The Promise by Casey Kelleher

the-promise-by-caseyTwo sisters. One murder. And an unbreakable bond.

Growing up in squalor with their drug-addicted prostitute mother, sisters Georgie and Marnie Parker have had to endure the very darkest side of life.

When their mother is sentenced for brutally murdering a client, Georgie and Marnie’s already precarious lives are blown apart and they now share a terrible secret. Sent to a children’s home, the sisters hope this might finally be their safe haven after years of neglect. But they soon discover they’re in real danger.

Desperate to find a place of safety, Georgie and Marnie run for their lives, but end up in the hands of Delray Anderton. A violent London gangster and notorious pimp, Delray has big plans for beautiful teenager Georgie, seeing her as a chance to make some serious money.

Fiercely protective of each other, Georgie and Marnie must escape the clutches of a man who will do anything to keep the sisters for himself. And, they must keep the promise they made to each other – no one can ever know the truth.


The Promise by Casey Kelleher tells the story of the three Parker girls. Josie is a single mother with two daughters, Georgie (12) and Marnie (5). The three live in extreme poverty. Worse still, their house is pretty messed up. It is filthy with the girls’ bedroom being described as permanently being occupied by a strong smell of piss. Their living situation is made worse by the fact that Josie is a prostitute who entertains clients while her daughters are locked in the next bedroom. The girls are not spared from the noises coming from their mother’s room so you can imagine the horror which they had to endure every night. Apart from the Parkers, there is another young woman, Javine Turner, trying to better herself. However, she ends up making some decisions which get her caught up in a dark world of pimps and human traffickers.

This book is quite well written and easy to get into. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. The writing is compelling despite the heavy themes. There were a number of incidents that made me quite uncomfortable but I still couldn’t stop turning the pages. The world in which the women are stuck in is just nasty and the misery seems unending. Apart from the writing(which I really, really liked), the other reason that kept me reading is that I just wanted to find out if the girls had a good ending to their sad stories.  I mean, the misery had to end at some point, right?

The female characters and especially the Parkers made the story even more compelling. The young girls were so likeable and so it was hard to read about what they were going through. My feelings about Josie and Javine changed from chapter to chapter though I did see the two characters transform through the pages. I kept thinking about their circumstances. Was it their fault that they got caught up in the life that they were living? Or was it just fate? Do people decide to go into some of these ‘professions’ or does the need to survive force them to make these decisions? This book definitely gave me a lot to think about.

A tough read but very well-written so definitely recommended.