Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spotlight: The Promise by Ann Weisgarber

Last week Skyhorse Publishing released the trade paperback edition of THE PROMISE by Ann Weisgarber.

In this critically acclaimed and award-winning novel, author Ann Weisgarber returns with a deeply moving story about the Galveston, Texas 1900 Storm, the worst natural disaster in the United States in the twentieth century. While there are accounts of what happened to the city of Galveston and its residents, little has been written about what happened to the families on the rural, isolated end of the island, something Weisgarber sought to remedy.

The story begins a few weeks before the storm and is told by two narrators. The first narrator, Catherine Wainwright, is a concert pianist fleeing scandal and Ohio society by marrying Oscar Williams, a recently widowed dairy farmer who lives on the island. The second narrator is Nan Ogden, the local young woman Oscar hired to care for his home and small, grieving son, Andre.

Nan has grown attached to Oscar and Andre, and she struggles to accept Catherine in the household. As for Catherine, she is overwhelmed by her secrets, by motherhood, and by the rougher surroundings. But when the hurricane strikes, Catherine and Nan are tested as never before.

About the Author:

Photo courtesy of Christine Meeker
Ann Weisgarber's latest novel  The Promise was
  •  shortlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, making Ms. Weisgarber the first American to be a finalist for this UK prize.
 In the United States, THE PROMISE
  •  was a finalist for the Spur Award in Best Western Historical Fiction and The Ohioana Book Award for Fiction.
  • was a Women’s National Book Association Great Group Read, 
  • a Pulpwood Queen Pick for October 2014, 
  • and the Pulpwood Queen Bonus Book of the Year. 
Weisgarber’s first novel was The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, which actress Viola Davis’s JuVee Productions has optioned the film rights. For her first novel, Weisgarber was nominated for England’s 2009 Orange Prize and for the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers. In the United States, she won the Stephen Turner Award for New Fiction and the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction. She was shortlisted for the Ohioana Book Award and was a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writer. Weisgarber serves on the selection committee for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters. Originally from Ohio, she now divides her time between Sugar Land, Texas, and Galveston, Texas.

To learn more, please visit her website at http://annweisgarber.com.

 I reviewed this one last year when I was first published, and also had a chance to interview the author. My full review is here. I must say that I especially like the paperback cover.  It captures the mood of the book completely. If you didn't get a chance to read this last summer, definitely plan to put it in your beach basket for the upcoming season.  It's a stunning tale.