Saturday, June 15, 2019

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky Book Review

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky is the first book in a series that explores the British Home Children who were sent across the ocean from London to Canada in the late 1800's to early 1900's. Many of these children were orphans, but this novel gives a glimpse into a family that was torn apart by this system that promised a better life for children.

Laura McAlister is working as a lady's maid for the very affluent Fraser family in England when she finds out that her widowed mother has become ill.  When she arrives in London, she discovers that her brother and sisters have been put in orphanages.  She is desperate to find her siblings and tries not to worry her mother. Laura encounters many obstacles and frustrations as she searches for her family and  when she finds out that her siblings have been shipped off to Canada, she sneaks her way into a position that will allow her to travel the same route that will lead her to her siblings. She meets Rose who becomes a kind and caring friend.  And while on the boat, she meets Andrew Fraser (again), who not only is the son of her former employer, but also an attorney who is on assignment to learn more about the children being transferred through the orphanages to families in Canada.  She begins to form an unlikely friendship with him as they continue their search for her family. Laura had to rely on God's provision through this scary and lonely trial. When Laura finally tracks down one of her sister's she is appalled by her living and working conditions.  She is adamant to find her the rest of her family.   Will Laura and Andrew rescue her siblings?  Will they move beyond their friendship to something more?

This book addressed a new topic for me that I had actually never heard or read about before.  I was highly intrigued about how all these children were moved from one continent to another.  This historical fiction gave a glimpse into the life of a family that learned the struggles and heartache that could happen accidentally.  I especially liked how how even though the main character, Laura, seemed to be a very responsible and careful young lady, she had to take great risks and even conceal her identity to pursue her siblings.  I can't imagine all that this family had to endure.  It seemed very wrong and even though there were many well meaning authorities, when it came time for choosing homes, it was not done properly in my opinion.  The novel does not end here, but will continue on with a story for each of the McAlister children.  I look forward to following this family.

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book for review.  All opinions are my own.*

Be sure to check out the author at her website for more amazing books:  Carrie Turansky.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Goodbye, 2018, Hello 2019! 6 month update!

Oh my goodness!  I never believed I would have packed so many transitions into one year.  I did not plan any of these things!  At the beginning of the year we adopted a new cat who was about 6 months old.  He was all black and we named him Raven.  He has become my little buddy.  Also in January, we went to my father in laws memorial (he passed in October).  It was a very comforting time with family. Then in February, we had a garage fire which destroyed everything we thought was valuable, but realized it was just stuff.  Also that spring, my parents sold my grandmother's house (she had passed in October as well).  Then they bought a new house in a different town and also later that summer sold their home (my growing up home!).  Amidst all of that we went through a job search, and eventually selling our house, buying a house and moving across country.  I explained a lot of this in my previous blog posts.

But today we have been in our new home for 6 months.

Whew, and so much has happened since we moved here as well, but really good things.

I started this blog much earlier in the year and then life has become really busy!

First of all, I just LOVE living in the country! We have a huge yard and we are not close to any neighbors or noise.  We hear birds singing every morning.  The frogs were croaking at night in the Spring.  We can see the stars and watch the sun rise and sunset every day.  The kids can run, ride bikes, dig in the garden and be loud without disturbing anyone.  We have built bonfires, planted a garden, bought chickens and made a makeshift coop.

Our historic town is less than 10 min away.  The school is 5 minutes and the grocery store is 7 minutes.  There are many places to explore likes beaches and state parks.  There is a lot of driving, but there is no traffic except in planting season when the tractors use the regular highway.   We live about an hour and half from the big city of Richmond and the airport.

We have found the people to be very friendly and welcoming.  We started going to a church, the small group and the kids attended the Awana program.  I am volunteering at the school and taking care of the home as well as taking the kids back and forth to school.  I also have been on a few of their field trips.  My son went to Jamestown and Yorktown.  My daughter went to a state park for a fun day.

Things are a lot different here and sometimes we think about life back in Tacoma.  But somehow we feel so comfortable and at home here.  We love our big house and yard.  We are going to have a big work party with my husband's co-workers soon.  The weather is unpredictable, but we have had snow, rain, thunder, lightning, tornado warnings, sun and wind.  Most days are pleasant although it is getting warmer.  I don't even need a sweater!

We are so excited to see what the rest of the year will hold for our family.  There is so much to tell, but honestly, I enjoy living my life.  If you want to keep up with me, be sure to check out my Facebook page The Knowlton Nest,  where I occasionally post what I do on a daily basis.  

We are so happy that God moved us to Virginia and continue to find ways to serve Him in this new area.  And we can't wait to have fun this summer with our new friends!