Monday, September 1, 2014

Rory's Promise

Rory's PromiseRory's Promise by Michaela MacColl and Rosemary Nichols
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the back of the book, it lists how Rory's Promise was based on real kidnappings, making this one of the creepiest children's books ever.

Thank you, NetGalley and Boyds Mill Press, for this free book to review!
Twelve-year-old orphan Rory Fitzpatrick lives with her younger sister Violet at New York City's Foundling Hospital in the early 1900s. But when Rory discovers that Violet will be sent to the Arizona Territory to be adopted, her world is shattered. Although too old to be adopted herself, Rory--brave and smart--is determined to stay with her sister, even if it means hiding out on a train traveling west. When Rory and Violet arrive in Arizona, everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Will Rory give up? This uplifting novel about the power of faith and the true meaning of family launches the Hidden Histories series, spotlighting little-known tales from America's past, and the children behind those stories. Includes authors' note and further resources.
While Rory is fictional, Violet and the kidnappings are not. I had no idea the women in the wild west were so desperate for children. Thus, it leads to one exciting and fast paced book.

I really love Rory, despite how overprotective she was. Of course you wouldn't want your only sister to be sent out west without you, but Violet can't even eat dinner by herself? She can't sleep in her own bed? That's a little extreme. Usually I hate feisty young girls in historical novels ("Oh! I'm such a tomboy! Look, I can ride a horse!") but I actually liked Rory here. She grew so much over the course of the novel.

Another thing I liked is how accurate the nuns were. Usually in literature they're portrayed as mean and loveless. Maybe some are, but that's rarely the case. In Rory's Promise, they felt like real people (maybe because Sister Anna WAS a real person). They're flawed, but they want what's best for the children.

Would I read other books by these authors? Absolutely. The historical facts are woven in without being condescending.

Language: A
Violence: A or B
Adult Content: A

View all my reviews


  1. Sounds like an interesting book! I've always appreciated the period. Anyway, what's weird is that her name is Rory... that's a boy's name? But I think I have an answer to your question as to why she'd be so used to having her little sister on top of her all the time-- and no it's not cuz I'm Italian and I love that kinda thing xD-- it may be because poor families were really cramped together in small spaces most of the time and they didn't own really anything, so they probably grew to cherish and cling to their togetherness in close proximity. In that case, it would probably be earth-shattering to have those little privileges revoked. Hope that makes sense! Love you, darlin'!

    1. Yeah, Rory is a girl. ;) And your comment totally made sense. To me, though, I'd probably suffocate if I had to sleep in the same bed with one of my siblings for 3+ years, like in this book.

  2. cool! Good news! I finally got the third Safe lands book! Yay! Jill Williamson is such a good writer. Anyways I have become a modern day slave to school work HW so I should better go

    1. I haven't started school yet, but it's fast approaching. I'm excited. :)

    2. Ok. I was talking to this girl named haley at school. When I told her I wanted to be her friend that she could count on and that if she wanted help with school or whatever I would help her if she asked. She evidently thought I was a pest. She had a army of jocks , her boyfriend pethaps? And a lot of crazy boys who looked mean to come beat the life out of me. I think her boyfriend was upset at me. I narely escaped a fight.

    3. I had no clue that Haley was the one who lead those mean jockss.

  3. Not sure if you've seen this, but here it is anyway!