Book Review: The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen

About the Book-

It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople aren’t—open, kind, and full of acceptance.

Armed with two bikes and an unlimited supply of root beer floats, Ethan and Juniper set out to find their place in a town that’s bent on rejecting them. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the beauty in even the ugliest reality, and that even the darkest days can give rise to an invincible summer.

Daven McQueen’s Juniper Jones is a character for all ages in this sweet coming of age story set in 1950s Alabama.

My Review-

THIS BOOK. I didn’t really know much about this book before I read it, knowing vaguely that it was about racism and a coming of age, but nothing specific. And MAN it surprised me in all the best ways possible.

First of all, it is a middle grade, which I have very much been wanting to read, but haven’t been able to since my library hasn’t been open. (At least, I think it’s a middle grade? There is some language (up to the s word), but the main characters are in their mid-teens and there is no romance, so it feels like middle grade.) The language is simple and allowed me to picture the whole scene, which is always something I love.

Second, it’s a summer book, which I am ALWAYS down for. Summertime romps outside, unsupervised, with a bike and a pond and infinite flowers and grass, and coming home only for dinner? SIGN ME UP. That setting always holds a special place in my heart and I will always have a light penchant for summer books.

Third, not only is it a feel good, summer read, it also tackles such important topics! The basis of this story is a biracial kid figuring out his place in 1950s America, which even now is such an important topic to discuss. I especially appreciated the reminder that the 1950s, or history in general, wasn’t “perfect” as people tend to think: there were HUGE issues, and no matter what it looks like, there has been immense improvement and growth in America throughout history.

Fourth, it made me SOB. The characters were just so pure and so raw and so honest with themselves and each other, and I loved that. Juniper was ABSOLUTELY the best and honestly I just want to be like her when I grow up. I saw a review that said that she was kind of like Pippi Longstocking, except I think Juniper is more mature and also more understanding. At least, if I can’t be her, I want to be best friends with her. I LOVED Juniper and this book was 100% made better because of her.

Tl;dr, go read this book. It’s not a topic that most people would enjoy, but it is definitely one that should be read. I haven’t read a book that has made me cry in a while, but this did it, so that should be at least a sign. 🙂

If you like these books, you will love The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones-

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green

Quotes-

“Folks around here think I’m weird. So I figured, you know, it never hurts to have a friend when things are hard. And there’s nothing like an adventure to take your mind off all the bad stuff.”

“Making sense is for nerds and grown-ups. I am way more interesting”

These flowers had run wild, growing over each other, their stems twisting together and reaching skyward to the gauzy sun. The entire house was enveloped in a bouquet.

“When you trap people for hundreds of years, make their lives a living hell, they’re bound to get antsy. And furious. And so white folks think the harder they make it for us to live, the longer they’ll be able to put off a revolution.”

“And there’s a lot I can do, too, I think. Because people look at me different than they look at you. I’m safe in my skin, I mean. I don’t know what yet, exactly. But whatever I can do, I’m sure gonna do it.”

My Rating-

9/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

 

Book Review: Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano (American Heiresses #3)|| Spotlight, Review, and Giveaway || Celebrate Lit Blog Tour

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m super excited to share with you all one of my favorite books of the year: Jen Turano’s latest release, Storing Up Trouble! Not only that, I’m a part of the blog tour hosted by Celebrate Lit Tours, which means there is a giveaway involved!

About the Book-

Book: Storing Up Trouble
Series: American Heiresses #3
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: May 6, 2020

When Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s Chicago-bound train ride is interrupted by a heist, Mr. Norman Nesbit, a man of science who believes his research was the target of the heist, comes to her aid. Despite the fact that they immediately butt heads, they join forces to make a quick escape.

Upon her arrival in Chicago, Beatrix is surprised to discover her supposedly querulous Aunt Gladys shares her own suffragette passions. Encouraged by Gladys to leave her sheltered world, Beatrix begins working as a salesclerk at the Marshall Field and Company department store. When she again encounters Norman on a shopping expedition, he is quickly swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract.

But when another attempt is made to part Norman from his research papers, and it becomes clear Beatrix’s safety is also at risk, they soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

GoodReads || Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Book Depository || Christianbook

My Review-

Similar Reviews:

First of all, this book was HILARIOUS!! The two main characters, Beatrix Waterbury and Norman Nesbit, bantered SO MUCH, and it was hilarious! I enjoyed that so much. Jen Turano’s books are always witty and fun, but this one is definitely on top of the pile in regards to humor.

Beatrix was absolutely the BEST character, as was her family, especially her aunt and her parents! She was thoughtful, straightforward, and spontaneous, and didn’t pause to stand up for what she stood for. She also wasn’t entitled or snobby, despite being rich. Norman is an inventor who is primarily concerned about his work, until he meets Beatrix, who doesn’t hesitate to tell him his character flaws, whereupon he begins to learn how to become a functioning member of society. The two of them together are hilarious! There is a touch of light romance (a couple mentions of kisses), but nothing very detailed. There are several wonderful mentions of married couples still liking each other and enjoying each others presence after many years of marriage, which I really liked seeing!

The secondary characters are also really great: from, as aforementioned, Beatrix’s family, to Norman’s family (especially Gemma and Oscar! they were adorable) to Aunt Gladys’ band of women, to the animals. It was all a fun time. I also enjoyed seeing the characters from previous books in the series pop up again (if you’ve read any of my reviews, continuity between books in a series is my favorite thing).

The time period was also super interesting: Beatrix was a suffragette, although since she was wealthy, she didn’t have the same experience as other suffragettes had (at least, according to the books I’ve read).. The whole time period was super interesting, as well as the fact that she was an heiress.

Aside from the romance part and the historical part, the suspense aspect to the book was also really interesting! A train heist occurs at the beginning of the book, and throughout, the question of what the heist was about propagates, especially as other attacks occur.

There wasn’t a ton of Christian content in the book, which I actually enjoyed. Although faith could have been more explicit, such as praying, the times where bible verses were included in the book felt genuine and not forced, which I really like in a Christian fiction book (sometimes there are just . . . pieces of ‘Christian content’ inserted into Christian fiction books that just don’t belong and are super awkward to read. This book wasn’t like that at all!).

Overall, if you couldn’t tell by my effusive praise, I loved this book! It was clean and witty and was overall a delight. I definitely recommend this book, even if you haven’t read the first two books in the series: it’s a great time!

My Rating-

5/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author-Turano_Jen1

Jen Turano, a USA Today bestselling author, has written four historical romance series. She is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.


Giveaway-

Storing Up Trouble Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the the grand prize package of all three books in the American Heiresses series and a $25 Barnes & Noble eGift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Enter Here

For more information about this blog tour, and to visit an interview from the author about Storing Up Trouble, as well as more stops from the blog tour, click here.


Have you read Storing Up Trouble yet? Did you enjoy it? Are you a fan of historical fiction? If so, what is your favorite era for a book to be set in? If you don’t like historical fiction, what’s your favorite genre?

 

Blog Tour: The Dressmaker’s Secret by Kellyn Roth || Spotlight, Review and GIVEAWAY

Hey everyone!! Today, I have the honor to be a part of a super exciting blog tour: the re-release of Kellyn Roth’s book The Dressmaker’s Secret!!

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About the Book-

Cover

If they knew who she was, they’d never accept what she’s become.

Claire will stop at nothing to provide for her daughters. An unwed mother, she does everything possible to raise them whilst avoiding her scandalous past. Some secrets are best kept, even between mother and daughter.

Alice longs for a father, especially if that means her mother will be happy. She takes matters into her own hands—but she never expected what she finds.

Despite her efforts to shelter her daughters, Claire’s ghosts rise up to haunt her, and any semblance of control over her life vanishes. If her secrets are uncovered, what will become of her family?

Genre: Christian historical women’s fiction
Era: 1870s (Victorian)
Setting: England (London, Kent, Yorkshire).

Amazon || GoodReads

My Review-

This was such a sweet book!! I’d read it already once before (almost exactly a year ago today), but didn’t remember much, and I was excited to read the updated version!

First off, the characters. Alice is THE BEST. She was smart and perceptive and tenderhearted and loved hard. She reminds me of when I was younger, and she’s just my favorite. She did feel a tad bit mature for her age? but wow I love Alice. Alice and Kell were my FAVORITE: they were SO CUTE together and their little friendship was SO PRECIOUS. Ivy and Claire and Nettie were also so well written; they each had their own characteristics and personalities. I also really enjoyed reading each of the secondary characters as well.

The settings in the book were also really fun: I LOVED the parts where they spent the summer in the countryside. (Of course, it was then where Alice and Kell hung out, so there’s that ;))

The writing style was also really well done: the story flowed smoothly and was paced well (though there were some time jumps that left me a little confused). There were also some really hard topics that were discussed without judgment or condemnation; it was very much an attitude of “people are flawed people, and all we can do is move on,” which I appreciated very much. A quote from the book that I really liked:

“It’s all in the past, and nothing can ever change it. We have only the present to work with, the future to hope for. No use lingering on the past.”

With that being said though, this is definitely not a book for younger readers: there are some topics that, while handled with discretion and tact, are not meant for younger readers. This book is marketed as women’s fiction, and I think that’s pretty apt.

The Christian content in this book was amazing!! God’s grace was repeated throughout the book, and the gospel message was clearly presented. I loved Nettie for her message and her stance, and overall, the Christian message was super well done, which I enjoyed so much!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! The characters were well written, the storyline flowed well, and there was a great message!

My Rating-

4/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author-

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series.

She founded the company Reveries Co. to help Indie authors achieve excellence affordably and without delay. Kell teaches writing through the Young Writer Lessons as well as privately and through her blog.

She lives in the country outside a small town in North-Eastern Oregon with her parents, two little brothers, conceited beta fish, arbitrary cat, precious border collies, and various cows and chickens.

Website ||Newsletter ||  Facebook || Instagram ||Twitter

Giveaway-

Giveaway

One winner will receive a paperback copy of The Dressmaker’s Secret and a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

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Blog Tour Schedule-

Book Review: On the Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White || Review, Spotlight, and GIVEAWAY || JustReads Blog Tour

Hey everyone! Today I’m here with a SUPER EXCITING blogpost!! You may have seen (or heard) me gushing about Roseanna M. White, and today, I’m here with another book review for On Wings of Devotion, her newest book! I got to be a part of the blog tour, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours, which is super exciting!

On Wings of Devotion JustRead Tour

About the Book-

On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M White

Title: On Wings of Devotion
Series: The Codebreakers #2
Author: Roseanna M. White
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Against Every Warning, She’s Drawn Ever Closer to the Man Known as “Black Heart”

All of England thinks Major Phillip Camden a monster–a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But he would have preferred to die that day with his men rather than be recruited to the Admiralty’s codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved.

As nurse Arabelle Denler observes the so-dubbed “Black Heart,” she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their families and paths twist together unexpectedly, she realizes she has a role to play in his healing–and some of her own to do as well.

With Camden’s court-martial looming, an old acquaintance shows up, intent on using him in a plot that sends the codebreakers of Room 40 into a frenzy. With their fragile hopes for the future in the cross hairs, Arabelle and Camden must hold on to hope–and to each other–if they want to survive.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads || Amazon || B&N || Book Depository || Christianbook


My Review-

Similar Reviews:

Although the previous book in this series wasn’t exactly my favorite, I was still really looking forwards to reading this book, because a) it’s Roseanna M. White, and b) I’m a sucker for anything set during the early 1900s (i.e., ~1900 to the end of WWII). This book did not disappoint!!

On the Wings of Devotion started off pretty slow: it took me quite a while to actually get into the book, but once I did, I was GRIPPED. Each of the characters are SO well defined, and there are SO MANY tie-ins with previous series (Shadows Over England as well as Ladies of the Manor!!! 😲😲😲) I am SO impressed with books that have tie-ins, and I LOVE books that do that, so this book was AWESOME for me because of that! This book has had the most out of all of Roseanna M. White’s other books, as far as I know, and it was amazinG.

The story itself was really good as well: it covered some details about that period of history that are not really well known (i.e., divers during WWI), and of course, code cracking itself is also super cool and I always love reading about it. The humor was there, of course, which is always one of my favorite parts about a Roseanna M. White book.

Arabele and Phillip were SUCH a good couple! Both of them were strong and independent and SO good at their jobs, but were also honest and loved each other and loved God. (It did get a little bit kissy, so if you’re sensitive to that, then just beware. Nothing too graphic, but it was a little bit make-out-y). Arabelle in particular was my faaaavorite. She is who I want to be when I grow up.

The faith bits were also SO good and SO well written! There is a hard “coming to Jesus” moment, but even that was well done and not too preachy. The last scene MADE ME CRY. As a type 6 on the Enneagram, it was so sweet and soft and just AAAAA. Just look at this quote 😭

“You are everything. Everything. Everything good, everything bright. Everything worthwhile.” -Arabelle Denler, On the Wings of Devotion

Overall? I LOOOOOVED this story! It made me laugh, it made me cry, and while it took me a white to get into it, I loved reading it! I’m super excited for book 3!!

My Rating-

9/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author-

Roseanna M. White

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

CONNECT WITH ROSEANNA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Giveaway-

On Wings of Devotion giveaway JR

(1) winner will receive a On Wings of Devotion inspired prize pack including a Recreation RFC Pilot Wings pin, a mini globe, Cadbury Chocolate, Caddie the Cocker Spaniel (handmade by Roseanna), and One Seat and Tea Package for an Online Tea Party Book Club with Roseanna (Winner’s choice of scheduled dates. Includes treats, loose-leaf tea, and book club goodies. A $25 value! For more information, visit http://www.roseannamwhite.com/tea-party-book-club/.)! Giveaway will begin at midnight January 7, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 14, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


Are you as excited about this book as I am?? I loved it, and I really recommend it! Have you read any of Roseanna’s other books? Let me know!

Book Review: Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano (American Heiresses #2)

Other books in this series:

About the Book-

To save her family from financial ruin, Miss Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season in exchange for her grandmother settling a family loan that has unexpectedly come due. Ill-equipped to handle the intricacies of mingling within the New York Four Hundred, Poppy becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, doomed to suffer a grand societal failure instead of being deemed the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs for her to become.

Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, has been forced to travel to America to help his cousin, Charles Wynn, Earl of Lonsdale, find an American heiress to wed in order to shore up his family estate that is in desperate need of funds. Reginald himself has no interest in finding an heiress to marry, but when Poppy’s grandmother asks him to give etiquette lessons to Poppy, he swiftly discovers he may be in for much more than he bargained for.

My Review-

Whenever I pick up a book by Jen Turano, I know it’s going to be a good time, and this one did not disappoint! This is the second book in her American Heiresses series, and I am loving it! This one took a little longer to get into, but it picked up and I read it all in two days.

Unlike book 1 in the series, Flights of Fancy, this one is set in the New York Fashion scene: Poppy is originally from the countryside, but is being coerced by her grandmother to spend a Season in New York society. Although she means well, hilarity ensues.

The characters in this book seemed flatter than the other ones from previous Turano books I’ve read: I didn’t really feel like I got to know any of the characters and their motivations? I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

As usual, this book was incredibly witty and humorous: there were several scenes that had me chuckling out loud, which doesn’t happen often except in Turano books. It was just so bantery and funny, and I loved it!

The names in this book were super fun: Poppy, Murray, and Reginald, to name a few! They were just a wacky band of characters and it was so much fun! I also liked seeing characters from other places making a reappearance: cameos like that are some of my favorite :).

Some of my favorite parts from this book:

  • the character growth of several characters!
  • an in depth reflection about God and life by George, Poppy’s grandfather
  • Poppy’s friendship with Murray! it was SO NICE seeing a female/male relationship without turning into love
  • the volunteer work that Poppy and her friends did
  • it tackled mental health issues from the time a little: I would have liked to see more, but overall I liked the portrayal

Some not-quite-so-favorites:

  • A racial slur (g*psy) is used, in reference to a dance at the beginning of the book
  • There were a couple of mentions of kisses and married people sitting on each other’s laps and (spoiler alert) pregnancy, but it was all kept pretty PG-13. It didn’t bother me, but it did have a little bit more romantic content than Turano’s other books, as far as I can remember
  • The storyline was pretty much predictable: nothing extraordinary happened, and it was pretty easy to see where the story was headed
  • This particular book felt like it needed a larger amount of suspension of disbelief to picture all the things that happened. Most historical fiction books, even Turano’s, seems like that /could/ have been plausible, but some scenarios in this one seemed a little . . . out there.

Overall, this was really really fun! Jen Turano’s books are always kind of a guilty pleasure for me: they are just so witty and brighten my day! I’m looking forwards to reading the next book when it comes out!

My Rating-

4/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

 

Book Review: The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden

About the Book

Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building his very successful global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Resolved to salvage his family before it spirals out of control, he returns to his ancestral home to save his brother and sister before it’s too late.

As a junior botanist for the Smithsonian, Annabelle Larkin has been charged with the impossible task of gaining access to the notoriously private Delacroix plant collection. If she fails, she will be out of a job and the family farm in Kansas will go under. She has no idea that in gaining entrance to the Delacroix world, she will unwittingly step into a web of dangerous political intrigue far beyond her experience.

Unable to deny her attraction to the reclusive business tycoon, Annabelle will be forced to choose between her heart and loyalty to her country. Can Gray and Annabelle find a way through the storm of scandal without destroying the family Gray is fighting to save?

My Review

I’ve been excited to read this book since I knew of it even though I don’t have time help me because it’s by Elizabeth Camden and I loVe her books!! (See my review of her other books here and here). This was a part of a new series (Hope and Glory, versus the Empire State series), so I was excited to meet new characters and get into a new setting.

Overall, I still like the Empire State series more than this series (at least so far), but my favorite part of Camden’s books, the STEM focused young women who are also feminine and have emotion, was still present!

I really enjoyed the historical setting of this book: in the very early 1900s, which was when America was really coming into its own; corporations were booming and inventions were coming out left and right. Although I don’t know much about it, that period of history is FASCINATING to me! I loved reading about that time period and seeing where everything came from. 🙂 As someone who doesn’t know a ton about the food industry, this book was also really interesting and a good way to learn more about it, and its origins.

In terms of the story, it was a good story and I really enjoyed it: it was action packed, but never boring, but which made it feel a little long at times. There were SO MANY twists and turns that it was never dull, and all of it was interesting to read about! The chemistry between Annabelle and Gray was AMAZING: I don’t think I’ve read a book where the two main characters connected so well! Annabelle is smart and witty and resilient, and Gray is thoughtful and smart and calculating but also sweet. Their siblings were also so fun to read about (and there are hints of Caroline and Luke having their own books!!! eeek!!), and Annabelle’s parents are a joy. 🙂

Overall, I really enjoyed this story! It was a joy to read (even though it felt a bit long at times) and I loved the setting and the characters!

My Rating

4/5

Thank you to the publisher (Bethany House Fiction) and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review; I was not required to write a positive review.

Blog Tour: The Old River Road by Hailey Rose

Hi everyone! Today, I have the honor of being a part of a blog tour for my sweet friend, Hailey Rose! I’ve been following her blog and Instagram for . . . about a year (?) now, and now I get to help re-release her book, The Old River Road!

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The Old River Road has officially been published for three years, and it’s being republished with Hailey’s official author name! Fun Fact: it was originally published under Hailey’s pen name, Ivy Rose! Not only is that part different, but there is brand new content inside too!

About the Book-

TORR cover

When seventeen-year-old Clara Boutwell married her dashing coworker, William McDonald, she was convinced her life was nearly perfect. For newlyweds in the great city of Chicago, the journey ahead was exciting and promising. When a frightening disease takes William in its grip, the young couple is forced to the clean air of the western frontier in a desperate attempt to save his life. On the eastern Washington prairies, the McDonalds face hardships and trials in a new world where everything is tested, from physical endurance to emotional strength—down to their relationship and faith in the Lord.
This novel tells the incredible true story of Clara and William, the great-great-grandparents of the author, in a sweet narrative full of laughter, tears, and the struggles of an early pioneering family. Prepare yourself to share in their experience as you read this account of a pioneer family in Washington state, and see their lasting legacy that has endured into the fifth generation.

Amazon || GoodReads

About the Author-

author.jpg

Hailey is a young novelist with a passion to create beautiful fiction. Armed with a desire to make scenarios readers can easily relate to, she writes in many genres about ordinary individuals faced with extraordinary choices. Two of her novels have been independently published. As a chronic illness warrior, Hailey eagerly encourages others to find joy no matter what the circumstances. In her free time, she loves dancing, playing music, and enjoying various outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest.

Website || YouTube || FaceBook || Instagram || Twitter

Although I haven’t actually read the book yet (oops), I’m looking forwards to grabbing a copy and reading it!

Have you “met” Hailey Rose yet? Or better yet, have you read her new book? What are you waiting for? Go get yourself a copy and check it out!

Book Review: No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turanksy

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-

This was such a sweet book!! I really liked the message that No Ocean Too Wide had: discussion of orphan/foster care, and the inadequacies of the current system. I also really liked the heavy emphasis on family, rather than romance in this book (as compared to many other Christian fiction books, which are almost always romance heavy).

There wasn’t a character I was a huge fan of in this book: the POV switched between a 14/15 year old (Katie) and a 21 year old (Laura), but it wasn’t really written in a way where I felt like I really related to the characters. I didn’t really mind it particularly, but I did find it harder to get into the story at the beginning (and it made it feel more middle-grade-ish at points).  With that being said, I was really interested in Andrew’s storyline: he was super interesting! He kind of felt more like a side character but I was intrigued by him, and I wish we could’ve seen more from his POV.

I really love historical fiction that covers topics from history that are not commonly known. Before I read this book, I did not know about the orphan transfers from England to Canada (at least, other than Anne of Green Gables) and I learned a lot from this book!

There is some pretty heavy content in this book, including sexual assault and rape so it might not be appropriate for younger readers, but I personally appreciated the reminder that issues such as these have pervaded throughout history, and it is not something new.

I really liked the faith aspects of the book: a lot of the characters mentioned are trying to grow their faith, and there are a ton of prayers and mentions of praying, while not being overbearing which I really liked.

The book did end on a cliff-hanger, so I will be excited to see where it goes!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It taught me things from history that I didn’t know before, and also had a lot of good faith content. It was memorable and I will definitely be looking forwards to reading the sequel when it comes out!

My Rating-

4/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.