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?
The Highest of Hopes by Susan Anne Mason
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It is June 1919 when Emmaline Moore boards a ship in England and sets off for Canada in the hopes of finding the father that she had presumed dead until six weeks earlier. Her best friend Jonathan Rowe travels with her and it is very apparent that he considers Emmaline (Emma) to be more than just his friend. Jonathan knows that Emma often acts without thinking things through but he loves her and he wants to protect her as she begins this life-altering journey.
Susan Anne Mason has a way of creating very realistic characters and Jonathan may just be my favorite character. I admired him for his strength and his loyalty and even though he had his own problems, he considered Emma's needs above his own. Emma was a little more self-centered and I found myself being impatient with her tendency to take him for granted. The other characters are also multi-faceted and they often exhibit the many sides of human nature. This story spans about one year and we are shown bitterness, selfishness and downright meanness but we are also allowed to see genuine goodness and witness what love and forgiveness can do. Redemption is a positive outcome for many of these people and isn't that what all of us hope for?
There are many twists and turns after Emmaline Moore finds her father and we are reminded that it is easy to overlook our blessings while seeking other goals. Emmaline's longing for a father and a family overshadows just how fortunate she was to have been raised by loving and supportive grandparents. It wasn't until later that she realized how blessed she had always been and "How ironic that she'd traveled thousands of miles, searching for home, for love and acceptance, when it had been with her all along."
Emmaline had the highest of hopes that she would find a traditional family and Jonathan's hopes were centered around his love for her. Hopes for an "everlasting love, forged from a common childhood, solidified by friendship, and strengthened by the challenges that had come their way."
The Highest of Hopes is a must-read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction and Christian romance and I highly recommend it.
I received a copy of this book from the author and Bethany House but I voluntarily chose to share this review.
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