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This, from the Prairies Book Review:
A richly crafted, compelling and immersive tale.
Set in the Depression era, Thomson’s latest is a compelling and transformative story of one man’s journey to strive. Born in poverty in Scotland, Robert Funkie Thomson Sharp had no option but to start working in the local coal mines with his father and older brothers. But WWI changes everything for the young lad. Forced to join the military, Robert is soon sent away to fight the enemy. When Robert returns from the war, he knows he must relocate to America if he wants to find a better life for him and his family. But with the Great Depression setting in, Robert finds himself facing new challenges. Thomson is excellent at characterization, and her characters—all of them bound by a sense of helplessness in the face of financial strain—reveal their inner layers gradually as the story progresses; it is interesting to watch the headstrong Cameron, who knows how to get what she wants and Jack is endearing with his compliant, hard-working nature. The tough-as-nails Frank remains thoroughly fascinating despite his cold and calculated personality. The story is well paced and intriguing, and Frank’s journey from the Scottish coal mines to World War, and finally to the shores of America is wonderfully intriguing. Thomson beautifully sheds light on history while raising questions still relevant today, particularly around survival, class, nationality, and belonging. The exploration of hard-work, strength, perseverance, family, relationships, and the reflection on how any place in the world where you can be with your loved ones becomes home, is powerful.
And this, from Bookview Review:
Thomson’s sweeping tale successfully transports readers to the Depression era to recount the story of one man’s journey to find his footing in a new land. Life was tough for the Scottish Sharp family at the turn of the century, forcing Robert Funkie Thomson Sharp to join coal mines with his father and brothers. But with WWI in full swing, Robert finds himself drafted and sent to the front. Trying to leave the trauma of the destruction of the war behind, Robert immigrates to Canada and then USA. But with the world markets struggling with the financial strain of the war, life for the newly immigrant Sharps becomes too difficult. Thomson’s writing is masterly, painting vivid pictures of the Sharp family’s intimate world of financial struggles, small victories and joys, and intermittent sorrows. She skillfully evokes raw emotions of insecurity, fear, resentment, uncertainty, grief, pride, and love as themes of determination, will, hard-work, and enduring relationships reverberate throughout the narrative. The ongoing family drama takes a back seat to Robert’s gripping journey to find a footing first in Canada and then in America. This compelling tale of human resilience, strength, survival, home, family, marriage, and immigrants forging their own places in the world will leave an indelible mark on readers’ hearts.