Courage To Dream, Book 1
Long Island, New York
Faced With an Uncertain Future, Sometimes
All You Have Left Is the Courage to Dream
Brianna and Colleen O'Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he's put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.
Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry--as long as her father's choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone's plans.
As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O'Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father's machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?
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I adore a delicious historical fiction read. I have a group of authors that I just automatically pick up their new books. But one of my favorite things is discovering a new historical fiction book by an unknown author. And when I wind up loving the book it's like icing on the cake. That is exactly what happened with Irish Meadows.
The turn of the century is such a fascinating time. So many things were changing but a lot of the changes weren't always open to women. In fact women's futures were still commonly thought of as only becoming wives and mothers. Sisters Brianna and Colleen O'Leary find themselves stuck in this very position. It is expected that each will marry well.
Brianna longs to go to college when her current schooling is finished. Her father thinks it is foolish and a waste of time and money. Instead he expects her to marry. She's determined to make her dream come true but circumstances just continue to impede her progress.
Colleen on the other hand would love to marry and to marry well. The problem is that her father's choice and her choice are not the same. To avoid such a union she decides to take drastic measures. The repercussions aren't pretty but they do have a lasting effect that will ultimately shape the rest of her life.
What I liked about this book was that it went farther and deeper than a nice romance. The author allowed us to get to know the characters and to understand what made them think and feel the way they did. The story is what I would consider somewhat of a complete story for the featured characters. Even though this book is part of a series I enjoyed feeling like the main characters had all the presented situations wrapped up. It was also nice to see the thread of continuity that is going to be woven into the next novel.
I look forward to reading not only the next book in this series A Worthy Heart but also many more books by this author. If you like historical fiction with a bit of romance then I encourage you to give this book a try.
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