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A Promise to the Past: A Genealogical Mystery Paperback – December 28, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James G. Brown has worked in the investment business for over thirty years and this is his first book. He is an amateur genealogist and historian and is member of a number of hereditary, genealogical and historical societies. He has written several genealogical articles on his family. He resides in Maine.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (December 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595127983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595127986
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,663,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is one of my better finds on the internet. A friend recommended to me via email, and here it is. A good pleasurable time is to be had in the reading this first novel. As an avid reader of historical fiction, I often daydream myself back into the historical settings. "Promise to the Past" did that one step better, by jumping a common story back and forth to those times just as I might in my reflections.
It is written in an entertaining style, with careful unwinding of a chain of events that draws both on history and on today, linked together by the science & art of genealogy. Who is going to love this book? People like me who work in a cubicle all day with a couple dozen history sites on my PC's "favorites" list for the Internet, people who devour Patrick O'Brian's books and wonder what their ancestors might have been doing then; people who like to see a truly craftsman-like treatment of all the little details that make up history and provide the links to our forebears.
I've already given a copies to a couple friends who enjoyed it as much as the best of whatever else is on their "to-read" shelf. I'm sure you'll like it too.
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Format: Paperback
I was dismayed and disappointed with the author's use of expletives and low-level language expressed by the main characters of the book. The plot, the story line, the accurate use of genealogical research plans and actions were superb. I would like to share this book with my daughters and grand children but, instead, it ended up in the waste basket. I was appalled with the poor quality of the given text--any spellcheck and grammer program would have caught many of the errors. This is not acceptable in grade school! The author's note revealed a higher level of aspiration to inspire curiosity about family history and heritage in his readers, than was displayed in the story as exhibited by the language used throughout the book. I was uncomfortable reading the book, but kept on for genealogical research interest.
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Format: Paperback
A truly great book that I highly recommend, especially to any New Englander.
Mr. Brown is a brillant story teller, he has a unique way of portraying one family's historical journey. An intricately woven tale with many twists and turns in the plot left me unable to put the book down.
A really entertaining and worthwhile read.
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By A Customer on September 28, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I have done family research for over 30 years and I would highly recommend this book to established researchers as well as beginners to help develop an interest in their roots. Good story line, did not want the story to end.
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By A Customer on November 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Mr. Brown is an exceptional author. His amazing writing ability bringing the past & present and fiction & non-fiction togteher holds the reader until the end. "A Promise to the Past" will delight readers of all generations. It makes the reader (at least it did for me) want to know more about their (my) own heritage. As Mr. Brown wrote "I firmly believe that it helps you know where you are going if you know where you have been." How True!! A+++
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By A Customer on February 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
`Promise' displays the author's talent for charting a brilliant voyage with an intriguing pace of tension. Very creative plot line. Fully credible characters who earn the reader's attention with nicely metered dialogue.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this one after if was plugged on several genealogical newsletters. It's a good love and mystery story interwoven with the details of quality genealogical research. That said, the self-published author needs a good text editor to take care of the typos, the questionable punctuation, the sometimes wooden dialog and the gratuitous use of obscenities. Brown has his educated middle class characters talking like low-class barflies. It's a good read but it could have been much better.
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