The Brightest of Dreams by Susan Anne Mason is the third book in her Canadian Crossings series. I haven’t read the first two, but the back copy of The Brightest of Dreams captured my interest, so I did something usual: I read Book Three first. I’m glad I did!
Quinten Aspinall worked as a butler for an English earl in the early 1900s. After returning from war, he learns that his mother is deathly ill, in a workhouse hospital and his three younger siblings had been sent to Canada after his mother left them in an orphanage. Determined to bring his family back together, he gains his employer’s blessing to travel to Canada to search them out.
The choices Julia Holloway has made have left her alone in Toronto and in dire straights. She determines to find her own way out, but in a moment of weakness, she pens a letter to her cousin, who shares it with her father, who tasks his butler with the job of bringing Julia home. Quentin wants to refuse the task, but the earl insists.
Faced with so many social issues of the day, Quentin and Julia navigate many difficult waters. From child labor to unwed pregnancy to family expectations and class distinctions. The Brightest of Dreams is not necessarily an easy book to read, but it does an excellent job of showcasing the issues facing immigrants in the early 1900s.
The Brightest of Dreams can stand on it’s own though the last book in a series and though readers are given a sneak peak at the characters from the first two books. I also hadn’t read Susan Anne Mason before but after reading Quentin and Julia’s story, I intend to take a look at her other books. If you love historical fiction or just want a snapshot of what it was like to live in that time in history, I highly recommend The Brightest of Dreams.
I received this book free from NetGalley in order to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”