type of OCD that invades her thoughts with images of harming the child she loves. I immediately cared about Katie and her For me a great book needs to accomplish three important things: 1. I need to care about the characters 2. I need to identify with the characters 3. I need to feel that the story made good on its promise to show how those characters grow or are changed by their experiences. From the very first chapter I was drawn into the heart and mind of Katie, a mother who suffers from the type of OCD that invades her thoughts with images of harming the child she loves. I immediately cared about Katie and her precocious daughter Maisie and their husband/Father, Cal. As someone who has dealt with mental illness in people who are close to me, I could identify with the frustration of those who don't understand the disease (including myself!) and how it can wreak havoc in the life of the person and those around him or her. My favorite character was actually Lilah; I enjoyed her wisdom and self-advocacy and the way she became the wizened adult in the room. In THE PROMISE BETWEEN US Barbara Claypole White manages to showcase the frustration, the vulnerability, and the shutting out of those we love while at the same time revealing the path to possible healing. I say possible because there's no big red bow tied around the conclusion. Healing is an ongoing process and the author gives the reader space to imagine what the future might hold for the characters. I look forward to reading more by this author! Note: I purchased the paperback version of this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    How many of us know about the effects of OCD? I certainly did not. Therefore, this book was an education for me in addition to being an addicting read. I love books where I learn new things! First of all, I found each and every character incredibly well defined and could picture them as I read the book. There are not many authors who can put that together. Second, the plot held my attention and kept me thinking about it even when I was not reading. This is another feat I don’t find often. Finally How many of us know about the effects of OCD? I certainly did not. Therefore, this book was an education for me in addition to being an addicting read. I love books where I learn new things! First of all, I found each and every character incredibly well defined and could picture them as I read the book. There are not many authors who can put that together. Second, the plot held my attention and kept me thinking about it even when I was not reading. This is another feat I don’t find often. Finally, I left the book thinking that I want to learn more about OCD and I want to read more books by this author. The Promise Between Us is an incredible work of fiction that I will not soon forget. Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Padgett Gerler

    No stranger to the effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Barbara Claypole White once again writes eloquently of the trauma endured by those dealing with OCD, as well as the families of OCD sufferers. In THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, Katie suffers from post-partum obsessive-compulsive disorder. Fearing she will harm her newborn, Maisie, Katie leaves her husband and child. When, years later, Katie reunites with Maisie and suspects her daughter, too, suffers from OCD, Katie pledges to help her child No stranger to the effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Barbara Claypole White once again writes eloquently of the trauma endured by those dealing with OCD, as well as the families of OCD sufferers. In THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, Katie suffers from post-partum obsessive-compulsive disorder. Fearing she will harm her newborn, Maisie, Katie leaves her husband and child. When, years later, Katie reunites with Maisie and suspects her daughter, too, suffers from OCD, Katie pledges to help her child by guiding her through the minefields of her disorder. Barbara Claypole White has a gift of writing through pain to illuminate understanding, healing, and redemption. In THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, she creates compassionate, hopeful characters who overcome their anger and animosity to help a child they all love. Barbara Claypole White’s writing is a beautiful gift—a joy to read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I am a member of several book groups on Facebook and after seeing many positive reviews and comments on this book, I knew I had to read it. Ten years ago, Katelyn MacDonald ran away from her life. After having a beautiful baby girl, Maisie, Katelyn suffered from Postpartum Depression and a severe case of "harm" OCD, which consumed her, she felt the only way to protect her daughter was to leave. Ten years later, Katelyn has gotten her life in a somewhat better place. Known now as Katie Mack, she is I am a member of several book groups on Facebook and after seeing many positive reviews and comments on this book, I knew I had to read it. Ten years ago, Katelyn MacDonald ran away from her life. After having a beautiful baby girl, Maisie, Katelyn suffered from Postpartum Depression and a severe case of "harm" OCD, which consumed her, she felt the only way to protect her daughter was to leave. Ten years later, Katelyn has gotten her life in a somewhat better place. Known now as Katie Mack, she is an artist and has agreed to oversee a group of children at the Contemporary Art Museum. She soon discovers that one of the docents is Maisie. How can she continue after giving away her parental rights, but how can she not, being so close to her child. And what she sees, and believes is frightening. Could Maisie be suffering from the same illness? Will she be able to help her daughter? Maisie was told that her birth mother died. Can her father, now remarried and with a new baby on the way and an Uncle who helped raise her, all come together to help Maisie? Will secrets come to light? Will promises be kept? A heart wrenching and raw look at mental illness! Compelling! The author gives a realistic insight into this illness. Her narrative of the internal dialogue and thought process of a person with OCD left me exhausted, with a new and sympathetic understanding of the disease. A poignant and touching story! An emotional and dynamic read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    Once again, Barbara Claypole White takes us into a world of mental illness that we typically don't understand unless we're affected, and educates us. She writes Katie Mack as a mom who made a decision she was believed was right for her child, while in the throes of a battle with OCD that she didn't know she was fighting. Ten years later, she realizes it may not have been the right choice after all. Barbara creates characters that you empathize with and cheer for. I lost far too many hours sleep Once again, Barbara Claypole White takes us into a world of mental illness that we typically don't understand unless we're affected, and educates us. She writes Katie Mack as a mom who made a decision she was believed was right for her child, while in the throes of a battle with OCD that she didn't know she was fighting. Ten years later, she realizes it may not have been the right choice after all. Barbara creates characters that you empathize with and cheer for. I lost far too many hours sleep thinking "just another chapter."

  27. 5 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    DNF at 29% I loved the premise of THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. It should have been right up my ally, as a child psychologist, yet I cannot read any further for fear of throwing my kindle against a wall. Barbara Claypold White writes with a heavy hand, steering readers how to feel. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Katie and her OCD, understandably. Everyone else “done her wrong” Mental illness isn’t an excuse for letting bad behavior, particularly toward a child stand or even seem heroic. When Katie sec DNF at 29% I loved the premise of THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. It should have been right up my ally, as a child psychologist, yet I cannot read any further for fear of throwing my kindle against a wall. Barbara Claypold White writes with a heavy hand, steering readers how to feel. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Katie and her OCD, understandably. Everyone else “done her wrong” Mental illness isn’t an excuse for letting bad behavior, particularly toward a child stand or even seem heroic. When Katie secretly insinuates herself into Maisie’s life under the guise of diagnosing the girl’s OCD and White shoves this down our throats almost as Katie’s right, I had to stop. I’ve seen a lot of parents try to justify their selfish behavior as “in the best interest of the child”. One guy told me it was his job to tell his 6 and 8 yo kids their mother was a slut, to save the pain of finding out on their own. Maybe the book gets better, but I’m not risking the safety of my kindle. White did a good job of inserting Katie’s obsessive thoughts into the story, but dropped the ball with the idea she had bad therapy and figured it out on her own, with a little bit of meds. That’s not realistic with the severity of Katie’s OCD. I do think other less picky readers might enjoy the book. Maybe.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenni Ogden

    This is Barbara Claypole White's best novel so far, and that is saying something as all her novels are excellent. The mental disorders she empathetically and realistically gives voice to in this story are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, High Anxiety Disorder Panic Attacks, and Depression. The unusual form of OCD, that of obsessive thoughts following the birth of her child that haunt the protagonist, Katie Mack, to the extent she runs away, 'deserting' her child, is emotionally powerful, and the r This is Barbara Claypole White's best novel so far, and that is saying something as all her novels are excellent. The mental disorders she empathetically and realistically gives voice to in this story are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, High Anxiety Disorder Panic Attacks, and Depression. The unusual form of OCD, that of obsessive thoughts following the birth of her child that haunt the protagonist, Katie Mack, to the extent she runs away, 'deserting' her child, is emotionally powerful, and the reader is taken along with Katie as she experiences her disorders from the inside. Again, here is a novel that should be read by therapists and psychologists who work with OCD clients, as well as by family and friends of people with OCD and other anxiety disorders. The characters are immensely likeable and Katie has a fascinating career to add to the fascination of the story. Definitely a thought-provoking and gripping novel to read, discuss and share. Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read a review copy.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Sissel

    Some books make you stop and think, and compel you to examine your own perceptions, how you feel about an issue. THE PROMISE BETWEEN US is such a book. The complication at the heart of the story is riveting: Suffering symptoms of postpartum OCD that could lead to her harming her newborn, a young mother does what would be unthinkable for most new mothers, she leaves her baby in order to protect her. Is it the right decision? As the consequences continue to ripple out over the next several years, Some books make you stop and think, and compel you to examine your own perceptions, how you feel about an issue. THE PROMISE BETWEEN US is such a book. The complication at the heart of the story is riveting: Suffering symptoms of postpartum OCD that could lead to her harming her newborn, a young mother does what would be unthinkable for most new mothers, she leaves her baby in order to protect her. Is it the right decision? As the consequences continue to ripple out over the next several years, lives are unraveled and rebuilt in ways that are surprising, sometimes painful, often joyful. Combining elements of suspense and romance with laugh-out-loud doses of wonderful humor for leavening, this is ultimately a story about the redemptive power of love. This is Barbara Claypole White at her finest.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White is such a powerful and moving story that really brings to light mental illness that is both heartfelt and honestly written. Katelyn “Katie” MacDonald walked out of her daughter’s life nearly ten years ago when she could not stop the voices in her head from bombarding her with devastating scenarios. Katie wanted what was best for her daughter and for her daughter to live a happy and healthy childhood without a mother who could not prevent the bad th The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White is such a powerful and moving story that really brings to light mental illness that is both heartfelt and honestly written. Katelyn “Katie” MacDonald walked out of her daughter’s life nearly ten years ago when she could not stop the voices in her head from bombarding her with devastating scenarios. Katie wanted what was best for her daughter and for her daughter to live a happy and healthy childhood without a mother who could not prevent the bad thoughts inside of her mind. Ten years later, Katie accidently meets her daughter Maisie, but she is completely devastated noticing the signs of mental illness in her daughter. Katie vows to help Maisie, but that means exposing her biggest secrets of all to the family she left behind. Barbara Claypole White has penned such an emotional story full of such heartbreaking choices one mother makes in the face of mental illness. White takes on such hard topics such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, PTSD, depression and anxiety attacks. What really drew me into the story was my personal experiences with OCD and I admit to having my own little rituals that I have done over and over again and while I have stopped doing most of them, I still carry over some of them from when I was a teenager. My mother also suffers from repetitive actions and has for many many years. It is a lot to deal with and find myself obsessing over things my mother does. White really hits home with how Katie and Maisie want to stop thinking this way and stop the obsessiveness and how it leads to being ashamed or embarrassed. The story is not only about Katie and Maisie. Maisie’s dad and katie’s ex-husband, Callum is going through his own issues internally while newly married and awaiting the birth of a new baby. Callum’s best friend Jake also shares a good part of the story as well as Callum’s new wife, Lilah. I felt that all of the characters were written well and were three dimensional and I could not help but want the best for everyone involved who loved, Maisie. While not everyone was happy with Katie’s choices, I could see how everyone grew in both character and the journey they all took to help family. The Promise Between Us is a riveting story that brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. Barbara Claypole White writes with such heart and soul and brings to light mental illness which is neither shameful or embarrassing. This is definitely a story you will not want to miss. A definite five star read from me.

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