Sixteen Brides. Stephanie Grace Whitson. 2010. April 2010. Bethany House. 352 pages.
As the carriage pulled away from Union Station, Caroline Jamison almost panicked and called out to the driver, "Wait! Don't go! I've changed my mind! Take me home!" Her heart racing, Caroline forced herself to turn away. St. Louis isn't home. And home doesn't want you. Daddy told you that in his last letter. Still, there were times when she entertained a desperate few minutes of hope.Mr. Hamilton Drake, organizer of the Ladies Emigration Society, has convinced sixteen women to travel with him to Nebraska. He talks big. Promises much. Urges women to "TAKE CONTROL of their own DESTINY by acquiring LAND IN THEIR OWN NAME" (13). Each woman, of course, has their own reason for wanting a new start, a second chance. Many are widows. Many lost their husbands in the Civil War.
But when the truth comes out, that Drake has advertised these women as potential brides seeking husbands, that Mr. Drake is being paid by these men for the opportunity of meeting and dancing with these women. Well, the truth is too much for some to handle. Caroline and a handful of other women get off the train early. Decide to settle in Plum Grove instead. Decide to work together. Filing four claims, but living together communally where their homesteads meet. Piling together their resources, relying on everyone to give it their all. These women show great determination and spirit. Caroline. Sally. Ruth and her son, Jackson. Hettie. Ella. Zita. These are just a few of the characters we come to know and love within Sixteen Brides.
I loved this one. I just love, love, loved it! I loved these women. Especially Ella, Ruth, and Caroline. I loved the men who became the love interests: Jeb Cooper, Matthew Ransom, Lucas Gray. I loved this community. I loved spending time with these characters. They were so human, so flawed. And the story was oh-so-satisfying. Definitely recommended for those that love historical fiction and/or historical romance.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews