Title: Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream #1)
Author: Susan Anne Mason
Release Date: June 30, 2015 (eBook), July 7, 2015 (print)
Genre: Historical Romance (1911)
Publisher: Bethany House
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
About the book:
1911 Long Island, New York
Faced with an uncertain future, sometimes all you have left is the courage to dream.
Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he’s put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.
Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry – as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans.
As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O’Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?
Filled with masterfully written characters!
This book is filled with a complete cast of incredibly well developed characters. I connected completely with a number of the young adults from very early on. So much that I need to get my feelings for the father, James O’Leary out here at the beginning. Many times during this story I wanted to shake the man and tell him, “These are people, your own daughters, with feelings and dreams of their own.”
The young adults struggle with a number of conflicting emotions throughout the book. They are trying to figure out their feelings as well as God’s plans for their lives. Most of the older people share a lot of sensible advice with them. A lot of it is encouraging them to seek God for direction. At times some of the younger adults also have incredible words of wisdom to impart to each other.
The story captured my interest from very early on. At no time did I lost interest in it or want to even take a break from this novel. It is a wonderfully well written story. I am definitely looking forward to Susan Anne Mason’s next book.