Wednesday, May 20, 2015

#REVIEW - The Promise by Beth Wiseman

Description from the Publisher and Goodreads:

Mallory's search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal--and danger. Can the only man she's ever loved rescue her before it's too late? Mallory Hammond is determined not to let her boyfriend, parents, or anyone else get in the way of her #1 goal--to save a life. She had that chance when she was a teenager, and the opportunity slipped away, leaving a void she's desperate to fill. Then a new friend she met online offers her the chance she's dreamed of. But she'll have to leave behind everyone she loves to take it. Tate Webber has loved Mallory for years. He understands that Mallory's free spirit has to fly, and when he gives her the space she needs, he hopes that when she lands, the two of them will be in the same place and can marry at last. In a bold move--and with lots of resistance from Tate and those closest to her--Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfill her dream. Tate begs her not to go, but Mallory embarks on the dangerous journey to Pakistan anyway, only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. Her new friend isn't who he says he is. And Mallory can only pray she'll make it out alive. Inspired by actual events, this riveting story will take you on a wild journey and have you asking yourself: How far would I go for love? Bestselling author Wiseman encourages readers to think through their feelings about Islam, Christianity, faith, love, and what it means to help others. Her novel will challenge, encourage, and stimulate discussion among her loyal fans and first-time readers. --Publishers Weekly

My Take:
1 Star
A quick review - a naive American woman who DESPITE WARNINGS falls for a muslim man, thinking she is going to do the ultimate and save a life. Flies to Peshawar, Pakistan, stays with the family, finds out there is no life to be saved and she has been lied to, becomes forced to marry the man who was so sweet to her on Skype, is abused by him and his other wife, gets stuck in the country, expecting the American Embassy to help get her out of trouble, OR, she has now become a key player in Human Trafficking, being expected to earn her keep, if you know what I mean.
The REAL review:
One star for taking the time to TRY to write a story that is not Amish. This author needs to stick with writing her Amish stories because in my opinion, that is ALL she CAN write. I have NEVER been as disappointed and upset as I was while reading this book over ANY other book. Don't get FOOLED into buying or borrowing this book and wasting your time to read it like I did. 
I saw this book at NetGalley at Thomas Nelson Publishers and had seen it around other blogs for quite a while, (that should have been a clue to me as to 'why' it was STILL AT NETGALLEY!) The cover is catchy, and I always wondered what this book was about, but I never noticed or read what the book was about, and knew the author was popular for writing a lot of Amish books, so I thought I would take a chance as it had potential. 'Had potential' is one of the key words here. It's a huge FAIL!
Let me tell you one thing before I continue. I have taken WEEKS which turned into MONTHS writing this review out. I ditched every single review I wrote. I tried and tried to write a review that wasn't so long it wouldn't bore you to death. I kept putting my own opinions in, took them out, then finally decided I'll just tell it like it is. Pathetic!
This book is supposed to be based upon a true story, but I don't know ONE PERSON who could possibly be this naive and flat-out dumb, but this book has been written, so I guess that one person is out there. This author has written a character who is such a push-over, stupid, and yes, I said STUPID! This young woman is in her twenties and I think she crawled out from behind a ROCK! No one would do what she did without asking a single question, or even doubting what she was about to do, but she does it! Unbelievable in every meaning of the word!
Mallory, at age 17, had a cousin dying from a kidney disease and was on dialysis for it. This cousin was in the end stages of her life as her kidneys were not working to remove the waste from your body. Mallory already knows she can't have children. (How? We never are given an explanation.) She goes through all the testing and would have been able to donate her kidney to save her cousin's life, and since she could not have children, I'm assuming she could give a kidney and not have to worry about only having one? The author does not tell us this. 
Mallory's parents said no. We are never given a reason WHY they said no, they just said no. Her cousin dies, but Mallory still wants to save someone's life. I guess now she is an adult and in her twenties (when I keep saying I guess or I am assuming something, that is because the author has conveniently left that part out!) and she still wants to carry out this 'save a life' thing. Great. I'm all for it. I guess like attracts like because she has a boyfriend named Tate, and he never questions this event that she is willing to walk into as well. He has to be just as naive! (I just can't believe this author would write such a story and ask us, the Reader, to believe this!!!)
Mallory works with an Indian woman named Soraya, married to Ismail. He is friends with a man named Abdul, and he lives in Peshawar, (near Istanbul) Pakistan, one of the most dangerous cities in that country. Abdul supposedly has a daughter who has cancer, and if Mallory will marry him, he can bring her here to the US to get treatment for her here. Soraya thinks this is a good idea; and she is putting ALL her trust into her husband, Ismail. She is believes in him and tells Mallory. (Remember that.) The author hints something is amiss with this story, but that is all she does, never telling us just what it is.
Mallory and Abdul start to Skype. It is during these phone calls that Mallory starts to talk about religion with Abdul. Mallory does not own a Bible, but DOES go out and buys a Qur'an. This sends Tate off the deep end!
Abdul is Islam . . . just wait! Malory has to be screwed up. Abdul praises her constantly with compliments, understanding of her confusion about religion, kind and understanding to her, but he crosses the line when he talks about what a beautiful woman she is, how nice she is, and how can she not be married yet? Mallory crosses the line when she accepts Abdul's compliments, making her blush and feel good about herself, and she looks forward to these phone calls despite her having Tate as a boyfriend whom she loves, and he love her back with a vengeance. 
Abdul is apparently over the moon in love with her. (Wait! Isn't she supposed to be going there to help save a life and should NOT be being courted?) The boyfriend doesn’t find anything wrong about this except about the religion they were trying to confuse her over??? Or, as we’ve come to know Mallory by now, has she not told him anything about what Abdul is saying to her? That is probably the most logical reason. Mallory looks up the country and sees the US has US Citizen TRAVEL WARNINGS all over every website she goes to. That tells her nothing! If it were me, I would NOT be going! She goes!!!
On one of the Skype calls, she sees a woman's arm serving Abdul tea. She asks who that is, and Abdul has an explanation that his divorced wife still lives with him because she is the mother of their children. She ACCEPTS this answer! As you can tell, red flags are popping up all over the place! Off Mallory goes on the plane to Peshawar, Pakistan.
(Here is a map to help you understand where she went.)

As Mallory was getting off the plane, an American man approached her to talk to her and tried to find out what she was doing there and tried to make sure she knew of the danger. He pressed his business card discreetly in her hand and said to call him if needed. She thought this was strange and she wouldn't need his card. Hello? She's in the middle of the thick of things, of people who do not get along, etc! Trust me, she needed that business card!
As you can see, Peshawar is right next to Afghanistan. There was a cross of Pakistani's and Afghanistan's in the crowds in the city. There were vehicles with men holding guns, men walking around with guns, etc. If you can imagine it, it was written in this book. This part of the book was the most detailed. At least it shows this author can do research. It didn't take long for me to learn this is NOT a country for a blonde haired, blue-eyed, light skinned American woman to go to!) 
At this point do I care? No! I have no sympathy for this woman, and I'm not sorry about it. The author has failed to give me any convincing reason to even like Mallory. All I think of about Mallory is she is so dumb to have fallen for such a plan! I knew this was going to happen!
Within a week of Mallory being in Pakistan living with Abdul and his family, including his wife, she finds out his daughter does NOT have cancer. What is she here for? To save a life, yet there is NO LIFE TO BE SAVED!
Eventually, Abdul forcefully marries Mallory. As everyone is going to bed that night, Abdul's wife looks over to her and smirks, telling Mallory that Abdul will be sleeping with her tonight, NOT Mallory.
Okay. Abdul is practicing polygamy, a part of the Islam religion.
NOW Mallory wakes up! Now she sees she must get out of that country, and fast. Fast is NOT a word in Pakistan. She contacts that man at the American Embassy and in the book it sounds like it only takes a few weeks to get her out, but in reality, in reading the author's notes, it sounds like it may have taken a year or two to get her out.
So, do you think Tate is still waiting for her back here in the states? Yes, in real life he does help her get home.
I just can't believe someone who had EVERYTHING would drop and LOSE EVERYTHING for a man, a LIAR in Pakistan!
Oh! The BEST part - I almost forgot! Soraya found out what her husband did to help Abdul. She left him! Yes! I LOVE it!!
In closing, I just want to say if you feel you have a calling, even to save a life, DO IT IN THE USA!
Here are some links to help you do what you feel called to do:
Living Donors - to donate a kidney IN THE USA:
Look EVERYTHING up online before your feet hit ANY foreign soil! Today there are bound to be OODLES of websites and information at your FINGERTIPS before you go and put your body in danger! Thank you.

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