TITLE: Jonathan’s Promise
SERIES: Jonathan Trilogy: Book Two
AUTHOR: Hans M. Hirschi
PUBLISHER: Beaten Track Publishing
COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow
LENGTH: 214 Pages
RELEASE DATE: March 31, 2016
BLURB: Jonathan made Dan a promise - a promise that will affect the remainder of his life. But what does he have left to live for?
When their grandson Parker and his fiancé Cody move in with him, the three of them embark on a journey to shed light on Dan's roots.
A heart-warming sequel to Jonathan's Hope, Jonathan's Promise deals with aging and the ultimate consequences of wedding vows. Are we entitled to a second shot at happiness? When is 'for worse' too much to handle?
In this trilogy:
Jonathan's Hope (Book 1)
Jonathan's Promise (Book 2)Jonathan's Legacy (Book 3)
“Yes, Hon, what is it?”
“I know. Just rest. You need your strength for tomorrow.”
“I’m not sure I want to...”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m just not sure it’s worth it, Jon...” Dan started to cough. Jonathan rose from his chair at his husband’s bedside to offer him some water, gently lifting and holding Dan’s head while he took down the cool, soothing liquid.
When the coughing eased, Dan patted Jonathan’s hand. He waited until Jonathan was seated before he spoke further. “Thanks. I’m old, hon. And I’m tired. I’ve lived a long and rich life, and you know what the doctor said. There’s only a very small chance the surgery will help. The tumor’s already metastasized, and even with chemo I’ll die sooner rather than later. Maybe it’s better to just get it over with.”
Jonathan began to cry, tumbling forward in his despair. His head came to a rest on his husband’s chest. They’d been a couple for so many years―six decades. How would he go on without Dan’s strength? How could he survive without the man who’d saved his life?
“Hon, don’t worry about me. I need you now, probably more than ever. I need to know you’ll stay strong for the kids. They need you.”
Dan’s words began to slur and his eyes closed. Even talking took so much effort. When he was sure Dan was asleep, Jonathan left their bedroom and went downstairs, out to the back patio, where he left the crisp, fresh fall air to dry the tears on his face. He was tired, too. Dan’s cancer had come back. They’d thought he’d beaten it, but the last screening showed the dark shadows in his bones and his lungs. After three years of clear results, it had come completely out of the blue, and the doctor said that it had also spread to other areas of the body.
That was just a few days ago, and Dan had accepted the news with equanimity. He had made peace with himself and the world around him when the cancer had first been diagnosed in his prostate. Back then, there was still a sparkle in Dan’s eyes, a determination to fight this, a will to survive. But at ninety years of age, Dan was tired, and Jonathan knew―or rather he felt―that his husband was done. And he understood, but that did not diminish the pain, the despair. Yes, he’d be strong for the kids, the grandkids, but who’d look after him? Who’d make sure he survived?
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What can I say about this wonderful book? It was a roller coaster from start to finish. I started to in the first chapter and was still crying at the end, although it wasn't constant; there were a fair few lighter moments to enjoy.
The book starts with Jonathan's husband of almost sixty years, Dan, dying of cancer. It was not the maudlin or morbid event it could have been, and wasn't dwelt over. It was a necessary beginning, as well as an ending and it was handled very well. Before he died, Dan made Jonathan make a promise which he reluctantly does.
After the funeral, when all is settled, Jonathan's grandson, Parker and his fiancee, Cody move in with him to begin their life together. I though this was a lovely bit of juxtapositioning - one journey ended and another beginning.
Speaking of journeys, one thing Jonathan has always wanted to do is travel, but Dan wasn't keen, so when looking at what to do with the rest of his life, travel features large. Jonathan persuades Parker and Cody, without too much trouble, to join him on an amazing journey, first to locate Dan's family, what's left of it, and then on a round-the-world cruise. It was on this cruise that Jonathan's life changes yet again.
One of the criticisms of this book is that, on occasion, the dialogue was a little stiff and didn't always flow well. The other criticism I can't go into too deeply without a major spoiler. Suffice it to say, I think things moved too fast in certain places. Whilst I appreciate the need for it, both in the confines of the writing and the situation in the story, I think the emotional side of it snowballed way too fast. Having said that, both criticism are minor in the scheme of things and certainly shouldn't prevent anyone reading the book.
All in all Jonathan's Promise is a bit of a rollercoaster, but in a gentle way. It's a heartwarming story that spans generations, with enough surprises to keep it interesting and a consistent, cohesive story. I read the book in one sitting and it was easy reading. I got completely lost in the lives of these wonderfully real people. I laughed with them, cried with them and sat on the edge of my seat with them.
The ending was perfect, though bittersweet and definitely satisfying.
I can heartily recommend this story to those who want an easy read, heartwarming story about families, adventures and love in later life.
I’m an author. I write books. I write about things that are important to me: family, parenting, children, our environment, our world. Contemporary, fresh fiction with happy endings. It’s what I like to read myself. I write because I don’t have a choice. There are so many stories in my head, constantly forming, constantly trying to get out. Feel free to have a look on the other pages to learn more, listen to me narrate from those stories, and – if you like what you see or hear – follow the links to buy the books. I’d greatly appreciate that, as this is how I try to make my living.
I’m an author. But I’m also a forty something male who clings to the illusion of still being twenty-seven, despite my body’s daily reminders to the contrary. I’m married to the most amazing man, and together we have a beautiful son, Sascha. I consider myself a citizen of the world, having lived on two continents and traveled extensively through another three. I have friends all over the world. When I’m not writing, I like to do public speaking or training (where I have my professional background) to actually earn some real bill-paying money. Not sure this author thing is ever going to get me there…
5 e-copies of Jonathan’s Promise (Book 2) / Jonathan’s Hope (Book 1) –- Winner’s Choice
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