No Ocean Too Wide is about the British Home Children, and the issues surrounding sending British children to Canada. It is similar to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society scandal depicted in Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma.
The underlying idea behind the stories is the assumption that the children are better off being adopted out to more affluent families. However, the issue with the British Home Children is that many of them weren’t adopted into loving homes, affluent or otherwise. Many of them were little more than slaves, bought for a few dollars.
As such, parts of the first quarter felt a little contrived.
Would Laura really do this? Would Katie do that? I wasn’t sure. But I knew those things had to happen for the story to get going, so I was prepared to look past a few things that didn’t necessarily make sense.
Katie, Grace, and Garth McAlister are placed into an orphanage after their mother falls ill and is admitted to hospital. Their older sister, Laura, is a lady’s maid for the Frasier family, so doesn’t hear about her family’s troubles in time. Andrew Frasier offers to help Laura, but experience has taught her not to trust rich men.
Andrew is asked to look into possible issues with the British Home Children scheme.
He is surprised to find his mother’s maid involved. He’s even more surprised by her claim that her siblings have been sent to Canada, and vows to help reunite her family. But the law is not on their side …
No Ocean Too Wide is the first novel in a trilogy about the McAlistair family and their fictional experiences as British Home Children. Yes, it’s fictional, but the scheme itself—and many of the events portrayed in the novel—are based on fact. As such, it’s an excellent piece of historical fiction, as well as being a strong Christian historical romance. Recommended.
Thanks to Multnomah and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
About Carrie Turansky
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!”
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About No Ocean Too Wide
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”.