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A Feeling of Home

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A Feeling of Home 
# 3 Redemption's Light 
by Susan Mason 
Pub Date: July 5, 2022 
Bethany House 
Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. 
I purchase this author for our library regularly, but this is the first Susan Mason book I have read. 
I really enjoyed this book, and I think you will find yourself curling up in a cozy spot and savoring each page as well. While this book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend you read the other books in the series. A Haven for Her Heart and To Find Her Place,  I know I will be adding to my reading list to read the first two in the series. I highly recommend this book!
4 stars
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A Feeling of Home by Susan Anne Mason will have you curling up in your favourite "reading" spot and savouring every word. 

Isabelle Wardrop and her sister Marissa have lost everything - their parents, home, and fortune. Both girls are taken in by a former servant in a less than desirable part of the city. Their positions in society downgraded overnight. It is up to Isabelle to find a way to survive in a world utterly foreign to them.

Enter Mark Henshaw, their former doctor. He rescues Isabelle more than once during this absorbing tale. I loved how both were dealing with the unexplainable actions of their siblings. The lesson is that you cannot control the activities of others no matter how hard you try. You can also give advice until the cows come home, but if someone isn't willing to listen, you just have to wait on God and see how everything will play out. Trust not only in God but in each other was brilliantly portrayed in the relationships of these characters.

The novel's strength lies in the author's ability to bring faith in God into the picture (without being preachy). Showing kindness, mercy and grace instead of judging others is always a balm for the soul.

While this book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend you read the other books in the series. A Haven for Her Heart and To Find Her Place, just because the stories are good and address critical issues. I loved how the author brought Olivia, Ruth and Darius back from the first book. It was beautiful to connect with them again. I highly recommend this book!

I received a review copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley for my honest review.
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A Feeling of Home by Susan Anne Mason returns readers to Canada and the house owned by Ruth and Olivia, whose stories are told in the first two books in the series. With the lose of their parents and their lifestyle, Isabelle and her younger sister Marissa are thrown into a world they have never encountered before. The plot is sweet and moving while the romance is a typical romance for a historical romance or any genre for that matter. Deny the feelings. Reality check. Someone does something to make the other person upset, then the romance goes to the side. But then they reconcile and everything moves back toward the happily-ever-after moment. The strongest point of the novel is Mason’s idea of being nice to everyone no matter what situation they find themselves currently in because you do not know what happened to put them in that position. Everyone deserves another chance or 70 because it is everyone’s duty to love others. Overall, A Feeling of Home by Susan Anne Mason is a sweet story that reminds readers that home is not the physical place you reside in, but where the love and support of others develop and encircle you. Definitely a delightful story filled with a memorable lesson. 

I received a complimentary copy of A Feeling of Home by Susan Anne Mason from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.
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A FEELING OF HOME is the third novel in the Redemption’s Light series by SUSAN ANNE MASON. It is a lovely read with exceptional characters whose emotions are very real, and with a strong Christian message of grace, forgiveness and redemption on which the novel is based. We are reminded that everyone is precious in the sight of God. The subject of what finding a home entails is beautifully brought out by the author.
The story takes place in 1944 in Toronto. The Bennington Maternity Home and its owners, Ruth and Olivia, play a big part in the story. Although the book can stand alone, I suggest you read the second novel for pure enjoyment and in  order to get more background. 
Isabelle Wardrop’s demand that Dr Mark Henshaw leave his patient in labour at the Bennington Maternity Home, risking both her life and the baby’s, and go with her to attend to her dying mother, who refused to go by ambulance to hospital, shows us, not only her love for her mother, but also the result of her entitled upbringing.
However, we see what she is really made of when she loses her fortune and home and she and her seventeen year old  sister Marissa end up living near the tenements with Fiona, a devoted servant, and Fiona’s Aunt Rosie. Isabelle struggles to find employment, but ends up getting a maid’s job at a hotel. She is determined to do all she can to give Marissa a future,  but her sister is behaving strangely and will not cooperate by working hard at school. She soon sees the fickleness of her society friends and finds Mark Henshaw extremely helpful and forgiving.
Mark’s brother, Josh, is rebellious and angry, and Mark worries that his brother is going to lose his chance of studying medicine at university the way he is missing classes. His Friend Olivia from the maternity home gives him some good advice. Like Isabelle with her sister, Mark is worrying too much about his brother…..
I cannot recommend A Feeling of Home strongly enough as a most enjoyable, inspirational and thought provoking read.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
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A Feeling of Home is an exciting and interesting story to read. Isabelle is angry with Dr Mark Henshaw when he isn't able to come to her mother's bedside, and she soon dies. She blames the good doctor, even though she probably would have died even if he had been there. Mark has liked Isabelle for a while, but he feels that she blames him for her mother's death, and he has no idea how to get past that. Soon, they discover that both of their siblings have been seeing each other, and that brings up a whole list of other problems they will have to deal with.Through tragedy and trials, they become much closer, but will they be able to overcome all of the problems they face? Great clean story!
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3.5 ⭐️

Set in 1944, A Feeling of Home follows the story of Isabelle Wardrop and Mark Henshaw, along with Marissa and Josh. When Isabelle’s parents die a few months apart from each other, Isabelle and Marissa lose their home and fortune. Isabelle not only has to become the sole provider, but also the parent of her younger sister. When circumstances force Isabelle to seek the help of others, Mark Henshaw, someone Isabelle blames for the death of her mother, is the person willing to offer her a job she desperately needs. Mark, a doctor who is also the sole guardian of his younger brother, Josh, is more than glad he has a second chance to redeem his friendship with Isabelle and help her find a job. However, when certain events come to play and startling information comes to light, Mark and Isabelle are at odds—not only with their siblings but with each other. What tore Mark and Isabelle apart the first time—blaming one another for things that transpired that weren’t within their control—threatens to happen again. Only this time, will it be an ending? You’ll have to read to find out!

There were a few things I appreciated about this book.

First, the relationships between Isabelle/Marissa and Mark/Josh. I appreciated how the author didn’t have Isabelle and Mark be the perfect “parents” to their younger siblings, but struggle along the way. It’s not easy to be a parent, much less to a younger sibling after both your parents died. Isabelle struggled to reach Marissa, and Mark struggled to find the balance between pushing Josh and letting him embrace his own dreams and desires. Both Isabelle and Mark failed at times and sought the forgiveness of their siblings, and I appreciated the rawness displayed in their relationships. 

Second, the inclusion of pregnancy centers. No one makes the right decisions, and sometimes, those result in unplanned pregnancies. The women at the pregnancy center never shamed someone for messing up, but welcomed them into their establishment and showered them with grace when others heaped judgment upon them. Books that promote carrying a child to term and either raising them or giving them up for adoption are books that I support. Abortion doesn’t have to be the only option when you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and I’m grateful for books that spotlight pregnancy centers and the different options they provide. Unplanned pregnancies are a difficult topic, but the author handled it with intentionality and care. 

One specific thing that kept me from giving this book a higher rating:

The relationships between Isabelle/Mark and Marissa/Josh. I’m not sure if this was popular during the twentieth century, but the relationships threw me off a bit for a specific reason: While Josh wanted to marry Marissa, Mark pursued a relationship with Isabelle. I don’t know—I’m assuming this was acceptable during that time period since the author included this, but the idea of both girls being in relationships with both brothers threw me off, especially since both couples married in the end. (The relationships weren’t portrayed in an inappropriate way whatsoever.)

If this was socially acceptable during the time, then I wish Mark and Isabelle had waited to pursue a relationship until their siblings were in a better place and had an understanding of the direction they wanted their relationship to go in. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having feelings for someone and wanting to pursue them, but I think I would have given this book a higher rating if Mark and Isabelle had waited until closer towards the end of the book to start a relationship. 

As always, please don’t let my review keep you from reading this book. What may have been a 3.5-star read for me may be a 5-star read for someone else. This book had great themes, family relationships, and faith elements!

Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC of A Feeling of Home. A positive review was not required, only my honest opinion. All thoughts are expressly my own.
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Isabelle's mother is dying of cancer and she's in a crisis, but the doctor doesn't get there in time to save her, so Isabelle gets angry. 

Isabelle's father commits suicide because he is over-extended to the point of bankruptcy.  The man working for her father who was soon to become her fiancé leaves her reeling.  Isabelle gets angry again.  

Isabelle's sister is hiding a secret and when the truth comes out, Isabelle gets angry--but not with her sister.  She's angry with the boy her sister loves and his brother. 

Mark Henshaw is the doctor to Isabelle's mother and the brother of the boy Isabelle's sister is in love with.  He is also the target of Isabelle's anger. But, he gets angry at turns with his brother, with Isabelle's sister, and ultimately with Isabelle herself.  

Somehow Isabelle and Mark are destined to fall in love and marry, but not without a few ups and downs along the way.  It seems that they spend more time apart than in each other's company and what time they are together, they are angry with the other. 

Susan Anne Mason has brought this series to a rather unsuccessful climax. This novel is not a very satisfying read because of all the time wasted by the characters being angry. The epilogue ties all the loose ends up nicely in a bow and gives closure to the series which will placate the reader somewhat.  I just felt that this third novel in the series fell a bit flat.  

There were a few things that surprised me about the book.  It takes place during the waning years of World War II, but the draft wasn't mentioned at all in the book.  Especially when Mark's younger brother would have been draft-able.  He did eventually enlist, but not much was said about his time in the war.  However that's not a bad thing.  It wouldn't have added much to the plot if his Army service had been delineated. 

It's a three star  book for me, but that's not to say someone else won't enjoy it more. It just didn't hit the mark for me. 

Bethany House and provided the copy I read for this review.  All opinions expressed are solely my own.
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The third book from Susan Anne Mason's Redemption's Light Book series, A Feeling of Home, is my favorite of the series. Five stars.
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This was a sweet book about family and learning to trust God. A Feeling of Home is the third book in Susan Anne Mason’s Redemption’s Light series. I was excited to read this book and it was a lovely read. 
	I had a harder time connecting with Isabelle. There were times where she felt a bit childish and selfish, but as the book grew on I learned to understand her. Isabelle Wardrop’s life had changed so suddenly, she lost her parents, her home, and her fortune. She was doing all she could to survive and care for her younger sister, Marissa. Isabelle was trying her best and it was sweet to read about her trying to provide for her sister. Isabelle grew a lot as she learned to work hard and to trust God. However sometimes surprises come and Isabelle will have to learn to rest in God’s plans and protection. 
	Mark was a kind guy. He was a doctor and he just wanted to help others. Mark was also an interesting character. He was trying his best to raise his younger brother but it was not always easy. Mark had to wrestle with himself and his younger brother, Josh at times. However I loved how Mark strived to be kind and understanding. He had to learn though to give Josh to God and let go of the control he so desperately craved. He also had to learn that God was faithful no matter what. 
	Mark and Isabelle both had their faults, but they were able to balance each other out. The romance was sweet, I liked the progression of it. There were times where it felt a bit fast but I think that it fit the book. I also liked how this book didn’t just focus on romance but also on trusting God and helping to care for unwed mothers. There were many wonderful themes that this book pointed to. 
	The characters in these stories had faults and made mistakes but God was faithful. It was wonderful to read of the characters growing and trusting God. A Feeling of Home is a great book. It is best read in its series but it can be read standalone. I would recommend it to those who enjoy Christian historical romance. A Feeling of Home is a Christian historical romance.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required.
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