No matter how far you run, you can't escape yourself--or outrun the love of God
When her husband dies, Charlotte can't face the things she's done, things that could tear her family apart. So she drops a goodbye letter in the cookie jar and flees south to escape everything--her life, her three daughters, the mistakes she's made, and the secrets that have been eating her alive. She's desperate to find the peace she's looking for somewhere out there.
Now Gracey and her sisters are alone on Chicago's South Side with nothing but their home and their belongings, not a parent to be seen. They're doing everything they can to stay together as a family. But three young girls--sixteen, fourteen, and twelve--aren't meant to parent themselves. The close-knit community gathers around them to keep them fed and clothed with the utilities on, but it isn't enough. The girls are struggling and making destructive decisions as a way of coping with abandonment.
Hundreds of miles away, Charlotte is trying to keep her own head above water. She's made a close friend who talks to her about God in a way Charlotte's never heard before. But when her demons catch up to her, she must face her past head-on. Will she be able to find the courage to embrace motherhood? And will that be enough not to lose her family altogether?
Debut author Tina Shelton drops readers straight into 1980s South Side Chicago. Her raw, authentic writing welcomes those who are willing to come alongside characters dealing with generational trauma, abandonment, hidden abuse, destructive choices, and the desire to be set free. This Ain't No Promised Land will appeal to readers of Black Cake, Miss Pearly's Girls, and Michelle Obama's Becoming.
Tina Shelton is registrar at Chicago Theological Seminary and a pastor in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. She is also the mother of two young adults, and loves walking, working out, and traveling with her family. This is her first novel.