A Promise

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Pub Date 15 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 06 Feb 2024

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In the turbulent aftermath of World War I, Germany is a nation reeling from hardship and chaos.

Here, three friends—Elisabeth, Adam, and Hannah—find comfort in each other as they grow up in these challenging times. Their lives take a dramatic turn with the rise of Adolf Hitler, testing their bond in ways they never imagined.

As Hitler's Final Solution sweeps across the country, Adam and Hannah are thrust into a perilous situation, fighting for survival. Elisabeth, too, faces her own battles, confronting a hidden enemy who threatens her very existence. The promise they made to stick together is put to the ultimate test.

Their stories diverge, leading each on an unexpected journey through a world torn apart by conflict.

This captivating narrative delves into the resilience of friendship and the human spirit during one of the most difficult periods in history, exploring how far one can go to keep a promise in the face of overwhelming odds.

In the turbulent aftermath of World War I, Germany is a nation reeling from hardship and chaos.

Here, three friends—Elisabeth, Adam, and Hannah—find comfort in each other as they grow up in these...

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ISBN 9798350719765
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 55 members

Featured Reviews

Wow! A wonderful and heart wrenching book set during WW2. I couldn’t put it down! Characters and story were well written and I couldn’t read it fast enough to find out how it wrapped up. Ending was very emotional. . A truly moving story of history. Would definitely recommend!

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I couldn’t put this book down! From the first chapters, I was hooked on these characters and wanted to see them through the journey I knew was to come. The views into the lives of Hannah, Adam, and Elisabeth had me wrapt in the story, tense with the knowledge of what the future held for them and how they would survive through it. Amelia Martin touches on many aspects of the horrors of World War II and the Nazi party. I was pleased to see a wide range of characters and beliefs portrayed, particularly with differing sexual orientations as well as Friedrich’s succumb to propaganda over time.

There were some aspects of the writing I wished were different. The dialogue felt preachy at times, though I cannot say it was unrealistic. I wished for more focus on sensory details that paint a scene in my mind. Nevertheless, I admit this writing was a refreshing change of pace from other historical fiction novels — vignettes of three lives over about 30 years, rather than a single or double storyline followed in extensive detail as so many other novels utilize.

This book was truly moving. The last chapters had me sobbing for all the three main characters experienced and how their lives turned out. This was an excellent read and I highly recommend it.

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“A Promise” is a historical fiction debut novel by Amelia Martin. This book follows three friends as teens growing up in Germany (post-WWI) and then into WWII. I found the relationship between these three friends a very kind one - it’s obvious through their actions and dialogue that they care about each other deeply. It’s also obvious that Ms. Martin did a lot of historical research - from describing Germany post-WWI and also during the build-up to and post WWII. For a debut novel, I think Ms. Martin did a great job. The quibbles I have with the book were more stylistic ones - Elisabeth’s father seems to always be referred to by his full name, not by just his first name or even “Father”; the story is told in present tense; the passage of time is linear but except for key dates they aren’t mentioned; and a few other minor things. Overall, an interesting read. I’d say if you like historical fiction books based in Germany post-WWI and like more character-driven novels, this one might be one to pick up.

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The Promise by Amelia Martin is a story about friendship, love, and survival. Germany in the late 1930’s/early 1940’s is a country that is trying to build itself up after the Great War. A man by the name of Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor. He is determined to make Germany the greatest world power and believes that to do this, his country has to be pure aryan. Anyone that does not fit into his vision needs to go, including but not limited to the Jewish people and anyone he considers undesirable.

Elizabeth, Hanna, and Adam grew up together. They are the best of friends. But as they grow and so does their country, their friendship is jeopardized. Hannah and Adam are Jewish. When the country starts rounding up the Jews they are all separated and struggle to survive. Adam and Hannah attempt to leave the country to stay alive. Hannah married Otto and had a little girl named Helena who she was forced to send away in hopes that she would have a better chance for survival. The book takes us through their struggles and and how each is forced to deal with their lives. Not all of the outcomes are good.

I struggled a bit in the beginning of the book as it seemed to go slowly. However it did pick up as it went along and I became so absorbed that I did not want to put it down. I felt Amelia’s writing was good and I did like how she went back and forth between the characters. It made me want to keep reading to find out how they continued to deal with their problems. I would highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys reading historical fiction. Thank you Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read this pre-release.

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"If you thought only love was blind, you haven't witnessed the true darkness of hate."

This is the first sentence in a debut book by Amelia Martin, immediately setting the tone for the reader. Through the lives of three best friends, we bear witness to the horrors of Nazi Germany. This novel is impressive in scope, from the early 1930s through the mid-1960s, and well-researched. I particularly liked that this book takes the reader full circle, leaving no questions unanswered concerning the three main characters. (The inclusion of more dates would have been most helpful, though.) It's unsettling to read about the gradual Nazification of Germany by Hitler, using techniques and language that we are seeing once again. That makes reading books like this one more important than ever. This is a quick read and well worth your time. I enjoyed it.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Book Whisperer for the digital ARC. All opinions and the review are my own.

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This was an admirable first novel. It was plain how much research was done and the overall story was a beautiful, heartbreaking, story of friendship and strength. I can’t fault the storyline, the tearjerking moments and the scope of the characters lives. This book was let down by the experience of the writing. The author’s skill is limited. The dialogue was wooden and forced, Martin spent too much time telling the reader what was happening ie Adam went to the shops and he got a bag of food (this is not a direct quote!). This kind of writing puts a barrier between the reader and the character, losing the emotion and descriptive eloquence that is needed to really pull a reader into the story. At times I felt like I was reading a children’s book meant for learning to read or a technical book with instructions. The lack of engagement is why this book would have gotten 3 stars. Yet, there were a couple of moments where Martin nailed it and had tears rolling down my cheeks and those moments catapulted the book to 4.
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC.

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An amazing and sweet story of a group of young people growing up in Nazi Germany and trying to put their lives together afterward. This reminds me of the miniseries, Generation War.

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This historical fiction opens in years leading to WW11 and moves along during the war and some years later. It tells us the story of three friends: Elizabeth, Adam and Hannah who sought comfort in each other as they grew up during these turbulent times. They lives will ever by changed with the rise of Adolf Hitler.

In alternate chapters, the voice of each character brings to life their experience as they try to survive the horrors imposed by the Nazi to the German population. This story is very touching but very predictable I read multiple books from that time so imagining the outcome was easy. Of course it still a difficult read, the story through the characters dabbles in a multitude known evens such as the ocean liner that was denied entry to Central and North America to its Jewish passengers and the organization that took Jewish children to safety as examples, you will find more cringing accounts as the story moves towards its conclusion. Not all outcomes were good, not everyone survived. Years later, some of the survivors found each other and “A Promise” to stay in touch was made. Their friendship will last for ever....

Although this subject is one of my favourite I admit to have struggled staying with it. The writing style and presentation somewhat choppy: short and disjointed paragraphs at time, some even read like a chopping list. It did not flow smoothly and this distracted me. As for the characters Ms. Martin penned them with a solid stroke, they are we well rounded, charismatic and brilliantly represent those who were present during this terrible time. So I can’t say I love this novel but I also can’t say I hated it, so I stand on the fence and will let you enjoy it. Don’t take my words for it judge for yourselves.

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Wow wow wow!
This beautifully written book embodies hope in the darkest of times.
The story follows 3 friends who experience the atrocities of Hitler’s rein in very different ways.
I especially appreciated Elisabeth’s POV as the only non-Jewish character she still despised Hitler and his views.
Adam’s story was the story that I resonated with the most of the 3 friends as his story is similar to my own family’s.
If you read this, be prepared to cry crocodile tears 😭

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Wrapping up my year with one final book before midnight. A promise follows three friends through the 1930s wrapping up post World War Two. The first half of the novel really helped develop each of their stories but I felt the second half read with less emotion. The characters went through awful things in the second half but were quickly described then moved on from.
Thank you to Book Whisperer, Netgalley and the author for the eARC

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I really enjoyed this book. The style it’s written is fast paced and to the point but it keeps you needing to know more even if it is harrowing at times. Would recommend highly, I think this book is going to stick with me for some time to come!

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A Promise is a story told in the three distinct voices of three best friends growing up in WWII Germany - Hannah and Adam, who are Jewish, and Aryan Elizabeth, whose brutish father is a Nazi. Hannah and her husband move to Paris during the period when Germany was taking away the rights of Jewish citizens, and Adam ends up escaping Germany to England. There is so much going on during this story - it was difficult to read at times since Hannah greatly suffers at the hands of the Nazis - but even in the midst of the brutality, Hannah meets people who help her to survive. The characters are likeable and their friendship is their strength. I found this book very moving and I recommend it.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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