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Promise Not to Tell ~ Jennifer McMahon

May 19, 2011


Genre: Adult Fiction/Thriller
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
256 pages
ISBN: 9780061143311
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

In the ’70’s, middle schooler, Kate, ends up on the outside of the in crowd at her new school. Residing on the outskirts, in a hippie commune, she is a tad bit worse for wear when presented to her more traditional Vermont native classmates. All definitions of popularity are put on hold for a moment, though, as the town comes to a stand still over the brutal murder of one of Kate’s classmates.

Flashforward to the present and Kate finds herself back in a copycat nightmare. Another young girl has been horribly disposed of and fingers begin pointing toward Kate and her loved ones who may or may not have had any connection to the murder so long ago.
At the heart of the story is a very real and all too common tale of trust betrayed for the sake of self preservation, in childhood and adulthood. It hinges on the choices we make when under the gun, to stand up for the right, no matter how hard. Though we all know the honest and true thing to do when someone is left out or picked on, the fear that drives us, as youths or as grown-ups, leans so terribly strong that there is rarely anything that we can do to sway it.

Another feeling of “togetherness” is examined, though, and it’s certainly more positive. McMahon expertly winds the story through myriad channels of family and friendship, often refraining from the group out of self-preservation, rather than getting close to the camp fire. Because of the subtle, yet deep veins this story slides through, I found myself on the edge of my seat, not in a thriller sense but in an inwardly searching sense. In this way, my experience, here, was very similar to that of my reading through Dismantled, several years ago. McMahon has an incredible gift for introspection and, of course, story telling. Even for those usually uninterested in the macabre, McMahon’s books are tales to be read and savored.

About Jennifer McMahon

Jennifer McMahon is the author of Dismantled, the New York Times bestseller Island of Lost Girls, and the breakout debut novel Promise Not to Tell. She grew up in suburban Connecticut, and graduated from Goddard College. Over the years, she has been a house painter, farm worker, paste-up artist, pizza delivery person, homeless shelter staff member, and has worked with mentally ill adults and children in a few different capacities. Currently, she lives in Vermont with her partner, Drea, and their daughter, Zella.

Find Jennifer:

Jennifer’s Tour Stops

Monday, April 18th: Sara’s Organized Chaos (Promise Not to Tell)

Tuesday, April 19th: Jenn’s Bookshelves (Promise Not to Tell)

Tuesday, April 19th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom (Island of Lost Girls)

Wednesday, April 20th: Life In Review (Promise Not to Tell)

Tuesday, May 3rd: Book Journey (Promise Not to Tell)

Wednesday, May 4th: Rundpinne (Promise Not to Tell)

Friday, May 6th: In the Next Room (Promise Not to Tell)

Monday, May 9th: Reading Through Life (Promise Not to Tell)

Tuesday, May 10th: Tina’s Book Reviews (Promise Not to Tell)

Wednesday, May 11th: In the Next Room (Island of Lost Girls)

Thursday, May 12th: Book Journey (Island of Lost Girls)

Monday, May 16th: Sara’s Organized Chaos (Island of Lost Girls)

Monday, May 16th: Stephanie’s Written Word (Promise Not to Tell)

Wednesday, May 18th: Rundpinne (Island of Lost Girls)

Thursday, May 19th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog (Promise Not to Tell)

Friday, May 20th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books (Island of Lost Girls)

Monday, May 23rd: Stephanie’s Written Word (Island of Lost Girls)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2011 9:38 pm

    Ooh, this sound really good! I like it when a book makes you think about the choices you’d make in the character’s same situation.

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for being on the tour.

  2. Diane permalink
    May 22, 2011 8:51 am

    I liked this one, as well as a few others by this author.

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