The Promise by Claire Highton-StevensonThe Promise by Claire Highton-Stevenson is a story about coping with losing the one you love, overcoming grief and opening your heart to love again.

Life comes with many challenges, surprises and unforeseen circumstances. Ali and Susan have everything in their lives all neatly planned out until life throws a huge curveball their way. When Susan is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, Ali is devastated and she wants to live in denial. They had each day mapped out but they never envisioned cancer or the fact that Ali would one day have to live without Susan.

Susan is shocked but she accepts her fate and she makes one last request before she dies. Susan makes Ali promise to live fully and love freely after her death. Will Ali be able to move on with her life after losing Susan? Most importantly, will Ali be able to open her heart once more to love another woman and allow herself to be loved in return?

The Characters

Ali Jenkins is the owner of a graphics design company. She is very passionate about what she does and she strives to exceed the expectations of her clients. I just love the way Ali expresses her emotions because she doesn’t hide behind a mask and she wears her heart and soul on her sleeve. Even though Ali lets her emotions get the better of her at times she has definitely won a space in my heart.

Susan Jenkins is Ali’s beloved and she is a housewife. Susan is the heart of the home and she brings order to Ali’s world. I have so much love and respect for this phenomenal woman! Even though she is battling with cancer, Susan still comforts Ali and I really admire her selflessness. Susan has a very big heart because she wanted Ali to be happy even though she is dying and she encourages Ali to take joy in every moment despite the dire circumstances they are faced with.

Blair Barnes is a nurse and she cares for terminally ill patients. She is such a kind-hearted, considerate and understanding person. This is one time where I really wished that I was starring in this story because I would really love to have all of Blair’s affection and desire focused on me!

The Writing Style

The author did an amazing job of portraying each character’s emotional state. I really love the description of the characters’ personality traits because I was able to form a vivid mental image of these strong-willed women. I enjoyed the witty banter between the characters and there was never a dull moment or a lag in the storyline.

The Pros

I learned a whole lot about terminal cancer care. I also got a glimpse of what the nurses who care for terminally ill patients have to go through in order to provide the best care for their patients.

The Cons

I have no complaints because I loved every word in this story.

aprils favourite booksThe Conclusion

This story will definitely touch your heart and it will have you going through an emotional rollercoaster. I cried and laughed as I read this beautiful story because it really opened my eyes to all of the things that I took for granted and I know that I will never forget this story or these resilient women. This story left me with this very important life lesson— live, love and laugh in each moment because time is fleeting and life is precious.

Excerpt from The Promise by Claire Highton-Stevenson

Ali poured the dark, hot liquid into her mug, added some milk, and sat down on the bar stool next to Blair. She then slumped dramatically onto her arms and groaned.

“Busy night?” Blair asked, suppressing a giggle.

“Uh huh, someone got it into their head to tick off a few things on their bucket list,” she said, raising her head and an eyebrow. “Apparently someone else gave her pointers.” She smirked.

“Oh, well uh—” Blair stuttered a little before rallying. “Hang on, all of them?”

“All of them!” Ali assured her. They both burst into laughter and sat together considering that little piece of information.

“So, I guess she is wiped out now huh?” Blair asked, nodding knowingly.

“Yeah, she said to wake her up for lunch.” Another chuckle. “But the plus side is, she is in a good mood.”

Both women fell about laughing once more before setting about cleaning up the mess they had made. It was a pleasant time for Ali. Now that she was no longer so against having Blair here, she found she liked the woman. They had a lot in common and a shared sense of humour. It made life a lot easier, she had to admit. Coming home from work the first few days had been daunting. She had spent all day worrying that Susan would be struggling, but with Blair, she was keeping her independence. Blair never did things for her; she just assisted her to be able to do it for herself. But on those occasions when she really couldn’t manage, then Blair would deal with things; no fuss, no judgement, just a professional and caring manner that kept Susan positive and, for the most part, smiling.

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781985136199

Claire Highton-Stevenson Online

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About the author

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My name is April Adams and I am an accountant at a civil service office. Even though I read a wide variety of lesbian fiction, I enjoy mystery and thriller books the most because I love the state of suspense the stories have me in until the end and I find out “who’s done it.”