Have you met Susan? Susan Anne Mason to be exact. Bethany House published a new series (and her first historical novel) called Courage to Dream. Book one is Irish Meadows.
Irish Meadows is a horse farm located on Long Island in New York. The O'Learys are raising horses, but times are hurting for their livelihood. The year is 1911 and an anti-gambling legislature is putting a damper on Mr. O'Leary's profits in horse racing and gambling that came from horse owners working with Irish Meadows. Mr. O'Leary is looking to remain solvent and keep his place in society. He's not above pressuring his daughters, Brianna and Colleen, as well as his "adopted" son, Gilbert Whelan to marry well. Brianna, Colleen, and Gilbert are not keen on the plans made for their lives, but how can they turn from the man who gave them everything?
Once I began reading Irish Meadows, it was difficult to set it down! It was as gripping as one of my other favorite series, The Daughters of Boston by Julie Lessman. Similar themes include sibling relationships, love stories, Irish heritage, and faith. Lessman writes about Boston (and Ireland) and Mason writes about Long Island. If you enjoyed Julie's series, you'll enjoy Susan's Irish Meadows and visa verse.
If I could say one thing about Irish Meadows, it would be MORE! I could have read two or three more stories about all the characters in this book, but the story was nice and tight. For talking about four main characters, a "short" novel is quite impressive. Mason wrapped up many difficult story lines well. She does leave room for more stories from the O'Leary clan which I am eager to read. I've never been too much of a horse enthusiast and the balance between no horse information and too much horse information was just right.
Time Period: Turn of the Century, 1911
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Reviewed from a complimentary copy. Thank you, Susan Ann Mason and Bethany House!
Title: Irish Meadows
Author: Susan Anne Mason
Series: Book 01, Courage to Dream