No Ocean Too Wide, by Carrie Turansky, is a riveting story of a family in England caught up in the wretched child immigration scheme of the British Home Children, in the early 1900s. She includes an impressive amount of facts to make this Christian historical fiction one of the most compelling reads I’ve encountered in a while on the subject of orphans, and cold-hearted money-making schemes involving basically, the trafficking of children.
They either took them from homes under questionable pretenses, or brought them in from the streets, and then put them on a ship bound for Canada, to live as a domestic servant in someone’s home. Ages as young as 5, and as old as 17, I believe, were forced to work as drudges, in many cases.
The characters in her book are Laura McAlister, and her siblings Garth, Katie, and Grace. Their mother, and their father, the neighbor Mrs. Graham, and Mrs. Palmer, the employee of Laura’s mother.
Andrew Bolton is also a key character. He is a wealthy lawyer, and he and his friend are sent, by the British government,to investigate the goings-on of the children’s orphanages. Suspicion had arisen because of one Dr. Barnardo, who supposedly took in hundreds of abandoned children from the streets of England, and gave them food, shelter, and useful skills. Dr. Barnardo was constantly in and out of court.
This is a great historical lesson which helps bring awareness on one of Britain’s unsavory and repugnant chapters. I do recommend this for reading. Geared for adult comprehension, not really on a level that a teen or child would be able to grasp the significance of.