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Complex story reveals itself slowly


December 2, 2009

Promised World

"The Promised World"

By Lisa Tucker

($25.00, Atria Books)

How would you know what to expect if not for stories or promises? How could you know what has happened in the past if not for your memories or those of others?

In "The Promised World" we're introduced to Lila Cole as an adult, already a tenured professor of literature. She took this path in large part due to the stories her twin, Billy, had frequently entertained her with throughout their childhood and into their teens. She had memory gaps from that time period, but what she didn't remember, he remembered for her. That was a particular benefit of having a twin.

Billy and Lila were always so close that when Lila learns of his "suicide by police," she sinks into a chasm of depression. Her husband desperately tries to find anything to lift her from this withdrawal.

Mary Burns

Lisa Tucker crafts her stories so alluringly that it's a jolt to realize there's more to this evolving story than well-worded characterizations. The reader encounters a complexity to the narrative that was obscure as we read the initial pages. As we draw up to the final passage, we become aware that our trepidation was because, "They were so young, the world was all before them ..." in The Promised World.

Mary Burns is the owner of The BookWORKS, located at 1510 Third Street, downtown Marysville, 360.659.4997, or online at Comments or requests are welcome at


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