Monday, July 22, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of NO OCEAN TOO WIDE, a McAlister Family novel by Carrie Turansky

Greetings my darling readers, I know I’ve been remiss in providing you reviews of good reads this past year and I apologize. Life has a hold on me which does not allow me much reading time. I have tried to make up for that in publishing my own good reads for you and I hope you’ve given them a try. So to make up for my neglect, I will be offering up guest reviews for you enjoy. I hope to be back reviewing for you soon but in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy my dear friend, Connie Fischer’s reviews to guide you to good reads. Enjoy and Happy Reading!

I present to you a guest review of NO OCEAN TOO WIDE, a McAlister Family novel by Carrie Turansky, published June 25, 2019.


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”.


Connie’s Review:

London - 1909

Katie McAlister, age 14, has summoned her neighbor, Mrs. Graham, to help her ailing mother. Katie is very frightened because she recently lost her father in a train accident. Mrs. Graham insists that Mrs. McAlister be taken to the hospital. It turns out she is gravely ill with pneumonia and will need to stay there for the near future.

With no one to care for them, the McAlister children, Katie, her twin brother, Garth, and little sister, Grace, are taken to the Grangeford Children’s Home. Their older sister, Laura, 21, is working as a lady’s maid for Mrs. Frasier in St. Albans. It is a large estate called Bolton. When Laura learns of what has happened at home, she requests some time away and Mrs. Frasier agrees. In addition, her son, Andrew, gives her money to help her. Andrew is a kind and intelligent man who is not content to sit back at his home, but wants to work as a solicitor.

Laura is shocked to find that she is not able to even see the children and that they will be among groups of them that will be sent to Canada as part of many others who are poor and homeless children. They will be united with a family where they will work and earn their way. Shocked that she is unable to stop the government sending her siblings away, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She joins the escort people who take the children and enlists the help of Andrew and his solicitor partner, who are also doing an investigation into this themselves. Together, they go to Canada and search for the McAlister children. Some children are in good homes, while the majority are treated dreadfully. Will they be able to get the McAlister children back?

Unfortunately, this sad thing is a true event that was awful. Both the UK and Canada bear blame and shame for this.

Copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.

NO OCEAN TOO WIDE, a McAlister Family novel by Carrie Turansky, Random House, available now in ebook, print, and audio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

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