Monday, May 11, 2015

Spotlight: The Promise by Ann Weisgarber

In THE PROMISE, critically acclaimed and award-winning novelist 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.

Young pianist Catherine Wainwright flees the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio, in the wake of a terrible scandal. Heartbroken and facing destitution, she finds herself striking up correspondence with a childhood admirer, the recently widowed Oscar Williams. In desperation, she agrees to marry him, but when Catherine travels to Oscar’s farm on Galveston Island, Texas—a thousand miles from home—she finds she is little prepared for the life that awaits her. The island is remote, the weather sweltering, and Oscar’s little boy Andre is grieving hard for his lost mother. And though Oscar tries to please his new wife, the secrets of the past sit uncomfortably between them.

Meanwhile, for Nan Ogden, Oscar’s housekeeper, Catherine’s sudden arrival has come as a great shock. For not only did she promise Oscar’s first wife that she would be the one to take care of little Andre, but she has feelings for Oscar that she is struggling to suppress. And when the worst storm in a generation descends, the women will find themselves tested as never before.

The Promise, now available in paperback, received rave reviews from critics and captured the hearts of readers worldwide. Against the backdrop of the devastating Galveston hurricane of 1900, Ann Weisgarber tells a heartbreaking story with two unforgettable voices.

Paperback Edition on sale May 5th
Skyhorse Publishing
ISBN 9781629142364

THE PROMISE continues to earn kudos, most recently being selected in January by The Pulpwood Queen's Book Club as their Bonus Book of the Year. In addition to many great reviews, the novel already has earned the following honors:

  • A WNBA Great Group Read Selection, 2014
  • The Pulpwood Queens Pick for October 2014          
  • Finalist, The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction (Weisgarber was the first American to be shortlisted for this UK prize)
  • Finalist,  Spur Award for Best Western Historical Fiction
  • Finalist, The Ohioana Book Award for Fiction


Ann 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. Her website is


  1. Thanks for this fascinating feature and great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. This novel has been on my wish list for some time now. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. I read and loved The Personal History of Rachel Dupree. The Promise sounds like another wonderful story that I would really enjoy. It is on my TBR list.

  4. I didn't realize this was the same author as the Rachel Dupree book. I thoroughly enjoyed that. Sign me up!

  5. Jenny Q, thank you for making The Promise shine on Let Them Read Books (great title!) and for hosting the giveaway. Can't wait to see the results and hope I'll have a chance to e-meet the winner.

  6. I'd love to read this heartbreaking story against the backdrop of the devastating Galveston hurricane ... thanks for the giveaway :)

  7. Sounds like a fascinating read. I forget how isolated that area must have been at that time.


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