Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason


This is a pleasing period piece romp. Love abounds for two sisters who want to please their father, but their hearts just won't behave. It isn't the best Bethany House has offered Christian readers, but it ranks fairly high because it is fairly well written and interesting. I give it 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Character development relies mostly upon the looks of a person rather than upon actual character dynamics. It is difficult to truly develop a character when there are so many to develop. There are the two sisters, the mama and papa, a brother and two little ones not to mention the love interests. The novel gets slow in places where it needs to move quickly, and runs right past some spots that could be savored by the reader if the author had spent more time developing the characters. I particularly like the way Mason develops the pouty Colleen. Well done! She may be the most interesting character in the whole novel.

Faith plays out very well among the characters. It is softly done with a gentle touch, and that is so much better than the in-your-face kind.

The story line is very good, and the author uses humor in unexpected style with adds a great deal to interest. One great thing is that there are no startling modern-day references. But there is a lot of head hopping (remember this is where the reader is dragged from one character's point of view to the next in a willy-nilly fashion without well developed transitions, which is quite startling). When readers are jerked around like that, it makes the story flow seem more like stuttering rather than a smooth run through calm waters and a fast flow over white water rapids. When well done, it isn't even noticeable.

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