No Ocean Too Wide: A Novel

No Ocean Too Wide: A Novel

by Carrie Turansky

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Overview

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".

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525652946
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 58,471
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of twenty novels and novellas. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and was a finalist for the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women's fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Scott. They have five adult children and six grandchildren.

Read an Excerpt

1

London 1909

Katie McAlister’s heart pounded out a frantic beat as she gripped the rickety railing and rushed down the back stairs. She shoved open the heavy door at the bottom and jumped into the dark alley behind the dress shop. Cool, gray mist swirled around her, carrying the smell of rotting food and choking coal smoke.

She darted a quick glance to the left and then the right, and tremors raced down her arms. She never went out alone at this time of night. It wasn’t safe, not in this part of London. She couldn’t let her fears keep her from doing what she must.

If only her older sister, Laura, were here. She would know what to do, but she was miles away.

Katie took off down the alley, dodging wooden crates overflowing with broken bottles and stinking trash. A cat’s screech pierced the air. Katie gasped and jumped to the side. The cat dashed past, a black shadow in the faint light of the gas streetlamps.

She pulled in a ragged breath as she rounded the corner, her footsteps slapping on the cold, slick cobblestones. She should have gone for help sooner, but Mum had begged her not to leave.

She ran past the boot shop and bakery, then cut through an alley and dashed up to the Grahams’ door. With a shaky hand she knocked three times, then bit her lip and stood back. No one came so she pounded again, harder this time. “Mrs. Graham!”

The door finally swung open, and her mother’s friend squinted out at her. She wore a white ruffled cap over her hair and a gray woolen shawl draped around her shoulders. “Goodness, Katie, is that you?”

“Yes ma’am. Can you come? Mum has taken a turn for the worse. She’s burnin’ with fever, and her breathing is so raspy we don’t know what to do.”

A fearful look flashed across the woman’s face, and she gave a quick nod. “Of course, love. I’ll just gather some things.”

Katie closed her stinging eyes and blew out a heavy breath. Everything would be all right now. Mrs. Graham knew how to nurse the sick. Katie swallowed hard, praying Mrs. Graham’s help would be enough. But the painful memory of her dad’s accident eighteen months earlier came rushing back.

He had been injured in a terrible train wreck. Mum had nursed him around the clock for three days. The whole family had prayed he would recover, but he’d slipped away from them and shattered their world.

They’d been forced to leave their modest home and move into the three small rooms over the dress shop where Mum worked long hours doing hand sewing, finishing dresses for Mrs. Palmer. At least Mum had worked for Mrs. Palmer until eight days ago, when she had come down with a fever and taken to her bed.

Mrs. Graham stepped outside, carrying a basket over her arm. “Come along, child.”

Katie stiffened. She wasn’t a child. She was fourteen, and she worked alongside Mum most days, caring for her younger sister, Grace, and doing some of the cooking and laundry. But this was no time to argue the point. She hurried after Mrs. Graham, sending up a silent prayer as she followed her mum’s friend through the neighborhood and then turned into the alley behind the dress shop. She ran ahead and opened the door for Mrs. Graham.

“Blimey, it’s as dark as a cave in here.” Mrs. Graham grabbed up her skirt and climbed the creaking stairs.

Katie stopped at the bottom step and looked up. Gray light shone through the lone window, spreading ghostly shadows over the steps. Cold dread filled her stomach. If only she could turn and run away from the painful scene that awaited her. But her twin brother, Garth, was upstairs with Mum and seven-year-old Grace. They were counting on her, and she wouldn’t leave them to face this frightening night alone.

Pulling in a deep breath, she straightened her shoulders and climbed the stairs. When she reached the top, she followed Mrs. Graham inside. Dank odors from the alley penetrated their small flat even though she and Mum did their best to keep everything clean. A single lantern burned by Mum’s bedside, spreading a faint light around the chilly room.

Mrs. Graham bustled toward the bed where Mum lay. Katie’s brother and sister sat on the other bed. Grace curled up beside Garth and hid her face in his shoulder. He looked across at Katie, his anxious gaze penetrating hers, reading her thoughts.

It had always been that way, ever since she could remember. Mum said when they were toddlers they had their own language—“twin-speak,” she used to call it. And though many years had passed since then, they still had a strong connection and could usually tell what the other was thinking. There were no secrets between them.

Katie moved toward the bed where Grace and Garth waited. She gently ran her hand over her sister’s damp blond curls. Poor dear. It was almost midnight. She should be asleep, dreaming of happier days.

Mrs. Graham spoke softly to Mum as she straightened the sheet and blanket across her chest, but Mum did not answer. Instead, she tossed her head, her cheeks flushed and damp.

Grace looked across at Mrs. Graham. “Is she going to be all right?”

Mrs. Graham hesitated. “Of course, love.” But her words were unconvincing. She shifted her gaze from Grace to Katie. “Why don’t you go in the kitchen and put on the teakettle? Garth, you and Grace go with her. A cuppa will help us all.”

“Yes ma’am.” Katie reached for Grace’s hand and helped her sister off the bed. Garth stood and followed them into the adjoining room.

Garth added a small scoop of coal to the stove, his expression distant and troubled. Katie filled the kettle and tried to ignore the ache in her chest. Grace climbed into one of the chairs at the round table, watching them both with wide blue eyes.

Katie took four cups from the shelf and set them on the table, then reached for the canister of tea. It was almost empty, and they had no sugar. The bread was gone. All they had left were a few shriveled potatoes and an onion. With a weary sigh, she added tea leaves to the pot and let them steep.

Grace leaned her elbow on the table and placed her chin in her hand. “Can I have hot chocolate?”

Garth sent Katie a quick glance, his meaning clear. Don’t upset Grace. He turned to their younger sister. “Not tonight, Gracie. Maybe tomorrow.”

Grace crossed her arms on the table and lay her head down with a tired sigh.

Garth opened the cupboard and scanned the empty shelves. He gave his head a slight shake, then turned to face Katie. “I’ll speak to Mr. Davies. Maybe he’ll give me my wages early.”

Katie nodded, hoping the butcher would agree. Garth worked for Mr. Davies after school and all day on Saturday as his delivery boy. The man was notoriously stingy and always made Garth wait until the end of the month for his pay. It wasn’t much, but Mum hadn’t earned any money since she’d been feeling poorly, and they needed Garth’s wages as soon as Mr. Davies would pay him.

Mrs. Graham stepped into the kitchen, her hands clasped tightly together. “Garth, I need you to run back to my house and tell Mr. Graham to fetch the wagon. We have to take your mum to the hospital.”

Katie’s heart lurched. “Mum doesn’t want to go to the hospital. Surely there’s something we can do for her here.”

Mrs. Graham’s expression softened as she looked from Katie to Garth. “Your mum needs a doctor and trained nurses looking after her, or I fear she…” Her voice drifted off, and she shot a pained look at Grace.

Katie laid her hand over the cross necklace beneath her dress and tried to swallow back her fear. She knew Mum’s illness was serious. But they couldn’t afford to summon a doctor. How would they ever be able to pay a hospital bill?

But what choice did they have? With Dad gone and Laura working so far away, someone had to make this choice for Mum.

Garth grabbed his cap and sweater from the hook on the wall and strode toward the door without a word. He would do as Mrs. Graham asked and fetch her husband.

Katie poured a cup of tea for Mrs. Graham and took it to her. Then she sat with Grace beside Mum’s bed. Fearsome questions filled her mind while they waited for Garth to return with Mr. Graham. Mum’s face grew even more flushed, and she tossed her head from side to side, murmuring words Katie couldn’t understand.

Finally, footsteps sounded on the stairs. Garth strode in, followed by Mr. Graham and the Grahams’ son, Jacob. They quickly placed a heavy blanket under Mum to use as a stretcher. Mr. Graham took two corners near Mum’s head, and Mrs. Graham and Jacob each took one of the other corners.

Katie reached for her sweater. “We’ll come with you.”

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No Ocean Too Wide 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
No Ocean Too Wide By Carrie Turansky James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Laura’s family is facing hard times at home. Her father’s death two years prior has everyone working hard to keep afloat. Laura has been working away from home a lady’s maid. After receiving news of her mother’s illness and hospitalization Laura leaves her position to help the family however when she arrives home her younger siblings have already been taken from the home and placed into a children’s home. After tirelessly trying to see her siblings Laura discovers that her siblings have been scheduled to be emigrated to Canada to start new. Laura takes action by using a false name to get hired by the emigration facility that trains the children for service once they get to Canada. All is well until her previous employer’s son shows up. Andrew Fraiser has no need to work but felt called to do more than idly sit. His decision to become a lawyer has not pleased his father but he is determined. Taking a case with his best friend and mentor investigating Children’s Homes has brought him face to face with his mothers Lady’s maid. Without understanding her presence, he goes along with her charade. I found this book to be both enjoyable and also sad. The truth that this story is fiction but based off of history makes it alluring. Families were separated for many reasons and Children’s Homes were often overcrowded and underfunded. What a sad fate for these families. The challenges Laura and Andrew faced in searching for Laura’s siblings is a snapshot of a larger problem. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion which I share here. https://simplyannehere.wordpress.com
soccerkidsmom 6 months ago
No Ocean Too Wide (McAlister Family #1) by Carrie Turansky is one of those books you are so glad you signed up to read and review. I had no idea about the over 100,000 "home children" in England that were sent to Canada as orphans to work as maids, farm workers, and other jobs in the early 1900s. The abuse some of them suffered is unimaginable but is written about in this well-researched historical fiction novel. When the McAlisters' father dies in an accident and their mother falls deeply ill, they are taken to an orphanage, and their older sister Laura isn't notified right away. Laura is a ladies' maid with the Frasier family and has to travel back home to London over an hour away. She runs into obstacle after obstacle trying to get news about her little sister Grace and twin brother and sister Garth and Katie. Once she does get word about them, she discovers it's too late to claim them and that they have been sent by ship along with other orphans to Canada to work as laborers for families willing to take them in. The placements of the home children wasn't always a happy outcome and some were abused, injured and even killed. And there begins her quest across the ocean trying to find each of them and bring them back home to London. Her faith will be tested as never before, and strength and courage is a must-have during the long journey to Canada and back home. This first novel concentrates mainly on Katie's return home, and the future will bring forth two more novels telling the story of the search for Garth and Grace. I highly recommend this wonderfully well-written novel. “I received an advanced reader copy from WaterBrook and Multnomah.”
Kathae 16 days ago
Author Carrie Turansky has penned a hope-filled novel, in spite of the difficulties the characters faced. There were many scenes in which the heartbreak, or suffering, or anger was so real. The romance was sweet, and the characters were likable. Not everything was neatly tied up at the end of the story, so I'm looking forward to the sequel. I especially enjoyed getting to know fourteen-year-old Katie. Until recent events, she had had a happy childhood, but circumstances brought her into some undesirable placements. She remained hard-working, loyal to her family, and committed to the truth. Her older sister Laura was equally hard-working and dedicated to her family. Readers of historical fiction will be sure to enjoy the story of the McAlister family in their quest to reunite. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Multnomah, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
KR3 19 days ago
What a great story! Did you know that England sent orphans to families in Canada? Much like the orphan trains to the Midwest, English orphan ships carried destitute and abandoned children to new homes across the sea. But sometimes, the children sent weren’t abandoned—or even orphaned. This book was a intriguing story following the McAlister family as they fight the broken system that separated them. I enjoyed reading this and am excited about the other books-to-be in this series! Rated PG for mild distressing events. —briefly mentions child abuse/sexual abuse (not the main subject of the book) —no language —no sex —little violence I received a free copy of this ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest opinion.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I had no idea that in the early 1900's over 100,000 poor, orphaned and neglected English children were sent to Canada for a better life and of course this was not always the case. No Ocean Too Wide is a fictional story about the McAlister children, Katie, Garth and Grace. When their widowed mother becomes ill the police decide to remove them from the family home and send them to live in a orphanage. Their older sister Laura is working as a ladies maid for the Frasier family, she receives word informing her about her mothers illness and she returns home as quickly as she can. Laura is worried about her mother's health and she's also concerned about how her siblings are coping. Unfortunately when she arrives home, it's too late her brother and two sisters have been sent to Canada and she's stunned. Laura takes matters into her own hands she will do anything to find her younger siblings and bring them back to England where they belong. Once she arrives in Canada she tries to find out what has happened to her brother and sisters with the help of Andrew Frasier a young and handsome lawyer. By reading No Ocean Too Wide, I discovered how children could be sent across the other side of the world, some suffered horrible abuse and it's heart breaking. The first book in the series is about Katie McAlister, I look forward to reading the next two books to find out the fate of Garth and Grace. Lets hope the whole family is reunited and the series has a happy ending.
Kristen_Gwen_Johnson 4 months ago
No Ocean Too Wide is the story of siblings separated by the broken system of child emigration from England to Canada. Laura McAlister worked as a ladies maid for a wealthy family when she received word that her mother was ill and her siblings had been taken to a children’s home. Before she can claim them, her sisters and brother are sent to Canada to work as domestics. She travels to Canada to find them, but comes up against more than one obstacle. Andrew Frasier is the son of the family Laura worked for, and a solicitor for a London firm investigating the child emigration system for the British government. When he gets tangled up in Laura’s family situation, he promises to bring the siblings back together. Amidst legal issues and issues of the heart, Laura and Andrew work together to find her siblings and bring them home. This was my first Carrie Turansky book, and it will not be the last. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series to find out what happens to the McAlister family. The characters are wonderfully alive and I found myself thinking about them when I wasn’t reading, wondering what was going to happen next. I was very much emotionally connected with these characters and despaired and rejoiced with each plot turn. The settings were beautifully painted, the historical background was interesting, and the ending gave just the right amount of resolution and mystery to push me forward to the next book. Highly recommended. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
KLyles 4 months ago
This book is filled with a story that tore my heart as it captured it and took along with in the journey across the ocean to Canada with the McAlister's children. This is part of history that I did not know. I was surprised and full of disbelief that people would take children away from their families and give them away basically without caring about the children's future. This story is based on the children that were orphaned or not that were taken in by people for farm laborers or servants at their home. More than 100,000 British Children would ship across the ocean to Canada promised a better life for their future and yet some found an ending unimaginable. I love the way Author Carrie Turansky did a wonderful research and combined facts and entwined it together to create such a story. I could picture every detail and enjoyed it. How much as I would like to say about this story I don't think I can do it justice, but is a treasure to read. This story is about a Sister and the Faith in God to bring back home her brother and two younger sisters after a terrible accident takes their father away and their mother becomes very ill. Despite all the detours and all the heartaches Laura finds strength in her Faith in God and her 3 friends that she makes along the way to restore her family separation. While using a different name and doing everything she can in finding her brother and sisters, her brother Garth finds himself working in a farm, her little sister Grace has been adopted and Katie is being treated abusively at a farm. But when she feels that it might be a dead in end again her strong feeling to find her sister leads her to her and with the help of Rose, Henry and Andrew the son of the lady she used to be a lady maid to she is much closer to getting her family back together. You will not want to miss this story, is a story that is a remarkable treasure to include in your library at home. You won't be disappointed and I highly recommend it.
BBulow 5 months ago
No Ocean Too Wide touches on a fascinating yet tragic event in history, that of about 70 years in which more than 100,000 impoverished British children were sent to Canada for a better life. Those taking them in were told they were orphans, but history has shown that this wasn't always true. It's wonderful that Turansky chose to tell a story about something that impacted so many people. I can't imagine being told that my children or my younger siblings had been sent to across the ocean without my consent, or even my knowledge. Turansky shows this plight through the perspective of both one of those sent as well as one desperate to bring them home. For me, there was a significant amount of telling rather than showing. This is definitely a personal preference of mine as a reader, and I'm sure not something that bothered other readers. It's just not my preferred style of writing. Even so, I found this to be an easy story to follow and one in which the characters are easy to root for. Laura McAlister has taken a position as a lady's maid in order to send the funds back home to help care for her family. The system is unforgiving of families in need, and through a series of terrible acts by those uncaring and unwilling to get children back to their families, the youngest three McAlisters are sent to Canada, and Laura tries her best to get them back. Katie McAlister gets the roughest end of the deal, with her story line bringing out the harshness of the "caregivers" that took in the children. Though there is a degree of resolution to the story, there is more yet to be told about the McAlister family, and we won't know the full extent of their journey until the next book in the series. I received an advanced copy of this novel; this review is my honest opinion.
Cheri5 5 months ago
No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky was a great inspired by true events novel. It definitely made me feel what it would be like to be forced into the situations that these characters lived through. They weren’t characters to me – they became friends, community, family. The storyline kept me interested and engaged. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are solely my own.
Melissa Andres 5 months ago
I enjoyed every page of this story! I've never read a book about British Home Children before and found this story to be incredibly well researched. It is a heartbreaking event in history, but one that needs to be told. The story is easy to follow, very interesting, and has a sweet romance element to it! I'm very much looking forward to the second book in the McAlister Family Series! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.
KMarkovich 5 months ago
What a series of unfortunate events for the McAlister family! I had heard of the orphan trains in the USA, and the convict colonies in Australia, but I never knew that England sent orphaned children across the ocean to Canada. And, like the orphan trains, some children were sent to good families and some became ill-treated slave labor. This story begins in London in 1908 and the author Carrie Turansky tells the difficult story of a family of children who are separated from each other. Twins Katie and Garth and younger sister Grace are sent to Canada, leaving older sister Laura desperately trying to locate and reunite them. I found this story spellbinding – I read it in no time because I just couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I am freely writing a review - all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Anonymous 5 months ago
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.
SeasonsofGrace 5 months ago
Definitely worth the read, especially if you enjoy historical fiction. I learned a lot reading this book. There were times when it really stirred my emotions and it was hard not to let it affect me. Although this is a story about the past, knowing that children still suffer these types of abuse, makes it even more important to read. Seems like no matter what time period, innocent people have ended up suffering. The focus of this book is on three children, siblings, who were removed from their home due to their mother's illness. However, once in the system, it was difficult to get them released. Parents and other siblings were disregarded and so was any courtesy by the children's home to give them any type of help or support. These children became a profit and money making strategy. Parts of this book are sad and difficult to read, I did enjoy the faith based aspect of the story My favorite characters were those who sought God frequently to help with their problems . It sure did help to be reminded, no matter what is happening, God is in full control and He has a plan for our lives. I received this book courtesy of the publisher. I was not asked to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
MelissaF 6 months ago
Wow, what a book. The twists and turns this book takes will leave your head spinning and your heart reeling. Just when I thought I would put the book down to do some thing else for the day the chapter would leave me hanging and I would have to se what would happen next. The fact that this is based on true events is heartbreaking. To think families could so easily be torn apart without all the information needed is scary. I think Carrie gets better with each book and this one is probably my favorite so far. A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
GailHollingsworth 6 months ago
This was a piece of history I never knew about. With an increase in orphans and homeless children in 1909 London, some organizations chose to take them off the streets and place them in children’s homes to prepare them to be shipped to Canada. They weren’t always treated well. Made to be household servants and farmhands, they were looked down upon by many. Abused, mistreated, and starved, those children found themselves isolated and lost in the system. When the McAlister children were found to be alone with no food in the house and their mother admitted to the hospital gravely ill, police took them and placed them in a children’s home. By the time their older sister Laura found out, they had already been sent by ship to Canada. She attempts to find them by posing under a false name and becoming one of the escorts for the children that travel to Canada. With the aid of a wealthy young British lawyer, Andrew Fraser, they search together. With so many laws and red tape against them, they hit one dead end after another. There was so much emotion I felt as I read along. The characters were real to me and I really wanted them to succeed in their search. The children broke my heart as they were so mistreated. I wanted to shout at and slap the abusers. You’ll want to read along as I did to see the fates of the McAlister children, Katie, Garth and Grace. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to write a review positive or otherwise.
grammy57 6 months ago
No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky is a very interesting book. I requested to read and review this book through Netgalley.com. I give it 4 stars out of 5. The reason I only give it 4 stars is I felt it could have ended better, even though it is the first book in a new series. Another reason for a missing star is that at times it got too rambling and things were repeated especially towards the end of the book. Overall, I did enjoy the book. It is a Christan, historical fiction book. It is not a preachy book, but it does show people using their beliefs in a nice way. I was drawn to this book as my great grandfather was put in an orphanage in England by his father in the late 1800s after the death of his mother. This book looks at how orphanages worked in the late 1800s until the early 1900s. It is not a preachy kind of book and it is not condemning nor praising how the system worked. The main characters were fairly well developed and believable. The story was also believable. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Even though this was an advanced reader copy, the editing was very well done. I appreciate that in a book. I would recommend this book to my friends.
Patricia Hinojosa 6 months ago
Wow! Carrie Turansky is an extremely talented author! This is a beautiful, heartwrenching and deeply touching story based on true events! The blurb of this story was so compelling from the start that it totally engaged me. I love Historical Fiction based in real life stories. Even if the story and the characters were made up, the situation was real and it may have happened in a similar way in the lives of many people, especially those unfortunate children, even if nota ll of them were mistreated. It’s outrageous that people may take advantage of young children and their vulnerability. My heartache to think about what many orphans in that era (and ours too) may have been submitted to. Laura works as a lady’s maid in Bolton Estate, outside of London. Since her father passed away she needs to help her family’s survive. She has her 14 year old twin brothers, Katie and Garth, and her 6 year old sister Grace. Her mother works as a seamstress, but it barely covers the expenses. While she’s working at Bolton Estate, things get very complicated in London for her family. Mum, as they call her, contracts pneumonia and is gravelly ill in the hospital. A police officer catches Garth stealing food to provide for her sisters while their mom is at the hospital and they all end up taken to a children’s home, Garth being separated from his sisters. When Laura receives a letter telling her about her mother’s illness, she quickly leaves for London, only to find her mother in a very fragile situation, and to discover her siblings have being sent to Canada to start a new life, as if they were orphans. Andrew is the heir to the Bolton Estate, but he’s not interested right know in the Estate's affairs, despite his father’s manipulations. He has studied to be a lawyer and wants to do his share in making the world a better place. After meeting Laura, and helping her go to London, he and his associate Henry are hired by the goverment to investigate the conditions under which so many orphans are being emmigrated to Canada by The British Children’s Home. Something doesn’t ring good and they send them on a mission to travel in one of the ships and oversee the treatment of the children and their establishment in Canada. What is his surprise when he finds Laura on the same ship pretending to be Mary Hopkins. Will he uncover her charade? Will she trust him with her secret and her mission? Will he trust her and help her find her siblings? This is a beautiful and heartwrenching story, told by the point of view of Laura, Andrew and Katie. The change in point of view is well done and you barely notice. The writing style is really good and flows well. I never felt it dragged and I was immediately captivated by the McAllister Family’s tragedy and their struggle to reunite once again. There is hardship and mistreat of the children but it’s respectfully described. Laura was and admirable character. She was a bit afraid of men after a sad experience, but she slowly warms up to Andrew and to his loyalty and selflesness. Andrew was truly a hero and I loved his character: strongminded, and honest and ready to overcome all odds to do what he knows it’s right. They both have a relationship with the Lord, but Laura’s is a bit frail and Andrew helps her grow in this aspect. It was truly inspiring! The story seems very well researched and it feels so real that I really felt I was inside the story with them. I definitely recommend this book! Beautiful and very inspiring!
RobinWillson 6 months ago
It's hard not to read ahead. 1909 England. Excruciating story of a poor family from London. The father had died and the mother got sick. The oldest girl was in service some distance away. When the rent wasn't paid on time and they didn't have enough to eat, the boy tried to steal some bread to feed them and was caught, starting an avalanche of problems. The three were put into a children's home, then sent to Canada, thinking their mother had died and their older sister didn't care. The story is written with great detail and each character comes fully to life. Great injustice and bright light shown on the holes in the system of removing children from England. Between the 1860s and the 1930s, more than one hundred eighteen thousand poor and orphaned children were sent to Canada as British Home Children. Much good was done when good people were involved, but so much cruelty took place for many unfortunate children, and no good system was in place to put it in check. This story also tells of two good men who were sent to investigate the system, and how they became involved. And the relationship of Laura, the oldest daughter and Andrew a wealthy lawyer who helped them all. Excellent read that will keep you on edge throughout. If not for the underlying story of God's grace and love, it would be so much harder yet to read. You feel a relationship with each of the characters as their story is brought to light. "If she found Jesus in the pages of that Bible, she would have a friend who would never leave her side . . . and that was what she needed most for the journey ahead." Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” #NoOceanTooWide #CarrieTuransky #NetGalley #BooksYouCanFeelGoodAbout
amybooksy 6 months ago
I was excited to read the first book from Carrie Turansky's McAllister Family series, No Ocean Too Wide. What a great story! This is probably my favorite I have read by her to date. It gets a well deserved five plus stars from me. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy clean historical fiction with elements of faith and inspiration. I look forward to see what happens in the next installment from the McAllister Family series. I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
BookGirl103 6 months ago
I found this novel on Penguin Random House's website. I joined their book reward program and was searching the category of New Books. This is where my eyes stopped on the cover of the book. I clicked on it, read what it was about, then rushed off to my local Barnes & Noble to purchase it. When I started to read the first chapter I wasn't hooked by the first sentence. But got hooked after the first paragraph, the words just flow off the page smoothly. I will admit that the story starts off a bit sad which I wasn't looking for. But I knew that was just the start of the characters journey. One thing that I will mention is that you can picture this in your mind. There is a lot of detail though being thrown at you within the first four pages. I will give other readers a head's up that there are random references to Christian quotes from the Bible. It was fitted into the plot with the characters for that seems to be their foundation. However, when I went to get the book at Barnes & Noble it was in the Religious section but on the book it states Spirituality. Anyway, I found the Christian quotes to be a bit much. For every other chapter is at least referring to prayers or some other religious thoughts. I like how the Christian stuff is touched up briefly when mentioning the two different economic classes. The rich and also the poor, but just know that the poor injustice will be seen frequently. Overall, it is a great story and with that I give the rating to be 5 stars. Will I purchase another novel from his author? Yes, I would only because the writing is smooth and as the reader you know which words will pop up next. Which isn't a problem since I'd hate to be reading and stumble across a word that catches me off guard. I've seen that in too many novels and this one is fairly worth the read. Plus at a good price for a decent sized novel and a historical background! Even though the historical story was dramatic! I want to congrats the author on mastering the whole Old English language in the UK. I recognized a lot of words that placed me into that time era. Words like; 'pounds', 'great hall', etc. I understand writing in a different time era is a tricky one but Carrie for sure mastered that on her part!
NKBookReviewer 6 months ago
“No Ocean Too Wide” by Carrie Turansky is a Christian romantic historical fiction based on true events. It is Book One in the McAlister Family Series. This was a compelling novel that I could not put down! There is no way I can do it justice with just a few words. My emotions took a roller coaster ride with this book. I became enraged, shocked, joyful, elated, saddened, scared, hopeless and then hopeful as the feelings from the characters jumped from the characters into me. This is a story set in England in the early 1900’s. It centers around the McAlister Family which has a mother, seven year old Grace, fourteen year old twins Katie and Garth, and twenty year old Laura. As tragedy befalls the family with the mother in the hospital, the children are separated from each other and their mother. The characters are well described and believable. Each one has a depth that makes him or her come to life on the page. There is even a rich, handsome hero! The conversations sound authentic for the era and location. The descriptions took me to a time and place that I had never been. Author Turansky did impeccable research. I had never heard of this before in all my reading and studies. I was stunned and livid to learn that children were sent from England to Canada, orphaned or not. In fact, at times I wished this was not based on a true story. However, I could not stop reading this captivating tale. The writing is exquisite. The book flows at an even pace. It isn’t sluggish or hurried. The author has a style that made this book easy to read and not want to put down. It is quite the page turner. I eagerly await Book Two. I highly recommend this poignant novel. It has stayed with me long after reading it. I keep thinking of all of the poor children in similar situations. The Christian element is definitely present. Themes of faith, family, God, helping others, and hope are woven throughout this emotional, beautiful story. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley but was under no obligation to write a review. These are my own thoughts.
Homesteading 6 months ago
No Ocean Too Wide is a gripping story about the British Home Children, some of whom were separated from their families by mistake. It tells the tale of a sister’s love and determination to find her three siblings after they’ve been sent to Canada. It’s truly heart wrenching what happened to one of the children and brings to light all of the pitfalls associated with ‘foster’ care before regulation and oversight really came into being. I found myself appalled and yet sadly not surprised by some of the scenarios so vividly described. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for those who suffered such unconscionable treatment. Laura McAlister and Andrew Fraser are willing to fight the system in order to bring restoration to the McAlister family and so many others. Their romance brings joy and light to the story and is well done. But then I expect nothing less from this author. :) I highly recommend No Ocean Too Wide to enthusiasts of historical fiction, especially those who like it based on actual events. I received a copy of the book from the publisher. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. No compensation has been received.
Empm1128 7 months ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbook & Multnomah through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Hard to believe that over 100,000 poor children were sent from the London slums to Canada between 1869 and 1939. I was aware of the orphan trains in the US that transported children from the slums of NYC to the Midwest, but I knew nothing about this group going to Canada. This is a story about friendships and how they develop in the face of adversity. It’s a story about overcoming hardship through perseverance—as well as relying on God. Laura, the heroine, and Andrew, the hero, were interesting to read about and try to understand. As the novel ended, I was really sorry, and delighted to learn in the notes that it’s not really over—Garth and Grace will be featured in a follow-up novel next year. Highly recommended reading!
Anonymous 7 months ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a bit slow at the beginning, but I had no idea how it was going to end, so the suspense kept me going. The history it covers is fascinating - I wasn't really even aware that Britain sent orphans over to Canada, much less that there were issues of social justice involved, and this book did such a wonderful job of going over everything and explaining it without sounding like a history lecture. I loved Laura, Andrew, Katie, Rose, and Henry - they all worked together so well in order to achieve justice. And the ending was a complete surprise, which I loved. I really only have two complaints for this book. First, the fact that Laura was able to think fast enough to travel with orphans to Canada to find her siblings and was brave enough to do it was impressive to me, but everyone focused on the less-than-ideal parts that got her there. If she hadn't done those things, she wouldn't have been able to save her sister, so while they weren't "good" they were understandable, and I thought everyone in the book should have appreciated her more for her actions. My second complaint is that there was a bit more "knight in shining armor rescues damsel in distress" that I would have preferred. As I mentioned previously, I thought that Laura was incredible in what she did to save her family, and yet there are several scenes where she is seen as an emotional and incapable woman who needs to be saved by a man. Overall, I am so glad I read this book, and I cannot wait for the second one to come out to find out what happens to the McAlister and Frasier families. No Ocean Too Wide officially comes out in June of 2019, and I highly recommend reading it. It covers such an interesting and relatively untouched part of history, and all of the characters are so lovable that you can't help but care about all of them and what happens in their lives.
vics49548 7 months ago
Did you know about British children being sent to Canada? Sometimes without parental permission. Author Carrie Turansky did a good job researching and writing about this sad time in history and I learned many new things. This book is definitely not “fluff”. Faced with difficult situations, the well developed characters must learn to hang on to God and His promises not to leave them. Life isn’t all lollipops and rainbows, and Turansky shows us this in this story. I appreciate reading books written honestly instead of glossing things over. An interesting story with clean romance, I was surprised by some things I didn’t expect to happen. I am looking forward to the next book in this series, since No Ocean Too Wide wasn’t quickly and neatly wrapped up. I need to know what happens next! I recommend this book for those who enjoy Christian historical fiction based on real life. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.