A Reluctant Bride
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?
Hedlund (With You Always) opens the Bride Ships series with a lively story about the Victorian class system; the workings of bride ships, which traveled to the English settlement of Vancouver Island; and the place of women in that society. In 1862, Mercy Wilkins lives in the London slums, and after finding a dying infant and bringing her to the hospital, she meets Lord Joseph Colville, an aristocrat filling in for the regular doctor. Then, desperate to escape her destitution, Mercy reluctantly signs up for a bride ship sailing for Vancouver, and she meets Joseph again onboard the Tynemouth, where Joseph is the ship's surgeon. Although she gets onboard by agreeing to become a bride, she actually has no intention of marrying once she arrives. Mercy becomes Joseph's assistant when seasickness strikes the passengers, and he comes to admire her caring spirit. There are many who want to keep them apart, with the rigid class system of the day and the ship's gossip forming a barrier between Mercy and Joseph. Once in Vancouver, they encounter new prejudices, but also new freedoms that allow them to get to know one another. Weaving in faith elements organically, Hedlund explores the prejudices, restrictions, and moral codes of the Victorian era, as well as what it means to know oneself and to love someone. This excellent series launch will leave fans eager for the next entry.
Absolutely Wonderful Book
Oh my...What an awesome story of courageous women so poor and desperate they are willing to board a bride ship to travel to a place they’ve never been and marry men they’ve never met. Jody’s characters seemed so real I felt like I could reach over and touch one of them.
I truly loved reading about Mercy and Joseph. They faced their own storms while working together but they learn to be stronger with God’s help.
Jody Hedlund has done research about these bride ships and this story is based on a true story. I couldn’t wait to find out what was fictional and what was fact. That’s why I really enjoy reading Jody’s books.
I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are my own.
I enjoyed this book very much
An absolute must read
Based on the true event of the Tynemouth bride ship that sailed from England to British Columbia in 1862, I was easily transported back in time to the events that took place in this book. I avoided history in school yet I was so drawn into this book and interested in the bride ships that I found myself researching it on the internet. I had never heard of a bride ship and until I read the author notes at the end I had no clue that it was a true event.
Jody Hedlund has such a remarkable way of developing the characters that you truly feel like you know them. Although we could never truly understand the pain the women of the bride ships suffered due to leaving their families (some as young as fourteen), you sympathize with them because the instances in The Reluctant Bride speak true today to everyone - feelings of wanting to belong, have adequate basic necessities such as food and clothing but most importantly be loved.
This book is a fantastic blend of history and fiction. From the beginning to the end The Reluctant Bride will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. For me it was a nonstop page turner. I eagerly look forward to more books in this series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.