All We Were Promised: A Novel

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In her first novel, Lattimore brings us the story of three young women in 1837 Philadelphia: Charlotte, who escaped slavery years before with her father; Evie, still enslaved by the same woman who kept Charlotte in bondage; and Nell, the daughter of two of Philadelphia’s Black elite, eager to use her privileged position to do good for others. Over the course of the novel, the thin connections between them grow tighter, entangling them until they are inextricably intertwined with each other and the trouble that is to come for them.

All We Were Promised is what so many historical novels aspire to be but never quite reach. It is a lovingly told story about compelling characters, with powerful stakes that still remains grounded in tone. It is intimate, but with enough scope that it can speak to many readers, of any race or gender.

In short, it is a masterpiece.

There are a few places in the narration where it is clear this is Lattimore’s first novel, but they were never jarring. I’m very glad I got to read this book for review, and I hope many more people take the opportunity to read it as well.

Reviewed By:

Author Ashton Lattimore
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Ballantine Books
Publish Date 02-Apr-2024
ISBN 9780593600153 Buy this Book
Issue May 2024
Category Historical Fiction