Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Review - Irish Meadows

The elegant society of early twentieth century Long Island, New York, is beautifully depicted in Irish Meadows, Susan Anne Mason’s debut historical novel. The setting reminded me of an American Downton Abbey. Oh, and it has horses—lots of horses. Ever since I read Black Beauty, I’ve loved horse stories.

The horse farm, Irish Meadows, is the pride of James O’Leary, the tyrannical patriarch, and is in danger of bankruptcy. The two older daughters, Brianna and Colleen, and former stable hand, Gilbert Whelan, become pawns in James’s plot to save the farm by choosing their mates.

Irish Meadows is two love stories in one book. Brianna and Gilbert are already secretly in love, but their keen sense of duty keeps them apart. Colleen escapes her father’s choice of suitor by trickery and falls in love with visiting seminary student, Rylan Montgomery, who plans on becoming a priest.

Skillful writing, well-developed characters, and riveting family intrigue make this turn-of-the-century historical a memorial reading experience.

I was privileged to receive an advance reader copy of Irish Meadows from Bethany House. Since I knew Susan Mason from the Seekerville blog, I jumped at the chance to read this book. Though she’s new to publishing, Sue’s a seasoned writer. Irish Meadows, Book 1 in the Courage to Dream series, is available for pre-order now with a July release. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys a love story where faith and courage triumph against difficult odds.

What is your favorite setting in historical fiction?

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  1. I seem to be reading a lot of books with horses lately. I love it.

  2. Hi Mary,

    Me too, since I've been reading a lot of westerns, there have been horses. Even contemporary westerns have horses. Irish Meadows is the first eastern setting I've read in a while.