When Owen Whelan revealed his secret, he was set free from a haunting past and an uncertain future for his son, Ennis. However, in order to know the true depths of his heart, first, we must follow him all the way back to a dirt road on a chilly and bitter spring dawn in Ireland. Behind the locked doors of his memories and hidden beneath shame, hunger and eventually escape, we learn the true meaning of the proverb, “There’s hope from the ocean but none from the grave.” Owen’s journey will teach him that sometimes you have to cross that ocean not only to survive but to finally find love, life and become the man worthy of your own admiration and respect.
There are turning points in life you cannot come back from but if you’re brave enough, you can begin again.
I read Hope from the Ocean as a sequel to Fireflies. Click here to read my review of Fireflies.
For me, the book supplied much of the background information on Owen Whelan’s life in Ireland before coming to America. This is where the reader gets close and personal to the trials and tribulations that eventually form the man.
After the death of their parents, Dillon, and Patrick (Owen) wait for the only relative who will take in two orphans – Uncle Dan. Uncle Dan and Aunt Noreen absorb the boys into their already large family. The boys struggle to fit into the family. Dillon seems to be the most adaptable and in no time has found his place working with horses in the stable.
Patrick never fits in and eventually, he runs away on a ship bound for America. Much of the details of this voyage are shared in Fireflies. However, one thing is clear. When Patrick meets Rachel Whelan on the ship his life is changed forever. It is here that an unbreakable bond between mother and son is transformed.
I loved this story because it is a character study in detail of a man coming into his own after a difficult past. Owen grows from his experiences and eventually finds Sarah, the love of his life. Much like a life coming full circle, Hope from the Ocean allows the reader a peek into the life of a man with a dark secret that he must come to grips with in order to save the life of his beloved son, Ennis.
There are not as many paranormal aspects to the telling of this tale as compared with the first book, Fireflies, but I still found this to be a lovely read which transported me into another time and era. The themes of family, acceptance, class, and stature, will resonate in today’s modern world.
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 fairies
Author, P. S. Bartlett
Award winning author, P.S. Bartlett, was born on Valentine’s Day many moons ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill.
Her first novel, “Fireflies,” was published with GMTA Publishing in 2013 and the prequel to “Fireflies,” entitled “Hope From the Ocean,” was published in March of 2014. She loves history and historical fiction. She gets her history fix via movies, television and of course, books although she enjoys reading almost every genre.
Her motto is: “I’m taking a fantastic voyage. Won’t you join me?”
Author Blog: https://psbartlett.me/
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