Quinten Aspinall is determined to fulfill a promise he made to his deceased father to keep his family together. To do so, he must travel to Canada to find his younger siblings, who were sent there as indentured workers while Quinn was away at war. He is also solicited by his employer to look for the man's niece who ran off with a Canadian soldier. If Quinn can bring Julia back, he will receive his own tenant farm, enabling him to provide a home for his ailing mother and siblings.
Julia Holloway's decision to come to Toronto has been met with disaster. When her uncle's employee rescues her from a bad situation, she fears she can never repay Quinn's kindness. So when he asks her to help find his sister, she agrees. Soon after, however, Julia receives some devastating news that changes everything.
Torn between reuniting his family and protecting Julia, will Quinn have to sacrifice his chance at happiness to finally keep his promise?
Good story line, moves a little slow
In The Brightest of Dreams, Quinten Aspinall returns to England from war to find that his ailing mother, being unable to care for her three youngest children, has sent them to an orphanage. And the orphanage has shipped the children to Canada for “the chance for a better life” as indentured laborers. Quinn promises his mother he will find his siblings and bring them back, but when he asks his employer, the Earl of Brentwood, for the time off to travel to Canada, the Earl has another mission for him. The Earl’s niece, Julia Holloway, ran away to Canada with a soldier in order to care for him after the war, and he wants Quinn to find Julia and try to convince her to return to England, as well. As an added bonus, Quinn will be rewarded with one of the tenant farms for him and his family if he can bring Julia back. In Canada, Julia is living in poverty as the soldier she was caring for has died. When Quinn finds her, comes to her aid, and offers her protection, she is grateful, but when she learns of the deal made with her uncle, she wonders if Quinn actually cares about her or if he is using her in order to earn the farm. As Quinn struggles to get all the pieces of his life together — finding his siblings, trying to win Julia, striving to get back to England with his brothers and sister in tow in order to keep his promise to his mother, and trying to hold up his end of the deal with the Earl of Brentwood in order to earn the farm and provide a home for his family — he wonders if it’s even possible for him to have all he dreams of.
The Brightest of Dreams is a clean, faith-based story. The story weaves in historical events as it tells about the British Home Children which is a pretty horrible piece of history that I had never heard of before. Although I liked the premise of this story, I personally had a hard time connecting with the characters. I felt that the story dragged and seemed a bit unfocused sometimes. And in some places, I thought the dialogue seemed awkward and didn’t seem to fit the time period. Of course everyone has their own reaction to a story, and as this book has many five star ratings, obviously many others did connect with this story in a way that I just didn’t. But I certainly do appreciate the focus on faith in the story, and I’m glad to have learned a bit of history as well.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This is an absolutely incredible historical romance!
We had been introduced to Quinn in the first book of this series. I loved finding out what had brought him to Canada. This is a stand-alone story. Yet at the same time Mrs. C and Reverend Burke are strong supportive characters in each book and their friendship carries over through all of them.
Julia Holloway is a very deep character. She has a lot of hurt that has shaped her and directs many of her decisions throughout the book. Her story points out how deeply someone can be wounded by something said out of anger.
I had never heard of the practice of sending children from England to Canada until I started hearing about the book in the author’s newsletters. The details that are given about the British Home Children and how they were treated were definitely eye opening. It reminded me a lot of the Orphan Trains that were used in America to send orphans west.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions 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.*