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May 1919, three strangers board the SS Olympic and form a friendship before docking in Canada to search for family. Emmaline Moore is traveling with her long-time friend, Jonathan Rowe, who is suffering from horrible seasickness.
Arriving in Toronto, Emmaline is anxious to find her father. A man she believed long-dead. Having returned from the war, Jonathan is determined to share his true feelings with Emma and convince her to begin a life with him while he goes to school at Oxford. “Nobody really won in a war he’d learned. It ate at your soul long after the gunfire had faded.”
Emma has ideas of her own, and they don’t involve the man who abandoned her for the war. She is determined to surprise the father she romanticized as a sort of hero figure and stay in Canada to develop a relationship with him.
“Soon, with God’s blessing, she would embark on a new life with a family she’d never met, but who, Emma prayed would accept her graciously into their fold. Maybe then the emptiness inside her would finally be filled, and at last she’d feel whole.”
However, her new family is anything but pleased to see her and rather than welcoming her, tries to keep her true identity a secret. There is animosity, hurt and a nosy reporter determined to discredit her father.
I loved the romantic scene at the Italian restaurant – “The other man sat down on a stool and pulled out an ancient-looking squeezebox. …The music changed tempo and this time there was no doubt the man was singing a love song. The longing in his voice struck a chord deep within xxx.” (no spoilers)
I could not help but picture Disney’s Lady and the Tramp when Tony, the restaurant owner, sings Bella Notte (giggle). Click for Video Clip of Lady And The Tramp - Bella Notte famous spaghetti scene
While the story did not go as I expected, I was actually glad it wasn’t cookie cutter. The ending was very satisfying and I definitely teared up.
Tea Moment: “Oh, and might we have a pot of tea, if it’s not too much trouble?”
“The kettle’s already on the stove.” Her landlady winked.
I enjoyed reading the author’s notes about how her own grandmother was moved from England to Canada and told that her father was dead, when he was very much alive! She discovered so while doing ancestry research.
I recommend this story if you enjoy drama and romance in a historical setting.
Thank you NetGalley and to the author and Bethany House Publishing who sent me a review copy.
My opinion is my own without expectation or compensation.
Canadian Crossings Series
1 The Best of Intentions – Grace Abernathy’s story 07/2018
2 The Highest of Hopes – Emmaline Moore’s story 03/05/2019
3 TBD - Quinten Aspinall’s story
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Residing in Brampton, Ontario, Canada with her husband, children and cats; Susan describes her writing style as ‘romance sprinkled with faith.’ She loves incorporating inspirational messages of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness into her characters’ journeys.
Connect with the author at SusanAnneMason.net
Until next time, hugs and a cup of tea!