After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans' home before Laura is notified about her family's unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.
Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?
Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God."
My Review: We are introduced to the McAlister family in No Ocean Too Wide. When their widowed mother is admitted to the hospital due to illness, the 3 children (twins Katie and Garth, and 8-year-old Grace) remaining at home are placed into what they expected to be a temporary home. By the time the oldest sister finds out, the children have become among many British Home Children being sent to Canada. This is Book 1 of a trilogy and the focus is on Laura, the oldest, and Katie.
The characters in the book are endearing, and sometimes frustrating with the decisions made at times, but this makes the story that much more relatable. The storyline of the British Home Children is one that seems unbelievable... yet it happened. The idea was built on a genuine concern about the best way to help children, but greed and evil also played a role in the lives of too many of these kids. There is also the matter of what was the cultural attitude of the early 1900s, including separation of classes. Laura is strongly attracted to the son of her former boss, but also has a distrust of wealthy young men. Andrew's interest in the child emigration program brings them together and provides a romantic, hopeful element to the story.
Author Carrie Turansky can be depended upon to develop characters you love and want to get to know better. The only thing I dislike is that... I want more of the people I met in this book but have to wait until the other books come out. I do recommend this heartwarming story of struggle, faith, love, and hope.
I received a free copy of this book as part of the WaterBrook Multnomah Launch Team. I was not required to write a positive review.
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