Monday, June 17, 2019
Reviewing: A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund
A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund is a wonderful story about bringing brides from England to British Columbia in 1862. The women who boarded the Tynemouth did so not knowing what their fate would be upon their arrival. They left all behind and there would be no turning back once the ship sailed.
Our heroine, Mercy Wilkins, knew she was just one more burden to her family if she stayed at home and wasn't going to settle for life in the workhouse or on the streets. But marriage was definitely not in he plans. She was a gifted nurse, with no formal training except love for others and the desire to care for the sick. It was her talent for nursing that led the wealthy Dr. Joseph Colville to seek her assistance among the sick aboard ship. Working side by side worked out well for some time since they both had no intention of marrying. The best intentions, however, don't work out at times.
I like this book because at the heart of this story is a young woman who had very little that she left behind. She saw what her parent's lives were like with little or nothing coming in to support a large family. Poverty caused her mother to do things that Mercy never wanted to emulate in her own life. It took courage for her to swallow her pride and board ship. She, like the real life women who left England to help settle the western part of our world blazed the trail for life as we know it today. This book is Mercy's story but there were others on board that ship and not all were poor, at least not financially. For whatever reason that led the women to seek that new life, they were all starting over from scratch, with no class or society to dictate.
Once again, Jody Hedlund has written an amazing historical novel that I recommend with 5 stars. Her research, as usual, is impeccable and the story is one that is very compelling. A Reluctant Bride is Book one in The Bride Ships series and already, I am eagerly waiting for the release of book two, The Runaway Bride in March 2020!