The Promise of Living is a heart-rending coming of age novel of sixteen-year-old Ryan Colton and his quest for his own authenticity. Ryan's mother died when he was young, and he and his father carve out a tenuous but trusting relationship. Ryan works on Lee Hemmer’s farm with his best friend Dave in Wilson's Ferry, New Hampshire, a stifling, small town where, in 1975, everyone, it seems, has something to hide. Ryan has a mysterious series of premonitions and visions that reveal the darker secrets of the townspeople. His gift becomes overwhelming when he visions a murky murder at the high school and cannot prevent its occurrence.
Ryan seeks the help of a Boston transfer student and a famous psychic to not only focus his gifts to solve the murder but to finally accept his own personal feelings for Dave. Ryan struggles with his own power of being different in the world and knows that the true resolution lies within him.