I have had the opportunity to read and review several books over the past few years that featured unfortunate children who were poor and/or orphaned and became victims of unscrupulous organizations who exploited them in the name of charity. I was familiar with the Orphan Trains as well as the infamous Georgia Tann and her Tennessee Children’s Home. I was not aware of the thousands of British children who in a similar manner were shipped to Canada and a new life there.
Carrie Turansky’s No Ocean Too Wide features a family who became caught up in the system from which there seemed to be no escape. When Laura’s mother became gravely ill and hospitalized, her younger siblings were taken to an orphan’s home, then quickly sent to Canada despite Laura’s desperate attempts to bring them home.
No Ocean Too Wide is the riveting tale of one young woman’s brave journey to find and bring home the sisters and brother she loves even when all seemed hopeless. Helped by a young lawyer who was sent to research the orphan homes, they discover just how unethical the system has become. I was heartbroken at the treatment of the McAlister family and angry that something like this could be allowed to happen over and over again. The author brought the story to life with each page and I found myself holding my breath at crucial points, hoping for a positive resolution.
Vivid imagery and strong characterization along with an unexpected twist or two made this book difficult to put down. A compelling Christian thread was woven deftly throughout which offered encouragement and hope to a dark, hopeless narrative. A bit of romance also added a bit of hope and light. A very well-researched novel, No Ocean Too Wide is a must read for those who love historical fiction. This book will definitely be added to my keeper shelf.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the author. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
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”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bestselling Inspirational Romance Author Carrie Turansky writes historical and contemporary novels and novellas set in England and the US. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion, and the International Digital Award. Readers say her stories are: “Heartwarming and inspiring! I couldn’t put it down!” . . . “Touching love story. It captured me from the first page! Rich characters, beautifully written” . . . “My new favorite author!” Visit her website and sign up for her email newsletter at Carrie Turansky.com. Follow Carrie on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.