Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Review - - The Promise of Tomorrow

The Promise of Tomorrow
by Mary Ellen Taylor
Publisher: Montlake
Release Date: June 1, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

When Olympia leaves her small Virginia town, she doesn’t expect to look back, much less ever come home. But after a year on the road, her sister’s engagement pulls Olympia into everything she left behind: her family, her husband, and the grief she’s been trying to forget.

She’s determined to stay a few days, maybe a week—just enough time to visit gravestones and sign off on the divorce her husband, Spencer, asked for. But he’s reeling from their shared loss, as well as complications with his aging parents, leaving his heart just as fragile as Olympia’s. The more time they spend in each other’s orbit, the less sure they are they’ll be able to walk away for good.

As family secrets come to light and family bonds stretch to the breaking point, Olympia must decide where she’s going next and where she belongs. She’s used to coping with life’s complications alone, but maybe the best way to heal is together.

PJ's Thoughts:

So. Many. Feelings. When I pick up a Mary Ellen Taylor book I know I'm in for an emotional ride and The Promise of Tomorrow is no exception. She reels me in and keeps me hooked with relatable, flawed characters who engage my emotions, holding me at their mercy until their stories have been fully told, and storytelling skill that leaves me feeling like I'm right there with them, every step of the way.

No man - or woman - is an island and that is especially true in this book. There are many relationships skillfully interwoven throughout the book, all important in their own ways to the healing, forgiveness, and growth necessary for Olympia, Spencer, and others to move forward. I appreciate the fact that Taylor doesn't cut corners with any of them. Real life people don't change overnight and neither do her characters. They do, however, gradually evolve as a result of events in their lives, leading to a softening in some cases, strengthening in others, and the possibility of new beginnings in others.

I especially enjoyed the alternating chapters in this book told by Spencer and Olympia and the flashback social media posts detailing Olympia's personal journey of the previous year. They give the story a full scope of perspective, heightening the stakes and immersing me even more deeply into their evolution, individually and as a couple. I pulled so hard for these two. 

Lastly, Taylor is especially adept at creating settings for her stories. Whether you've visited Virginia or not, her descriptions bring Blacksburg and the surrounding area to life, making it easy to imagine hiking the mountain trails, exploring the dry lake beds, and hanging out at the best pizza place in town on a busy football weekend. 

If you enjoy multi-layered stories with complicated relationships, challenging circumstances, complex characters, and hard-won second chances, give this one a try. 

Content triggers: miscarriage, grief, Alzheimer's, cancer


  1. Great review thank you, sounds good.

  2. A new author for me, sounds so good!!

  3. It has been a time since I read a book by Ms Taylor. I remember it fondly. I do enjoy her stories and the depth of character development. Thanks for the review.

  4. Being familiar with Blacksburg and the area, it will be easy to feel comfortable with the setting. We have dealt with miscarriage, Alzheimer's, cancer, and grief both currently and over the years. They are all things that stress a person and their relationships. This sounds like a book I could elate to. Thank you for the review. Patricia Barraclough