Series: The Emigrants #1
Publication Date: 29th April 2012
Book Source: courtesy of author
Synopsis: The Highlands of Scotland, 1819: On the eve of his departure for the New World, Allan MacDougall asks his beloved Harriet to wait for his return, when he will be established and able to marry her. When his father discovers his intent he insists it is dishonourable, and so Allan must free Harriet from her promise even as he vows to remain faithful himself. Through years of hardship, heartache, tragedy, and betrayal, Allan and Harriet cling to the love that first brought them together--yet it is the treacherous doubts of their own hearts that could prove to be their undoing, and drive them farther apart than ever.
Far Horizons is a sweeping saga of that will take you from the Highlands of Scotland to the untamed Canadian wilderness and the bustling streets of Boston. Based on actual events, it celebrates the strength of a promise and the enduring power of love. Far Horizons is Book One of The Emigrants Trilogy.
This is my first time reading Kate Hewitt and I’m thankful to Sheree for passing this novel along to me.
Far Horizons centres around two people, Allan MacDougall and Harriet Campbell. Allan and Harriett have been friends since childhood and each hold deeper feelings for each other that they both hope will lead to marriage. Allan’s family is emigrating to the New World and the day prior to his departure and against Harriet’s father’s wishes (Harriet’s father wants Allan to make his own independent way in the world before he will agree to a betrothal), Allan asks for her to wait for him to make something of himself and then return for her to become his wife. She assures him she will wait. After Allan has a confrontation with his father who is angry that Allan has gone against Harriet’s father’s wishes in asking Kate for her commitment, he then returns his letters to her with a note releasing her from her promise to wait but hoping the future will see them reunited.
Life is hard in the New World for Allan and his family and Allan’s frustrations at not being able to follow his dreams and bring Harriet to him cause some family turmoil. Allan writes regularly to Harriet, but unbeknown to him she does not receive his letters. Harriet only writes the one letter to Allan in the two years they are apart and this leads to confusion between the two of them as to whether their respective feelings remain true.
Harriet remains in Mull caring for her ill father and trying to keep the family farm afloat. Allan’s younger brother and sister remain with Harriett’s family to continue their studies and once the family is settled in Canada, they will be sent for. Sir James Riddell, local Baronet covets the Campbell farmland in Mull. Due to her father’s ill health and the mounting debts, Harriet’s younger brother makes an error when agreeing to sell twenty acres of their farmland and has in fact contracted with James Riddell to sell the entire farm. One way to remain living on the farm would be for Harriet to agree to marry Andrew Riddell, whom Harriet meets whilst teaching young Caroline Riddell the pianoforte. Seeing no other option Harriet agrees and writes Allan to tell him.
Far Horizons is heartbreakingly emotional and I found myself quite anxious due to all the obstacles standing in the way of Allan and Harriet and the uncertainty of whether they would finally reunite and live their dreams. I found towards the end I just couldn’t stop reading so I was grateful it was a wet and rainy day, which waylaid some of the guilt I felt spending most of the day reading. This novel swept me up and kept me riveted until the very end.
Far Horizons is a little more PG than what I’m used to reading and I had thought I might be disappointed with the story, but the author weaves such a wonderful tale of romance and hardship that I didn’t feel it lacking in the least. It has also made me realize that by passing by a lot of PG romance that I believe to be for a younger reader, that I could very well be missing out on some wonderful stories.
I was really touched to read in the author’s notes at the end of Far Horizons, that some of the characters in this novel are the author’s very own ancestors and that some of the story line follows the travels and travails of her ancestors. It made Far Horizons that little bit more special.
I’ll certainly be looking for more from Kate Hewitt.
Review by Karen Barr
Purchase Far Horizons @ Amazon now for just .99 cents
Book 2 Another Country is out now
Want to know more about Kate Hewitt and her work? ~ visit her website.