In everyone’s life there comes a point in time when you assess your life, not just look back in time, but see the progression, the triumphs and the failures…..Eleanor Smith had reached this point. She sees that things aren’t as they seem, the passion and desire is gone from her marriage, she is unable to influence her children’s life, her best friend, who is an alcoholic seems to have her life in more order then Eleanor. How did her happy life slip away before her eyes. The story evolves around Eleanor, emotions and feelings. On the outside side she tries to be the happy homemaker, and plans dinnners for the prestge of her husband, Hugh. She tries to get in touch with her rebelious teenage daughter, and play the friend figure, but whatever she does nothing seems to make them as close as they used to be, bot even buying her gifts seems to work anymore. Her son, who is going through a rough time, because he recently broke up eith his girlfriend, won’t allow her to help him through his problem. Inside Eleanor is dying from the lcak of love she recieves. Even what used to be a young vibrant even beautiful face, has been washed out by the stress she feels. The purpose of the story, is to inform the reader that things aren’t all ways as it seem, and that change is inevtitable. After a disatorous dinner party, Hugh’s best friends wife, whom Eleanor was always quite envious of because, she always seemed happy and she seemed have a perfect marriage, but she soon realizes that like herself, she feels lost in the shuffle of a over dominant husband. Another lesson it teaches, is you can’t always do the right thing.
Eleanor feels the need to escape from her life, if just for a while, on a visit to her mother, Eleanor’s mother even tries o convince her that it would be insane to leave such a comfortable life. Who would leave a handsome, well off husband, three children that need a mother figure, and a beautiful home. They Shouldn’t Make You Promise That takes place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Smith’s live in a fairly prominate community, making Eleanors situation even worse, because she must contend with the fact of disgracing her husband infront of the upity people she lives around, and in a small community news of that caliber makes a good topic for gossip. The subject matter deals with current situations, it takes place during the 1980’s when woman are becoming more liberated. The tension between Hugh and Eleanor grows throughout the book She finally leaves Hugh to visit her mother, but when she returns she stays at another mans house. While on her trip she took her dog with her, she decides to take her the dog back to her family’s house, she also faces the decision of whether to return or do the brave thing and start a new life. If she returns the choke chain while get a little tighter, and there will always be another psychiatrist to subscribe another pill for depression. If she doesn’t return she leaves her comfortable prison, and she would leave her kids, how could she bare to live without her kids. This is where the book reaches it’s climax the whole underlying meaning of the book depends on if she breaks down and goes back or never looks back.