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The Promise of Home: A Mill River Novel
by Darcie Chan

Published: 2015-08-04
Paperback : 416 pages
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Writing in the tradition of Jan Karon and Maeve Binchy, New York Times bestselling author Darcie Chan returns readers to Mill River, the charming town whose residents experience surprises and sorrows, witness acts of goodwill and kindness, embrace family love and friendship—and uncover ...
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Introduction

Writing in the tradition of Jan Karon and Maeve Binchy, New York Times bestselling author Darcie Chan returns readers to Mill River, the charming town whose residents experience surprises and sorrows, witness acts of goodwill and kindness, embrace family love and friendship—and uncover age-old secrets and heartaches.

These days, Mill River, Vermont, is a hive of activity. Karen Cooper bids farewell to her husband, Nick, as he leaves for Saudi Arabia to work as a contractor. But when he goes missing, Karen turns to beloved nonagenarian Father O’Brien for counsel. Kyle Hansen and Claudia Simon blissfully prepare for their wedding—until a new acquaintance threatens their romance. Emily DiSanti, haunted by a tragedy that tore her world apart a decade ago, is renovating the old McAllister mansion, eager to restore its former beauty and to find peace in the intense workload. All these lives—and the lives of others in this small town—move forward, bump up against one another, and intertwine. And when a cache of letters is discovered, a powerful and unexpected secret comes to light—one rooted deeply in the childhood of the longtime priest who has touched the lives of everyone in Mill River.

Praise for The Promise of Home

“Chan has once again told a mesmerizing tale about how difficult yet beautiful navigating the river of life can be. This author is, quite simply, an amazing storyteller.”—Fredericksburg Free Lance–Star

“Difficult to put down . . . [a] celebration of the healing power of community.”Booklist

“Who better to satisfy [summer] reader cravings than Darcie Chan. . . . Read on—and keep turning those pages [until you] find yourself looking forward to Darcie Chan’s next novel. Whew.”Hudson Valley News

“This serene backdrop is the perfect juxtaposition to the internal turmoil of Karen Cooper. Together the townsfolk make a well-rounded novel full of desperation, hope and redemption. This is a beautiful addition to the Mill River series, yet also reads well as a stand-alone novel.”RT Book Reviews

“[A] layered and heartwarming novel that intertwines a number of engaging contemporary storylines and intersperses them with . . . fascinating insights and historical details along the way. A light-handed affirmation of the power of love, faith, and community.”Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Darcie Chan’s The Mill River Redemption

“An enchanting storyteller, Chan is one of those rare authors who makes you feel more fully alive.”—Elizabeth Letts, author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion

“An engrossing page-turner [with] sympathetic and relatable characters.”—Library Journal

Praise for The Mill River Recluse

“A heartwarming story.”Examiner.com

“Chan’s sweet novel displays her talent. . . . A comforting book about the random acts of kindness that hold communities together.”Kirkus Reviews

“A real page-turner.”IndieReader

“Chan does an amazing job with pacing while maintaining continuity and weaving universal themes such as friendship, love, new beginnings and overcoming adversities into small town life.”RT Book Reviews

“This debut novel is a genre-breaking thriller with romantic overtones that should appeal to both men and women.”Huntington News

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

She kept looking at her watch, counting the minutes that passed before Matt returned with his lock-pick set. When she heard the bell on the front door ring to signal the entrance of a customer, she left what remained of her sandwich on the desk and hurried to see who had come in. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. The Promise of Home rotates between several different characters’ perspectives, Karen, Claudia, Emily, and Father O’Brien. Were you drawn to any one of their storylines more than the others? Why do you think that is?

2. A significant portion of the narrative also includes flashbacks to Father O’Brien’s youth. Why do you think the author chose to include those flashbacks when the rest of the novel takes place in the present day? What would the novel be like without them? How might the other sections change?

3. “The very hands that now rested on his knees, the hands that were suddenly unable to do what he wanted them to, had held a rifle and ended a man’s life. Up until now, he hadn’t allowed that realization to sink in . . . . The weight of the realization, regardless of the man’s actions toward his mother, was immense.” This quote is from the moment Father O’Brien begins to process what he’s done. Do you think he is too hard on himself considering the circumstances? How do you think you would react in a similar position?

4. When Claudia goes in for a wedding dress fitting Pauline offers her this piece of advice: “Falsehoods and little white lies never lead to anything good. And, be careful when you decide what’s false and what isn’t. Sometimes, things and even people aren’t what they seem.” How is this relevant at different points throughout the novel? Are there any moments in The Promise of Home when you would disagree with this advice?

5. Mill River is clearly a unique place to live. Why do you think so many people are drawn to it from other places, and why do you think so many people return after years away?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "The Promise of Home"by Silversolara (see profile) 08/05/15


Letters from the past that reveal hidden secrets and untold tales, a mansion being restored, and all the wonderful characters from Ms. Chan's previous novels.

Mill River is a town I wou


... (read more)

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