Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason

Product DetailsA WORTHY HEART is the second novel in the COURAGE TO DREAM series by Susan Anne Mason.  Book one IRISH MEADOWS, set on the New York horse farm of the same name, left me eager for the next book.  Unfortunately, I had to wait for its publication, but A WORTHY HEART does not disappoint, even months after the first title.  Maggie Montgomery and her brother Gabe have traveled to New York City to see brother Rylan (who is one of the lead characters in the first book) for the summer.  What Maggie has not told anyone is that she hopes to find a job teaching organ and piano here so she can stay permanently. Gabe is sure that he will return to his life as a fireman in Ireland, but first he wants to glean whatever expertise he can from the fire precinct near the orphanage that Rylan and his wife oversee. Meanwhile, he keeps close watch on the Irish "troubles" brewing back home.  Soon however, both Maggie and Gabe find unexpected interests - love interests that is.  Gabe meets a wealthy young woman set on pursuing a nursing career rather than marry someone chosen by her banker father, while Maggie becomes involved with Rylan's brother-in-law Adam.  Soon Maggie learns that Adam is recently released from prison, but still estranged from his family.  Illness that forces the orphanage to be quarantined and a rejected suitor who follows Maggie to America bring the two couples closer together despite family opposition.   Author Susan Anne Mason masterfully interweaves the stories of these four young people against a backdrop of turn of the century New York City.  Events near the end of the book add unexpected layers of suspense and danger.  While I found I could leisurely read the first 60 percent of the book, putting it down without being drawn back to it, when I got to the last few chapters I had to push ahead and finish because not knowing what happened to one particular character was NOT okay with me!!  For a bit, I feared that the book would end without complete resolution, but Mason did not choose to end the book with a cliffhanger, and for that I am most appreciative.  Book three in this richly written series will be in bookstores and online in mid-September.  I can't wait.

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