The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White explores harm OCD and whether a "good mother" could ever abandon her baby. A heartbreaking, mesmerizing book that gives the reader a profound, raw and real insight into harm OCD and how it impacts patients and their loved ones.
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The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White Review

The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White Review

I received this book for free from Netgalley for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.

The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White
Published by Lake Union
Publication Date: Jan 16, 2018
Setting: North America > USA > North Carolina
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley


5* – I Loved it! Could a “good mother” ever abandon her baby? The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White explores this question and gives profound, real and raw insight into the world of harm OCD and how it effects the patients and loved ones.


Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

My Thoughts:

The Promise Between Us is one of those books that gets under your skin, penetrates your mind and heart and doesn’t let go. In the terrifying first pages of the book, we meet Katelyn as she fights with the harm OCD demons in her head that are telling her to do the unthinkable to her crying newborn baby. The struggle brought me to tears and I almost had to put my Kindle in the freezer (anyone else remember that Friends episode?) . My mother’s heart ached for the innocent baby and also for the mom who was scared of her own thoughts, the devil in her mind, and what they were telling her to do.

But after reading White’s Echoes of Family last year, I knew I had to persevere. That Barbara would have an important story to tell, and I an equally important lesson to learn about those battling with mental illness and the stigma that goes with it.

And I was right. I fell in love with the characters and how they dealt with their situation. Young Maisie is a strong willed and spunky little girl. Her stoic father raised and protected Maisie with his best friend, handsome, perennial bachelor, Jake. They are a loving family who are challenged when Katie comes back into their lives unexpectedly and the suspicions she brings with her. Who is Katie to suddenly want an opinion and interfere in Maisie’s life? Why does she after all these years want to be a mother now?

The Promise Between Us is one of those books that will scare you and stay with you as a story about harm and hope, fear and love and the demons of negative thoughts we face.


Barbara is kind enough to offer a signed copy of The Promise Between Us to one of my readers! She’s so generous that his giveaway is open internationally. See further Terms and Conditions in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Books Like This You Might Enjoy:

Echoes of Family by Barbara Claypole White – 4* , exploring how bipolar disorder impacts a family

Breaking the Silence* by Diane Chamberlain – 5* , a haunting look at a family’s secret and the state of mental illness in the 1950’s

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  1. Hi Tanya!
    Thanks for the giveaway, the book sounds good.
    I’m not reading much latetly, but I have been hooked on the KonMari method: I read her book twice and I tidied my entire flat 🙂 I guess that kept me busy and I couldn’t read other books haha.

    1. Oh my goodness, I read that book a year or more ago and I still haven’t implemented it. Our house is still kinda chaotic. I figure i will have plenty of time for that in another 10 years when our nest is empty. Until then, resistance is futile 😃 good luck, thanks for entering to win it!

  2. I recently read an ARC of Need to Know by Karen Cleveland. It was a great book with suspense from beginning to end. Also a preview copy of The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie was great. Twists and turns from girst page to last page. Really want to read Barbara’s book.

  3. I’m currently deep in Bible Studies and non-fiction – not sure when I’m going to have a chance to tackle my fiction TBR pile – but this book sounds amazing so who knows, if I’m lucky – maybe this will be it! 🙂

    1. That’s great, reading is reading. I need to pick up my Bible again, I’ve been bad at reading it lately as my blogging is ramping back up again. Good luck and thanks for entering to win this one!

  4. I have been reading several ARC’s and leaving reviews. I tend to read mainly woman’s fiction and psychological thrillers. Would love to have a physical copy of this book to add to my personal library.

  5. I recently finished One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain, which was excellent! I highly recommend it! I’m currently reading Loretta Nyhan’s Digging In (kindle) AND Barbara’s Echoes of Family. (Paperback) 🙂

  6. Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton is a book I read and loved so much last month. One of the books I cannot wait to read is The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey. 🙂

  7. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway. Reading is and always has been my entire form of entertainment and is vital to my enjoyment. I am now reading a memorable historical Where The Wild Cherries Grow by Laura Madeleine. I have read several of Barbara’s unforgettable novels. I have RA and am trying to manage.

    1. You’re very welcome, i’m so thankful Barbara reached out to me. I love hearing when people are lifelong readers, I didn’t truly love reading until about 5 years ago and feel like I missed out on so much valuable reading time I am trying to make up for. I’m sorry to hear you have RA but hope you are feeling as well as you can. Gentle hugs.

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