Susan Anne Mason. The Best of Intentions. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2018.
I’m regularly impressed by authors’ abilities to leap between historical time periods, settings, and groups of characters, especially when they begin new series. This week’s author begins her new series in a different country, while setting the scene for a series that has the potential to reach new heights in her career.
In The Best of Intentions, Ms. Mason begins her Canadian Crossings series. Grace Abernathy travels across the Atlantic from England to reach Toronto, in hopes of helping her sister and nephew. However, the Spanish flu has reached her family first, leaving Grace’s nephew an orphan and stranding Grace in Toronto with few options. In her correspondence, Grace was left to believe that the Easton family would never treat her nephew well and she takes drastic measures to become young Christian’s new nanny. While living in the Easton household, Grace discovers that they are not nearly as evil as her sister made them out to be, especially after seeing the devastating grief the family experiences from the loss of Christian’s father in the war. Christian’s guardian, Andrew Easton, makes a particularly good impression on Grace, even as he finds himself engaged to a socialite with no love for his new ward. Andrew and Grace must choose between protecting Christian or following their families’ expectations for their future.
Ms. Mason writes a compelling and heartwarming story that far exceeds the quality of her previous novels. Her focus on this series’ Canadian setting and characters mark a new high in her career, with these novels sure to be a fan favorite!
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Best of Intentions! This novel has a distinctly different style and pacing than Ms. Mason’s previous works, making it far more accessible to a broad audience. Grace and Andrew’s story seems quite unique, especially with its Toronto-based setting. However, it fits comfortably within the Christian historical fiction genre, serving as a natural extension of Ms. Mason’s other works. I found myself greatly appreciating the entire cast of characters in this new series, even as I have noticed that Ms. Mason rarely depicts father figures in a positive light within her stories. The minor characters fully support the main storyline, while some of the individuals will likely make future appearances elsewhere in the series. After reading The Best of Intentions, I am very eager to see how Ms. Mason develops the future stories within her Canadian Crossings series!
Fans of Ms. Mason’s previous works will definitely want to read The Best of Intentions! Those who also enjoy Christian historical fiction, especially those set in Canada or during the World War I period, will also find this novel to be well worth reading.
Ms. Mason will continue her Canadian Crossings series with the release of The Highest of Hopes in March 2019!
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