The information about the eugenics movement and the case was informative and heartbreaking. The discussion questions were thought-provoking and the opinion for the case by one of the justices of the Supreme Court was downright scary. I recommend this book to anyone who likes reading fiction that is based on true stories.


A Mother's Promise BannerThe DescriptionPublication Date: January 19, 2021

Based on the true story behind a landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision, K.D. Alden’s debut is a rich and moving story of one woman’s courage and strength at a pivotal point in America’s history.

Virginia, 1927. A chance to have a family. That’s all Ruth Ann Riley wants. But because she was unwed and pregnant, she was sent away and her baby given to another woman. Now they’re trying to take Ruth Ann’s right to have another child. But she can’t stand the thought of never seeing little Annabel’s face again, never snuggling up to her warmth or watching her blue eyes crinkle with laughter. Good thing she has a plan.

All the rich and fancy folks may call her feeble-minded, but Ruth Ann is smarter than any of them have bargained for. Because no matter how high the odds are stacked against her, she is going to overcome the scandals in her past and get her child back—and along the way, she just may find unexpected friendships and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.

A Mother’s Promise is a powerful, heart-wrenching, ultimately uplifting novel about the bonds of family and one woman’s courage in the face of adversity. K.D. Alden brings history to life with rich storytelling and deep emotion.“―V.S. Alexander, author of The Magdalen Girls

The ReviewK.D. Alden is the pseudonym of a well-known but unnamed author.  This is her first historical novel and it was an emotional read. Based on a true story whose case made its way to the Supreme Court it was heartwrenching in its telling but had a few moments of compassion. The story begins in Virginia in 1927 but we learn about some of what takes place before then. The story culminates in 1949 with the epilogue. It’s not that long ago but this Supreme Court case has had far-reaching consequences to the detriment of many due to the collusion of some men and the way they presented the case and their legal arguments.

This is Ruth Ann’s story along with her out-of-wedlock baby, her widowed mother who did all she could to keep her family together and food on their table, and her younger sister who was torn from the foster home she was living at. All except Ruth Ann’s baby ended up at the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded which was a hard place to live given what their days looked like and under whose charge they were. Clarence, a jack of all trades who also lived at the Colony, had a stump for one hand and while he seemed to have some privileges he wasn’t treated much better. He did have a warm spot for Ruth Ann and did all he could to ease her pain and suffering. Ruby, a black woman, who was an attendant who cared for those most in need had a kind heart although she couldn’t let those in charge know it.

There was a lot of evil intent and actions against those they considered feeble, imbeciles, or morons. That they could justify sexual sterilization without consent so that those deemed defective couldn’t produce offspring who would also be socially inadequate and live off the state was unconscionable. We learn of their lives, their friendships, the gossip, the loony bin, the fear, the medical injustices as well as some of the good. I definitely felt the emotions as I read and cried along with the characters. The characters had a depth to them and the story had a nice flow to it.

The epilogue which took place in 1949 gave wonderful closure along with a better-than-expected happily ever after especially with the way Ruth Ann’s life was while in the Colony. The history behind Ruth Ann’s story and the Buck v. Bell legal case was enlightening and told us the liberties taken by the author. The information about the eugenics movement and the case was informative and heartbreaking. The discussion questions were thought-provoking and the opinion for the case by one of the justices of the Supreme Court was downright scary. I recommend this book to anyone who likes reading fiction that is based on true stories.
Buy Links

Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks KoboBooks-a-MillionIndieBound

About The Author

K.D. Alden is the pseudonym of an award-winning author who has written more than twenty novels in various genres. She has been the recipient of the Maggie Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A Mother’s Promise is her first historical novel.

K.D. is a graduate of Smith College, grew up in Austin, Texas, and resides in South Florida with her husband and two rescue greyhounds.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 16
Review at The Review Crew

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Crystal’s Library

Thursday, February 18
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Saturday, February 20
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, February 22
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Tuesday, February 23
Review at Novels Alive

Wednesday, February 24
Review at Girl Who Reads

Thursday, February 25
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, February 26
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews
Review at The Enchanted Shelf


JoAnne Weiss
JoAnne Weiss, nee Montalbano, was born and raised in NYC until moving to CT with her family when she was 16 and she's never left. Married for 39 years with one grown son, she works in an elementary school office where she's been since it opened in 2003. Prior to that, she was an accountant in several corporations before becoming a stay at home mom for 12 years. JoAnne enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and extended family as well as with friends. She enjoys cooking and rarely uses a recipe the way it was intended but instead uses them and cooking shows to give her new ideas and suggestions. JoAnne has a huge bucket list of places she'd like to visit but has been lucky enough to travel to England, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the U.S. including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine among others. Some of JoAnne's favorite genres include contemporary romance, chick-lit, romantic suspense, and historical romances including regency and those set in the west. JoAnne is on several author's street teams and enjoys interacting with many of them on Facebook as well as reading their newsletters. She has been lucky enough to meet some of her favorite authors among them Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Meg Tilly, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Bostwick. JoAnne took a road trip with her sister last fall and visited Nora Roberts' bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for an authors' signing. She hopes to do more of this in the future. JoAnne leaves reviews for all books she reads on Goodreads and her reviews can be found at JoAnne currently reviews for two sites - and Previously she reviewed for which has since closed. Payment is in the form of receiving free books to read and review. Her mantra is too many books and not enough time!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -