No Ocean Too Wide ~ Book review

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.

Refining Fire ~ Brides of Seattle book 2

This is book 2 in the Brides of Seattle series, by Tracie Peterson.  An excellent book, clean, Christian historical fiction with characters you can sympathize with and identify easily with.   Plenty of solid story line, with Militine, Abrianna, Thane, Wade, the bridal school sisters, Miss Selma, Miss Miriam, and Miss Poisie , and an evil villian who will remain anonymous in this review.  You find out for yourself! 

This book had several biblically sound explanations of how to get to Heaven, how to be born again, which is one of the best things I appreciate about Tracie Peterson’s books.  Devout, and clear to all readers, you can’t read her books without knowing how to be born again.    Romans 10:9-13.

The historical account of the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 was gripping, and tense.  Her descriptions of the city as it burned to the ground was as if you were there, experiencing a flaming inferno all around you.

 

There was also recovery, and plenty of hope and even some humor.  The research she puts into her books, the accuracy, is wonderful.

Enjoy this good read. 

 

Product details

  • Series: Brides of Seattle (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780764210624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210624
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

Book Review~ Before We Were Yours

I liked this book immensely, but it was emotionally draining on me.  I’m glad to have read it, though, and I recommend it to you.

Before We Were Yours~ by Lisa Wingate

This is a riveting historical fiction book based on true events. The Tennessee Children’s Home Society, run by Georgia Tann, a wicked, greedy, heartless lesbian, who came from an upper class family. Her father was a judge. The book tells the stories of Rill and her siblings, who were basically kidnapped by the local crooked police, and taken to the orphanage to live until Miss Tann could sell them, and the story of Avery Stafford, a woman whose grandmother had some mysterious ties to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. The book goes back and forth between Rill’s life and Avery’s quest for answers.

Chapter 1 takes place in the present day in Aiken, South Carolina. This chapter is told from Avery Stafford’s perspective. Then, in other chapters, you read about Rill, and how she and her siblings were wrenched from their home on a shantyboat in the river, and placed at the mercy of the orphanage’s cruel director and employees. Both viewpoints were well written, and intensely interesting, although I wish Lisa Wingate had focused more on the orphan’s lives than on Avery the single unmarried female lawyer who had doubts about her fiancee.

The heart wrenching sexual abuse and physical neglect that occurred all the time in the children’s home society was sordid and reprehensible. How the children survived,the ones who did, was difficult for me to understand, but I’m glad many children did. I found out, from OTHER sources, not this book, that infants were left to die, starved to death, or worse. My heart was so sad and also I was infuriated that this happened, and STILL happens, as you can tell if you watch the news on tv. Not in orphanages in the USA, but in other situations.

The other thing that bothered me was the amount of corruption and lack of conscience in judges, police, and the employees of Ms. Tann. Georgia had many accomplices:  Politicians, legislators, judges, attorneys, doctors, nurses, and social workers who scouted child victims.  She operated for 26 years.
I admit I stayed up past midnight one night, to get as far along in the book as I could, it evoked so much interest and concern in me. (Obviously, by the fact that over 5 thousand others have written reviews about “Before We Were Yours”, I wasn’t the only one who got a lot out of this historical fiction book) The book has raised a lot of questions in me, and I’ve been finding out as much as I can concerning child trafficker Georgia Tann, and the plight of the babies and children who were taken from their families under false pretenses, threats, and downright breaking of the law.
This story makes me wonder about orphanages in general, but more about the outrageous disgraceful sin of child trafficking.

A woman, Denny Glad, used to help people in Tennessee and who had been at the facility run by Georgia Tann, find their birth parents. Sadly, she has died:
http://www.dailybastardette.com/denny-glad-another-light-goes-out/

There’s quite a bit more information about this travesty, and if you’re interested, here are a few links to get you going on your own search.

http://articles.latimes.com/1990-08-20/news/vw-882_1_unsolved-mysteries

http://www.175moments.com/moments/georgia-tann-investigated-black-market-baby-selling-network.php?r=2
http://www.nchgs.org/html/a_story_of_stolen_babies.html
https://www.joancrawfordbest.com/articlememphis95.htm

The subject of Georgia Tann also appears in an episode of Investigation Discovery’s series Deadly Women titled “Above the Law” that aired September 13, 2013 and also appeared on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2965638/

The subject of Georgia Tann is the focus of the nonfiction book, The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, The Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption, by Barbara Bisantz Raymond.