A Vow to Cherish

Author: Deborah Raney

Publisher: Steeple Hill Books

Release Date: June, 2006

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: PRINT

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John and Ellen Brighton had plans to travel and spend time together when their youngest child left home for college.  When that time finally came, however, it wasn't anything near what they had expected.  Ellen began having times of confusion and forgetfulness that eventually led to her being diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  At the age of forty-six, it came as quite a shock to Ellen and John, who had previously thought of the disease as something only 'old' people experienced.

Julia Sinclair has been a widow for two years and has been finding herself quite lonely. With two teenage sons to raise, her decision to move to Calypso from Chicago was an attempt at starting over away from the memories of her husband that continued to haunt her. 


As Ellen's illness progresses, John finds himself incapable of caring for her at home anymore, and eventually has to place her in a nursing facility where she could be better cared for.  There John meets Julia Sinclair who quickly becomes his confidante.  She understands his pain as no one else seems to since she has also experienced a devastating loss.


As John sees his wife slip further and further away, his love for Ellen is tested to the highest degree possible.  With his friendship with Julia deepening every day, the temptation is very strong to compromise his religious convictions by seeking solace in Julia's arms.  As John falls deeply in love with Julia, he struggles with honoring his vows to Ellen while at the same time wanting to be with Julia.  Will John have the strength to withstand the longing for Julia's love and continue to honor his vow to love and cherish Ellen even though she doesn't even know him anymore?  And what of poor Julia's heart when she finally learns the truth of John's circumstances when she's been led on to believe he was single?


Deborah Raney's first book, A VOW TO CHERISH, was originally published ten years ago and was made into a movie by the same name.  It has now been updated and expanded into a fabulous new reissue with the same title.  Ms. Raney has done a superb job showing what this cruel disease called Alzheimer's does to not only the affected person, but to their entire family.  Filled with credible characters, this novel is sure to pull some emotional heartstrings and will leave very few readers with dry eyes.  A sequel to A VOW TO CHERISH called WITHIN THIS CIRCLE is planned for a 2007 release. 

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Sherri Myers

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