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?
Review: Irish Meadows was by a newly published author named Susan Anne Mason. Honestly, I wanted to read it simply to see why Bethany House chose this book to be published. To tell the truth, I wasn’t all that impressed, and a little disappointed, both in the publishers and in the author. There were some good points. But it should take more than a solid plot to sell a book.
Susan Anne Mason has published a few books before this one, but as she has never published with any major publishing company I had never heard of her before I saw this book. I like reading new authors to see what the publishers nowadays are particularly looking for. Irish Meadows was a good read. It kept me entertained since there always seemed to be something happening. I was never bored with it.
The characters were all well-developed, Though I will say that some were perhaps a little too developed. Colleen and Brianna’s father had such a strong character, that he overshadowed and overpowered everybody else’s character somewhat. The plot was excellent. I really liked that the author interwove the love story of both Brianna and Colleen together.
One thing I noticed even on the first page were the trite expressions the author used over and over and over again. I cringed with each one. Just a few expressions she used were, “as vivid green as the waving grass around them”, “as brightly as the sun beating down on his head”, “as strong as a lumberjack”, and “like a magnet, his gaze was drawn…”
She literally had hundreds of overused similes! But then, I do read a lot, so maybe I just noticed it more than other people usually do. I was a little annoyed by the end of the book, though.
Another thing that bothered me was, that though (spoiler alert) all the main characters reconciled themselves to God by the end, there was no mention of Jesus Christ or the saving blood He spilled for us. I believe the author may be Catholic, or wrote this from a Catholic viewpoint as there seems to be many Catholic overtones throughout the book. If someone unsaved read this book, he would not be saved by the end of it. The blood of Jesus is the only way a person may be redeemed. It is sad to me that supposedly Christian books are being published without preaching Christ.
Though this book was an entertaining read, I don’t believe I’ll be reading anything else by this author in the future. The type of books she writes just isn’t for me. Not because it isn't entertaining, but because I feel as though I've read it before.
I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.
**I received a review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, for my honest opinion, which I have given. The opinions expressed in this novel are mine and mine alone.**