Today’s team review is form Barb, she blogs here http://barbtaub.com/
Barb has been reading I Promise You This by Patricia Sands
My review: 5 out of 5 stars for I Promise You This by Patricia Sands
I Promise You This is about what comes after happily-ever-after. The lovers have met, fallen in love, faced trials, and finally expressed their commitment to one another. That’s where the curtain goes down in most romances. But in this one, it’s just the signal for the beginning of Act 3.
This is really not the book to start without reading the preceding two novels in this series. As we saw in the earlier books, the main character, Katherine, is a woman who spent her entire married life going through the motions of what was expected of her, without ever considering what she expected of herself. Her unfaithful husband leaves her the cruelest way possible, but from the beginning the reader suspects what Katherine only eventually discovers—it was a desperate act to save himself from a soulless marriage. And it saves Katherine as well, although she is in agony along the way.
In the previous books we see how Katherine comes to terms with her relationships, both with her failed marriage, and with her dying mother. But most importantly, she takes a chance on life, both by fulfilling a decades-old promise to herself to return to France, and by accepting that she still has a chance at a loving and fulfilling relationship. In France, the setting itself becomes another main character—one that soothes and supports Katherine, encouraging her to unfold and become the person she was meant to be. And in France, she and Philippe fall in love.
So why the third novel? Katherine has committed to Philippe, but—as she realizes when she returns home to Toronto to care for her best friend Molly after a devastating accident—she hasn’t committed to leaving behind her old life, her home, and her history.
As an expat myself, that’s where the story got really interesting. Because no matter how much we expats are pursuing the life we’ve worked to achieve, no matter how committed we are to living in that incredible but ultimately foreign place, no matter how desperately we want to be there—it’s still not the place that our heart labels “back home”. The place where we’re not different, we don’t stand out, we sound like everybody else. The place where our memories and the things that define our past will always live.
Katherine is shocked to find out that in committing to Philippe and their love, she still has to do a lot of work to come to terms with all the other parts of her past that have defined her. This book is the lovely story of that journey. And, because I’ve come to know and love the huge cast of the three books, I have to admit that I cried when Katherine did successfully arrive at her journey’s destination.
I recommend this book and the series to anybody who wants to read a contemporary love story about a mature woman, a beautiful setting, and a wonderful supporting cast. And you’re so lucky that the series is complete, so you can read it all now. Bon voyage!