Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review: A Reluctant Bride (The Bride Ships #1) by Jody Hedlund

Living in London's poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she's offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

 Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship's surgeon, he's in charge of the passengers' welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

 With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

Paperback Edition, 329 pages
Published June 4th, 2019
by Bethany House Publishers

I was drawn to The Reluctant Bride because of the reference to Canadian history. I knew of bride ships heading to Australia but unaware the west coast of Canada was also a destination. I knew that sea voyages across the Atlantic were wroth with danger but my mind has a hard time wrapping itself around a voyage of this magnitude, not just the time span but the perils of the sea and food supply makes me glad to be born when I was. It was portrayed vividly here.

While I was hoping for more history on Canadian soil the majority of this story takes place on the sea. Just like the titanic this ship is divided by class and gender. The author notes were great and I loved that much of this story is based on fact - like the Columbia Mission Society, certain characters and quite a number of events came from the history books.  The scenes in England vividly showed the reasoning why these girls made the journey.

Jody Hedlund is not a new author for me, she takes those seldom heard of bits in history and weaves some intriguing stories, her research is impeccable which shines through.

This is the first book in series with The Runaway Bride slated for a March 2020 release.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. in exchange for an honest review.

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