30 Sept 2018

The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason Review

 Canadian Crossings #1
Bethany House July 3rd 2018, 352 Pages 
Ebook, Print and Audio 

Genre: Historical Fiction 
Setting: Canada, 1920

In the aftermath of tragedy, Grace hopes to reclaim her nephew from the relatives who rejected her sister because of her class. Under an alias, she becomes her nephew's nanny to observe the formidable family up close.
Unexpectedly, she begins to fall for the boy's guardian, who is promised to another. Can Grace protect her nephew . . . and her heart?

 My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

This was a little story set just after WW1 in Canada. Its a nice clean romance providing an interesting exploration of the impact of trauma, war and loss on families. A perfectly nice, light, uplifting read that's not too taxing. The characters are good and well-drawn, even if the hero and heroine are a little on the side of Saccharine.

There's just one or two things that irked me. First of, why is it that in almost all marriage of convenience stories, or stories which look like there is going to be a marriage of convenience the prospective marriage partner (i.e the one which the hero or heroine is not in love with), is always superlatively bad or horrible? I mean is it because the marriage is not 'for love' and because the parties are not meant to be together?

I'm sorry, but to me, that just doesn't seem very realistic. Just because x does not absolutely love that person why do they have to be absolutely horrible, cruel, callous and selfish with no redeeming features at all. Oh and of course, they almost invariably turn out to be impious or not good Christians. So a character's personality is determined by their relationship to the protagonist: basically. I suppose this can apply to a lot of novels of this genre, not just this one in particular.

The other thing was really a technicality. I was seriously wondering whether a telegram addressed simply to one 'Helen Abernathy' in 'Sussex' would actually reach its destination. Didn't telegrams have to have more specifics details or destinations? I mean Abernathy is a fairly common surname, and so I'm pretty sure there would have been several people with that surname living in Sussex in 1920.

Altogether, The Best of Intentions is a perfectly good story with which to while away an afternoon or a long journey. Or just if you want a feelgood Romance story. I did like it, and its my second book by this author, so I would certainly read more by her. Its just some of the tropes of this genre which I'm perhaps getting a bit tired of.

I requested this title from the Publisher via Netgalley and purchased the audio-book of my own volition. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

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