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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
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  • Wonderful historical fiction!

    There are so many reasons that I love this book. The history fan in me loved learning, for the first time, about the bride ships that transported young women to become the brides of strangers. These journeys from England to Vancouver Island and British Columbia in the 1860s were often filled with dangerous storms, overwhelming hunger, devastating illness, and they always held the uncertainty of what was waiting at the end of the trip. The romantic part of me swooned at the overwhelming attraction between Mercy Wilkins and Joseph Colville. I was touched by Mercy's sweet nature and her nurturing abilities and no one deserved to be named Mercy more than her. Joseph Colville answered to both Dr. Colville and Lord Colville and I admired his dedication to helping everyone regardless of their social status. I also appreciated that he wasn't a lady's man and actually valued and respected women. And as he came to know Mercy, he realized "From the first time he'd met her until now, he'd known she was special, the kind of woman a man meets but once in a lifetime." But most of all, I loved this story of a young, poverty-stricken young woman who felt that she would never escape the slums of London. As I read of the living conditions during this time, I was appalled but I also couldn't help thinking that these same situations still exist and there are young women today who never have hopes of a better way of life. As a very young girl Mercy received kindness and support from a doctor who chose to treat the people in her London slum and it was through him that she first learned about a Higher Power. "Whenever Dr. Bates talked about God, she didn't know how to respond. He spoke as if God truly cared about her. Yet, if God cared, she hadn't felt it, hadn't felt His nearness, hadn't felt His directing her. If anything, she'd always felt as though her life hadn't mattered." As Mercy endures this long journey from England she begins to experience romantic feelings for Dr. Joseph Colville. She starts to understand that she is worthy of respect and love and she realizes that she herself has also been judgemental about people. She finally understands that she "was as guilty of making assumptions about the wealthy as they were of forming their views about the poor. She'd do well to stop rushing to judge and instead see beyond the surface to the real person." A Reluctant Bride allows us to witness Mercy and Joseph's ability to work through their painful pasts and to make plans for their futures. It also shows their Christian growth and reaffirms the ultimate fact that we are all equal in God's eyes. Yes, I am a fan of both this book and of author Jody Hedlund and I highly recommend A Reluctant Bride. I look forward the next book of The Bride Ships series! I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and I was not required to write a positive review.

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  • 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.

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  • Absolutely, beautiful

    This is the second book I've read from Jody. She's an impeccable writer, she's able to transport you into the very scene she describes. I'm impressed by this book, she didn't drag the storyline, she stuck to the plot and gave her characters depth. This is a beautiful book. I'll be adding more onto my collection.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • 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.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

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  • Quite a Romantic Historical!

    "Where is a ship when you need one?" Desperate to leave the slums of London behind, hoping to pave the way for her beloved sister to escape the cruel clutches of the work house, Mercy Wilkins boards the Tynemouth, not realizing that the sturdy sailing vessel is travelling half-way around the world to British Columbia, bearing; of all things . . brides! Getting married is the last thing on Mercy's mind; her impression of men leads her to believe that they serve only one purpose, breeding children that no one can afford to feed. Shortly after leaving England, while desperately attempting to care for an ill companion, Mercy comes face to face with a man she scarcely thought important enough to remember, the young doctor from London's Shoreditch Dispensary. They had shared a very sacred moment; death. Joseph Colville, Dr. Joseph Colville, Lord Colville . .. had never settled for tradition; his restless spirit pushing him to travel the world, his medical skills being indispensable on board many a ship. Resisting an invitation by his kind mentor, Dr. Bates, to to remain in London and partner in his efforts to treat the city's poor, Joseph accepts a surgeon's position aboard the Tynemouth. It's there that he crosses paths, for the second time, with the quite lovely, but also quite indigent passenger, Mercy Wilkins. As poverty and nobility collide, Mercy and Joseph must summon the courage to heed a wise ship captain's advice; "do not let the barriers of class interfere with anything. Not work. Not life. And especially not love." If it were only that easy. I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

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