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Book Review: Promise of Departure by L.W. Montgomery

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Promise of Departure by L.W. Montgomery is a story of true guilt and regret in a powerful, dramatic setting. The main character leaves his wife and daughter to go help the people in Haiti, whose lives were devastated by  the 2010 earthquake and has many varied experiences. In the course of this long trip.

His memories are constantly triggered by events and he has flashbacks of previous bike trips with friends and other memorable occurences along the way. Whenever he has a new interaction, his thoughts wander back to the wife and daughter that he left behind.

Greg has so many experiences and encounters with different people that the novel becomes somewhat difficult to follow. As his money begins to run out, his guilt mounts and he begins to question his decision to do what he thought would have been such an honorable thing.

The man is clearly in a midlife crisis trying to recapture some of his past ideologies. He traipses across the torn Haitian countryside as a mechanic, hoping to help people, hoping to answer some calling that he thinks he has.

But in the meantime, his friends and family think he has gone off the deep end. His idea of slipping out of his present life of owning a computer business and being wealthy turns sour and depressing. He did what he wanted, what he thought was a humanitarian act. But in the end it just causes him and his family heartache and misery.

In the large scheme of things, Promise of Departure by L.W. Montgomery is a sad novel that was sometimes difficult to follow and depressing to read. But then, life itself is not always a bed of roses, so in its defense, it does tell it like it is. I gave it a very favorable B on my scale.

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