Reviews for Promises to Keep

Booklist Reviews 2007 May #2
De Lint returns to Newford and Jilly Coppercorn's youth, which readers of The Onion Girl (2005) and other Jilly stories know was extremely painful. The setting here is Jilly's early college days. She is just beginning to put her abused past behind her. One evening she runs into her only friend from her days in a juvenile institution, one of the few who know her original name. Bass-playing Donna invites Jilly to see her band. But no one has heard of the club in question. That's not surprising in Newford, where things and people come and go, and some things exist only for those who can sense them. When Jilly goes walking with Donna after the show, she enters another town, in which she can put the past even further behind and be what she should have been without the intervening wasted years. De Lint presents Jilly's choices, the memories impelling them, and the solution to the riddle of Donna in his characteristic powerful yet intimate style. Jilly's reader friends, including those first meeting her, will be more than delighted.

Library Journal Reviews 2007 August #1

On Halloween night, 1973, in the town of Newford, Jilly Coppercorn (Widdershins ) meets an old friend from her days in the Home for Wayward Girls. Like Jilly, Donna has put her life back together and is eager to show Jilly her rockabilly band and her new home. With the ease of walking through the door of a club on All Hallows Eve, Jilly finds herself in a strange "between world" where the lines between the dead and the living are blurred and the temptation to stay is almost more than she can handle. Returning to one of his most beloved characters, de Lint brings to light another tale of enchantment and mystery, one that explores the choices people make and the promises they choose to keep. Some libraries may find the price prohibitive, but larger libraries or libraries where the author has a significant readership should consider adding this urban fantasy fable to their collection.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 July #2

After a childhood of abuse and drug addiction, Jilly Coppercorn, last seen in de Lint's Widdershins (2006), is well on her way to being "normal" as an art school student when she runs into Donna Birch, her only friend from the bad old days, at the start of this appealing urban fantasy set in Newford in 1972. Donna takes Jilly into a realm similar to this world, but where things have a way of working out better. It's almost a paradise, a place where dreams are almost too easily realized, until Jilly realizes that the inhabitants are actually dead, souls whose lives were unfulfilled. She can continue pleasantly enough, but only by abandoning her responsibilities to all the people who helped her back in the living world. While much of this will resonate more with longtime fans of de Lint's Newford series, the lucid writing and well-realized characters make this short novel accessible even to new readers. (Sept.)

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