Gill still found it difficult to think of the tragic illness that had claimed his mother’s life and led to him being taken in as pat of the O’Leary family. Belonging…yet not belonging.
From the very first page, beginning with the telling of Filbert Whelan’s return to the O’Leary mansion and horse farm, Irish Meadows (May 1911) I can see why Susan Anne Mason was snapped up by Bethany House Publishers and signed on after winning the ‘Fiction from the Heartland’ contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA with this manuscript.
Irish Meadows is Susan Anne Mason‘s debut historical novel introducing the O’Leary clan. It is a story about sibling rivalry, the struggle for approval and the courage to dream. Sisters, Brianna and Colleen do not see eye to eye. Their father, an Irish immigrant, James O’Leary is afraid of losing his horse farm which drives him to desperate measures. A along the way a distant relative , Rylan Montgomery visits Irish Meadows in Long Island, during his training to become a priest and complicates matters further. Colleen is sure she needs a rich and influential husband. Colleen’s tumultuous journey of self-discovery and coming of age is affected most by Rylan’s influence. Colleen is conflicted and troubled, and wants to follow her dream of going to college, and becoming an independent woman in her own right. There are, however hiccups along the way since her father has other ideas. Will her father’s desperate measures to save his horse farm tear apart the family he loves?
Personally, I loved this book and simply could not put it down. As much as I loved Brianna’s story, I was drawn to Colleen’s story just as strongly. I don’t want to give away the story, but her story is just as compelling.
I am so pleased to have discovered (and met) Susan Ann Mason. What a wonderful new voice on the Historical Fiction scene and I look forward to the upcoming two books from this talented author to follow. I can’t wait to read more about these characters in the book to follow entitled, A Worthy Heart (Courage to dream book 2) —and you can pre-order it now!
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
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