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Book Review: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

There are a lot of people out there who use “OCD” to explain a need for a neat space, to have things “just so” or to need to do things in a certain way – when they do not actually have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD, in its diagnosed form, means that your brain can kind of be a jerk. It means that sometimes you will repeat a thought over and over – particularly an anxious thought – until you have to do some sort of action in order to make the thought stop. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 27, and it’s very likely, given that I have a child who suffers from it, that I had it as a child as well. OCD is not fun. It is looking around and feeling extreme anxiety because things are in disarray but not doing anything about it because you do not have time to make it perfect should you start to act. It is watching your 4-year old child melt down because she cannot get her bow hold just right in a violin lesson, so now she doesn’t want to try. OCD is a total jerk.

The Promise Between Us, by Barbara Claypole White, is a novel centered on a mother and daughter who have OCD. Katie Mack leaves her family because she’s stricken by an intrusive thought that scares her. This thought is that she would harm her newborn daughter, Maisie. While this is a common fear for those struggling with postpartum anxiety and depression, Katie doesn’t know that until later when she starts to learn about OCD and how it’s affected her. 

White’s depiction of the struggle with this genetic brain difference has been done really well. The book is beautifully written, and it keeps the reader turning the pages. It was really moving, and I was brought to tears in several parts. It’s highly recommended. 

About The Promise Between Us

Lake Union Publishing (January 16, 2018)

From the bestselling author of The Perfect Son comes a hopeful tale of redemption, renewal, and the promise of love.

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

Purchase Links

Amazon *affiliate link*| Barnes & Noble

About Barbara Claypole White

Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, andEchoes of Family. The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity. To connect with Barbara, please visit, or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook.


  1. Thank you for reading and reviewing THE PROMISE BETWEEN US. Yes, OCD is a jerk. I hate it, and I hate what it does to the two people I love most. It’s heartbreaking that so much of popular culture–movies and TV shows–focus on the compulsive or quirky behaviors and not the private hell of living with anxiety every second of every minute of every day.

  2. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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