About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

A Promise to Break by Kathryn Spurgeon: Review & Giveaway

 About the Book

 Book: A Promise to Break
Author: Kathryn Spurgeon
Genre: Christian Historical
Release Date: July 11, 2016

SIBYL TRIMBLE, the daughter of a wealthy banking family during the Great Depression in Shawnee, Oklahoma, promises her father to be part of a political movement to change the world. By 1932, the timing to fulfill that promise seems right. Her life consists of fashionable clothes, cruising in a Model T, and dancing every weekend at the local speakeasy.

FREMONT POPE is a handsome, blue-eyed, down-on-his-luck hobo, and Sibyl’s life turns
upside down when she meets him. Her love for him and his Christian family opens her eyes to a different way of life than she has ever known.

Based on a true story, this historical novel follows Sibyl through some difficult choices. She must dig deep within herself to find strength to face her father and determine which, if any, of her past beliefs can be salvaged. What is more important, love or duty?

Click here to get your copy.  


As I began reading this book I was reminded that most young girls think that their father is extremely wise and beyond reproach and that was certainly the case with Sibyl Trimble. Sibyl didn't understand all that took place when she attended a political meeting with her dad when she was very young but she did understand when he asked her to make a promise and to keep it. "Promise me. Promise me, child, that you'll follow me and change the world". What she didn't realize in 1922 was that her father wasn't quite the man that she thought and there would come a time when she must choose what she believed was right!

Author Kathryn Spurgeon has written a novel that is based on true facts. Sibyl Trimble was Spurgeon's grandmother and both family records and historical facts have been used to tell Sibyl's story from her youth until she met and married Fremont Pope and they started their family. A Promise to Break tells us about love, faith, and politics in the 1930s and it vividly describes those Depression years. Sibyl had grown up enjoying the perks of a well-to-do family and falling in love with and marrying a 'hobo' from the wrong side of the tracks was an unlikely possibility, but this story shows the true blessing that Sibyl received. It was Fremont Pope who showed Sibyl what true Christianity was and what true, selfless love truly felt like and it was Fremont who supported her when she was asked to choose between her mother and her father in their nasty divorce case. Sibyl hated to lose her father's love and approval but she was torn and her decision was a surprise that wasn't accepted by either parent. The true natures of both parents were revealed during those proceedings and the anguish of Sibyl and her siblings was very hard to read.

I enjoyed this book and I appreciate the research that Spurgeon devoted to it. A Promise to Break is often sad but it is also a testament to the power of love and true faith. As Sibyl strived to gain knowledge so that she could finally make a difference, she realized that 'I didn't have to struggle by myself. I could learn, not just from libraries and newspapers, but from God's own words.' (p. 212)

This is the first book of a three part series devoted to Sibyl and Fremont Pope and I hope to learn more about their lives in the other books. If you enjoy historical fiction and stories of hope and faith, you will want to read A Promise to Break.

I received a copy of this book from the author but I wasn't required to write a favorable review. These are my honest thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

About the Author

A Christian writer, Biblical counselor, teacher and speaker who offers insight, the author loves connecting to people individually and through retreats and conferences. Kathryn’s mission is to teach that the passion of godly love knows no boundaries. Whether with prisoners, international students or those needing assistance, her platform strategy is the concept of personal, intimate encounters with Jesus. Her historical novel, “Up Town,” shows the importance of spiritual encounters with Jesus—small encounters that lead to a more mature spiritual life. Kathryn’s Biblical counseling and teaching background lends itself to this message. She lived in South Korea for two years in her early twenties, spent time in an orphanage and adopted two Korean babies. A single mom for 18 years, she went from welfare to owner and CEO of a multimillion dollar corporation, Integrity Healthy Care. Her company took care of the medical needs of over 4,000 prisoners and during that time she counseled over 200 women. Kathryn and her husband, Bill, hold Bible studies for international students attending the University of Central Oklahoma. They have had many different students live in their home and try to help students in all areas of their lives. Kathryn is on the Mission Team at her home church, Henderson Hills Baptist Church, in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she has been a member for over 13 years. While attending her prior church, Country Estates Baptist Church in Midwest City, Oklahoma, she was on the Finance and Long Range Planning Committees, and taught DivorceCare and Financial classes. She is a Crown Money Map coach. Bill and Kathryn have six children and nine grandchildren at the last count, including some adopted. Their family is internationally diverse. God’s love is enormous and includes all of us.  

More from Kathryn

Nostalgic book Have you ever wished to go back in time and question a relative who is no longer around? Ask what motivated her, discuss her greatest heartaches and how she overcame them, analyze her spiritual journey? My grandmother’s life was full of upheavals and I wish I could have spent more time with her and studied her thought-processes. My mother did spend more time with her. With a clear mind of that time, Mom (and many others) enthusiastically shared memories and discussed the lessons the once wealthy Sibyl Trimble may have gathered in life. What a trip it has been! Autobiographies. Publications. Notes in attic boxes containing information about secret love affairs and heart-breaking losses told with spiritual honesty. The more information I uncovered, the more I wanted to get to know Sibyl Trimble, the person. I wanted to know how God worked in her life. I wanted to write her story. The nostalgic era of the 1930s came alive to me as I travelled to places of lively, boogie-woogie music, old handwritten documents, and tombstones. The amazing, booming town of Shawnee, Oklahoma, was the perfect setting for a Great Depression tale. Some people moved to California during that time. Others stayed in Shawnee. In contrast to “The Grapes of Wrath,” this book relates the experiences of some who remained during one of the worst times in U.S. history. They stayed and thrived. This book is not a recount of simple facts but examines the essence of a brilliant woman who traversed through life, maneuvering the hardships along with the blessings. I uncovered anecdotes, read newspaper articles, and confirmed family lore that had been passed down through generations. Many readers agree Sibyl could have been their grandmother, their heritage, and after reading this book series, they will know Sibyl almost as well as I do. This story is an intimate look at a searching individual during the wistful days of a long-gone era. I expect, after you read “A Promise to Break,” you’ll agree that Sibyl Trimble’s story needed to be told.

Blog Stops

Betti Mace, October 4
Older & Smarter?, October 5
Hallie Reads, October 6
Life of Literature, October 6
Genesis 5020, October 7
Moments, October 8
Emily Yager, October 8
She Lives to Read, October 9
Pause for Tales , October 11
Connect in Fiction, October 11
Texas Book-aholic, October 12
Bigreadersite, October 12
janicesbookreviews, October 13
A Reader’s Brain, October 14
Batya’s Bits, October 14


To celebrate her tour, Kathryn is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. This book sounds like a fascinating read. Beautiful cover.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your terrific book. I sure enjoyed reading about it and appreciate you taking the time to share it with us.

  3. Wonderful review! Thank you for being part of the tour.