Promises Author:Catherine Gaskin As an abandoned child in a turn-of-the-century English mill town, Lally had a bleak future. She was too young, too distraught, too hungry even, to dream of the simple comforts of a warm hearth, let alone entertain visions of becoming the mistress of a grand manor, the wife of a dashing war hero, and eventually the titled hostess of a glittering ... more »salon in London. Yet all this was to be so - by the grace of a stranger... Black Jack Pollock knew that by taking in this "bit of filth" and raising her as his child he would once again be scorned for an illbred parvenu. But he recognized only one aristocracy, that of the noble spirit and the steadfastly passionate heart, and these things shone in the dark and troubled eyes of the little foundling he adopted. The nobility would accept her; as they did his other children. Black Jack knew ways of getting around society's gilded barricade.
Lally might have lacked the flair and panache that her adopted family had in dazzling abundance, but her fund of unflappable determination carries her over each hurdle set in her path. It is this steadiness that her family comes to rely on more and more as the chil winds of an increasingly hostile world buffet their leisured lives. When years of trench warfare tarnish her brother's golden luster and her sister's casual debaucheries take a macabre turn, Lally is there, heroically there, fulfilling the promise her prescient father recognized so many years ago. Though the bonds may chafe, they never suffocate Lally in this grand tale of pathos, tragedy, and ultimate triumph.« less