“Irish Meadows” by Susan Anne Mason

Though the title may seem whimsical, Irish Meadows is the name of the O’Leary’s estate, and at the beginning of this story the only thing whimsical is the setting. The people have a lot of growing to do. Unfortunately, their lives, especially Colleen’s and Brianna’s are about to get harder, before they get better.

Life is sometimes a muddy ditch and its pressures pull us in directions we’d never see ourselves going or suck us towards desperate actions. Susan captures this reality well in her novel. What I liked the most is that she does not write off her characters as unredeemable, but, as God Himself does, shows us how their inner worth can be revealed. I appreciated the depth of character she gave to each of the main characters—the overbearing father, the conniving older sister, the headstrong and distrustful younger sister—to name a few. And just like in real-life, sometimes it takes more than one class before a lesson is fully learned. And yet, despite the difficulties, each reaches a place of peace.

This is the first book of what I think will make for a deep and rewarding series. The next is set to come out in 2016. So if you like large, Irish families and learning from other people’s mistakes, I think you’ll really enjoy this novel.

Thank you to NetGalley (https://www.netgalley.com/ ) and Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review.

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