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The Promised World: A Novel by [Tucker, Lisa]
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The Promised World: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Engrossing and suspenseful, Tucker's remarkable fourth novel (after The Cure for Modern Life) unveils the motives behind the curious behavior and superfluous lies of unusually close-knit fraternal twins. Brilliant but mercurial Billy Cole, estranged from his wife, Ashley, commits suicide after losing visitation rights to his children. After Billy's death, his fragile twin, Lila, immediately begins to break down, recalling bizarre incidents and feeling overwhelmed by dread. Once her husband, Patrick, who always prized reason over emotion, hears from Ashley that the twins lied about their parents being dead, he connects with Lila's mother, Barbara, and gets a very different picture of the twins' past. By rotating points of view between Lila, Patrick, Billy and Ashley, Tucker fleshes out the story, leaving readers understanding how both guileless and malevolent actions can be misconstrued. The strong, plausible narrative threatens to lapse into melodrama at the end but Tucker's easy hand with characters and persuasive human trauma saves the day for this satisfying, imminently readable novel. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"The Promised World is a book that will appeal both to readers of literary fiction and those who enjoy psychological suspense. It's one of the standout novels of the year." -- The Chicago Sun-Times

Product Details

  • File Size: 915 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1 Reprint edition (August 21, 2009)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2009
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002MB96HS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,735 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeanne Anderson on August 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was hard to put down. The Promised World is a life that Lily and her twin brother Billy live in. A world of stories, plots, memory lapse and many lies. Lily is a Professor of American Literature and loves to read. Billy never made it through college, married young and had three children. Lily has been married 12 years but has no childen.

When Billy is accidently killed in what is presumed a suicide, Lily goes into a deep depression in a world that she remembers only Billy and what he told her happened in her life. She has no memory of her childhood other than what Billy has told her.

This is the story of how Lily tries to save Billy's children from what she thinks is abuse from their mother and her boyfriend. It is also the story of Patrick, Lily's husband and his attempts to understand his mentally impaired wife. There is much for Lily to remember about her past and she suffers through this painfully. I suffered with her as she re-lives the abuse of her childhood and begins to learn her life has been built on lies.

Very good book. I couldn't put it down.
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Format: Hardcover
I only had to read one review of The Promised World to know that I would like this book. I requested it from my library immediately, and as soon as I took it home, I dove right in. I had to use all of my willpower not to finish the novel that same day - it captivated me from the start.

The book starts out with Lila learning that her twin brother, Billy, has just died - he's committed "suicide by police". Since Billy is hands-down the most important person in her life, she predictably falls to pieces. But Lila is not the only person who was affected by Billy's death - he left behind a (soon to be ex-) wife and three young children, who are also obviously shaken with Billy's death. And in the aftermath of his death, Lila begins to question everything she thought she knew about her brother, about her past, and about her own memories.

The Promised World is a pretty awesome novel. Just as I expected, I loved the book and couldn't put it down. Let me first tell you that the novel is told from multiple perspectives - something I love when it's done well, and Lisa Tucker definitely does it well here. The story is told by Lila, her husband Patrick, Ashley (Billy's wife), and William (Billy's ten-year-old son). Hearing from all these different characters really gives the reader a true feel for who Billy was, since each person had such a different relationship with him than the others. It also helped to see the characters for what they really were - Lila, for example, seemed okay when she was narrating, but from any other characters' perspective, it was clear that she was not handling Billy's death well, that she was being completely self-absorbed and wasn't thinking of anything but her own grief.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a very abosorbing psychological thriller involving a twin brother and sister, now grown up. Lila is a professor of English, married to Patrick. Billy, although a "genius",works in construction, is married to Ashley and has three kids. Strange things begin to happen within the first 50 pages. Nothing is what it seems. Lila and Billy are exceptionally close. Lila mentions that Billy has forged their parents' death certificates. Why? How? It comes out that the twins had a stepfather who hurt them in some way. What happened to their real father? Billy suddenly commits suicide in a way that puts him on the national news. Lila begins to have memory problems and can't distinguish actual memories from dreams. Patrick, thinking she's depressed over her brother's death, starts digging into the past, one of the worst mistakes he could have made. Ashley refuses to let them see the kids. This sets the scene. It takes to the end of the book to find out what is real and what is fantasy, who is good and who is evil, who is telling the truth and who is lying. Chess is the family game, with its strategies matching the mind games played. The destruction stretches out over three generations of the Cole family, which Billy always referred to as "cursed." Hurtling toward a nail-biting ending, you won't put this book down. Great combination of suspense and family novel. One of the best of the good Vine books I've read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I remain confused about the blurb on the book itself because it seems to me to be more about everyone connected to the mail twin Billy, not only his sister Lila. Yes, she is terribly disoriented by his death but mostly her character seems to be unconscious or sleeping. She finally takes hold of her life in the last third of the book, figuring out who lied, who's on her side etc. Don't want to give away anything. Lisa Tucker built the tension very craftily - made me think of 'Rashomon' where everyone sees something different. I don't mean its totally like that book, but Tucker does give all sides of the story which I really liked. At the end of one section you think you have figured out 'whodunit' but two pages later you find out you're completely wrong. I love a mystery that isn't easy to solve. Good story telling, terrific character development and very evocative description. Highly enjoyable, fascinating mystery, and hard to put down.
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