Book Review

‘A Worthy Heart’ by Susan Anne Mason

awh samSTORY: Can an Irish Lass with a Dream for America Find True Love?

Maggie Montgomery’s long-held wish to see America is finally coming true. She’ll visit her beloved brother Rylan and his wife, Colleen, and at the same time, escape Neill Fitzgerald’s unwanted attention. In addition, Maggie has a secret! She plans to remain in America to seek her fortune and to hopefully find love. While visiting Irish Meadows, she meets an intriguing man whom she thinks is a stable hand. Only when Rylan demands she stay away from Adam O’Leary does she realize he’s Colleen’s brother, recently released from prison. Nonetheless, Maggie can’t seem to make her heart conform to her brother’s request.

Adam O’Leary has never felt worthy of his place in the family. Spending time in jail only reinforces his belief. Now that he’s free, Adam hopes to make amends and earn back his family’s trust. Falling in love with Maggie Montgomery, however, was never in his plans.

Despite everyone’s effort to keep them apart, the two develop a bond nothing can break–but has Adam truly changed, or will the sins of his past prove too much for Maggie to overcome?

REVIEW: New York – 1914

Maggie Montgomery and her brother, Gabe, have arrived via steamship from Ireland to visit their brother in America. Rylan is married to Colleen and runs an orphanage. They have an adopted daughter, Delia, age 8. Maggie is very happy to be in America especially due to her failed betrothal. It turns out that the man was not the one she wanted to marry. They are all happy to be together again and plan to stay for the entire summer.

Adam O’Leary is leaving the penitentiary after serving three years. The son of the wealthy and well-known O’Leary family and their home, Irish Meadows, Adam is not sure of the welcome he will receive. His mother is happy to see him but his father has not forgiven him for his past mistakes and refuses to allow him to live at home. His father had always preferred Gilbert Whelan to him. Gilbert is an orphan that his parents brought into the family many years ago. Adam feels that Gilbert has usurped his place in the family. Adam is intent on finding out why his father has never loved him. It has caused much pain for Adam and is the reason he dislikes Gilbert.

Adam was befriended by a minister while in prison and the man remains his friend. He is the one person who believes in Adam and offers to help him make a new start in life.

We follow the members of the Montgomery family and the O’Leary family as they intertwine into a great saga. We see the attitude of people toward Adam and the many hardships that he suffers. However, his determination is to be admired. I enjoyed his character and how the author built him up from a downtrodden and beaten man to one who earns his way and his self-respect that evolves into respect from others.

We encounter fear and sadness as typhoid fever hits and seriously sickens many people. The work of caring for the patients and the worry of whether they will survive is a burden they all bear.

This book is quite long with lots of intertwined stories. I found it to be quite good but wished there hadn’t been such constant angst in the story. It became a bit wearing at times.

This book is the follow-on to “Irish Meadows.”

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Complimentary copy provided by the publisher


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