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.”
In My Opinion
In No Ocean Too Wide, Carrie Turansky shines a spotlight on the plight of orphaned English children and the practice of emigrating them to Canada. With points of view from an adult sister on a search for her siblings, a lawyer gathering information for a report requested by the British government, and a younger sister processed into the system, readers get both an outsider and insider view of the challenges of this system.
While Turansky shows both the positive and negative sides of emigration, my heart broke for poor Katie and the placements she was assigned. It was her story that moved me most. Her hope in the midst of horrible trials and tribulations resonated with me.
There is a lot of build up to the actual emigrations, but once Laura boards her ship to Canada (about the halfway point), things start to move. This is, coincidentally, when Laura and Andrew finally reconnect after a brief meeting early in the book.
The romance is there but minimal in No Ocean Too Wide. The true heart of this book lies in the journey of Katie as an orphan and of Laura to find her siblings and bring them home. And while Laura takes plenty of decisions into her own hands instead of relying on God to show her the way, He is able to turn them around and use them for good in her search.
Now we’ll have to wait for the next book to find out the rest of the story.
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.