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August 24, 2015

Irish Meadows {Susan Anne Mason}

irish meadows susan anne mason tings mom books
Irish immigrant James O’Leary has spent his life building Irish Meadows into a thriving horse farm and is not about to let hard economic times threaten its success. He intends for his daughters to marry prosperous men–ones who will secure the family’s rightful place in society, and at the same time, guarantee the future of Irish Meadows. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their father expects them to marry well. Yet despite his wishes, Brianna, the quieter sister, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry–as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards. When stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from college and distant family member Rylan Montgomery stops in on his way to the seminary in Boston, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

My Thoughts:
This is one of those books that really grated on my nerves at times, but when it was over I realized it was actually a very good story.

I can’t imagine living in a time when fathers had so much say in who their daughters married. Love and friendship, and all that goes with a good marriage, was usually way at the bottom of the list of traits that a man must possess to marry one’s daughter.

Colleen and Brianne both lived under their father’s control, and he turned out to be a bully who was only out for his own gain. He wheeled and dealed with his own interest in mind, and never once considered if his daughters would be happy with the men he chose for them to marry.

I spent most of this book wishing I could just read through the pages and shake some sense into these two girls, and to tell them to follow their hearts and not to worry about their dad. But again. I didn’t live in that time period when this way of thinking was perfectly acceptable.

Gil and Rylan are very similar in their character traits. Both have high morals and ethics, and simply do what their mind has convinced them is the “right” thing. Neither of them is willing to give into their hearts’ demands for fear it will upset their parents. Throughout most of this book it was apparent that someone was going to fall in love, but both of these male characters spent so much time messing up that I wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen.

This story took a huge turn when near-tragedy struck. And as it is with tragedy, people tend to change their way of thinking and their ways of doing things.

Once everyone finally admitted their true desires and feelings about their own lives, this book was so entertaining. When it was over, I found myself missing these characters and wanting to know the rest of their stories.

I’m looking forward to the next book in this series – coming in early 2016.

Susan Anne Mason always loved to write. As a teen, she wrote my first novel, only to be politely rejected by her publisher of choice.
  
Life got in the way - university, marriage and children became the priority. Then once she had time to start reading again, the writing bug bit once more.

She enjoys writing both contemporary and historical Inspirational romances. "Romance sprinkled with faith" describes her writing style. She loves themes of forgiveness and redemption!

She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Romance Writers of America. Her association with such amazing groups of people has been the biggest asset toward learning her craft. 

Home for Susan Anne is Brampton, Ontario, Canada (near Toronto), where she lives with her husband, their two children and two cats. Her day job is a part-time secretary at a local church. In her spare time, she likes to read and research her family history on-line.