One potato, two potato, three potato, four...
In 1971, a murder shook the the small Vermont town of New Canaan. Del Griswold, known as Potato Girl to her classmates, was a carefree farm girl. While most of the school wanted nothing to do with her, Kate Cypher befriended her. However, any friend of Del's was sure to be ridicules, so Kate kept the friendship a secret.
Three decades later, Kate returns to New Canaan to care for her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. On her first day back, a young girl is murdered, reminiscent of Del's murder. Kate soon meets with Del's older brother, who is convinced that Del is back and seeking revenge. At first, Kate is unconvinced, but what else could explain the mysterious events that have occurred, such as Kate's mother speaking in a voice that unmistakably belongs to Del?
Jennifer McMahon's Promise Not to Tell is a novel that will leave you on the edge of your seat. McMahon did an excellent job depicting the eerie occurrences of New Canaan. I would start reading this book at night around midnight, and I literally could not put the book down, for fear that Del's ghost would attack me (okay, so not so much attack me, but the novel did creep me out). As a result, I stayed up until 3 a.m. just so I could finish it and lay Del's ghost to rest (sorry for the bad pun, but I couldn't resist!).
Anyway, the novel alternates from 1971 to 2002. In the 1971 sections, McMahon reveals Kate's childhood friendship with Del. Del and Kate shared an unique bond as outsiders. Del was the farm girl that all the kids made fun of, while Kate was part of a hippie communion. However, each girl kept secrets from the other. In the 2002 sections, Kate reflects on the mistakes she made as a child. The novel also delves into Kate's relationship with her mother and other members of the communion.
I personally thought that the killer was relatively easy to guess. This, however, did not make the novel any less enjoyable. My main complaint about the book was that the ending was rushed and left me desiring more. Not necessarily more closure, but more detail about the closure.
Overall, Promise Not to Tell is a good pick for anyone looking for a ghost story.
Jennifer McMahon's Site
I purchased this book.