Monday, June 24, 2019

Fascinating! 'No Ocean Too Wide' - McAlister Family 1 - by Carrie Turansky


About the book:

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans–but was that the truth?

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:

It was fascinating to learn about this huge emigration of children that I had never knew about.  It was also heartbreaking to see what some of these children went through and I found myself getting very angry at some of the people running this operation.  To deny family members access and try to keep them apart, all in the name of what seemed to be money or possibly some misguided sense of helpfulness, was just horrible.  I really admired Laura and her determination to find her siblings, no matter how many closed doors she came up against.  I was also horrified at how women and children could be treated and didn't seem to have any recourse.  I was a little surprised by how naive and condescending Andrew could be at times but I suppose that was due to his background; I liked that he was quick to apologize when he realized he was wrong.  The main characters all had a strong faith and I liked seeing how they depended on God to get through their trials.  There was a little bit of romance.  I would recommend this story if you like historical fiction and I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book!

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

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