Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Highest of Hopes - Review

The Highest of Hopes (Canadian Crossings, # 2)

By: Susan Anne Mason

Publication: March 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

384 pages

Genre: Adult, Christian, Historical Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--After her beloved grandfather's death, Emmaline Moore is shocked to discover that her "deceased" father is actually living in Canada. Having no other family, Emma decides she must find him, and so embarks on a journey across the ocean, accompanied by her best friend, Jonathan. Unfortunately, Randall Moore and his well-to-do family aren't thrilled by her arrival, fearing her sudden appearance will hinder his chance at becoming mayor of Toronto in 1919. Despite everything, Emma remains determined to earn their affection.

Jonathan Rowe has secretly loved Emma for years and hopes that during their trip he can win her heart. Concerned that Randall might reject her, Jonathan is ready to console Emma and bring her home. When she informs him that she has no intention of returning to England, Jonathan begins to despair. Can he convince Emma to find value within herself rather than seeking it from a virtual stranger? And will she ever come to see that Jonathan is her true home?

I read The Highest of Hopes while Husband and I were on our cruise which means I had the opportunity to keep reading. I basically finished it within a day or two. For me these days, this is rare. I just don't often have the opportunity to read a book from start to finish with very little interruption. I say all of that because I've found that the length of time it takes for me to finish a book can really factor into my enjoyment of the book. And I can 100% say that I believe if I'd been faced with my normal day to day interruptions while reading The Highest of Hopes I might have enjoyed it less than I did.

Emma was a struggle for me in some ways. I could understand her burning desire for love and acceptance from her father. She thought he was dead for so long--her entire life. And she can't really fathom that she might not be a welcome presence in his life. What bothered me about her was her inability to heed sound advice. It was like she appreciated Jonathan for his sound mind and good advice, yet she never actually listened to him. She was stubborn, rash, and prone to following her emotions without giving anything considerable thought. Yet, I also felt sorry for her at times too.

In some ways, I wondered why Jonathan was in love with Emma. It's obvious that their proximity growing up influenced them both considerably. But Emma's rashness was so opposite to his balanced and methodical nature. Opposites attract though, I guess. I liked him a lot as a person and a character--perhaps because he was more like myself than Emma was.

I found myself feeling the same things that Jonathan felt concerning Emma's priorities. It's hard for me to root for a relationship when one of the characters hasn't made the other their number one priority. But I ended up really liking how Susan Anne Mason handled this. Actually, I give her kudos for even addressing it in the first place.

Favorite quote:

-There's no place for ego in marriage.

Ultimately, The Highest of Hopes wasn't a perfect read for me. I didn't love Emma's character, but this is kind of a clash of personalities rather than a writing flaw. I do think my opportunity to read straight through helped me to enjoy this book more than I might have under other circumstances. The Highest of Hopes gets 3 Stars. Have you read The Highest of Hopes? What did you think? Let me know!

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