Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Review: Sixteen Brides

Sixteen Brides
By Stephanie Grace Whitson
Publication date: April 1, 2010

My review:

The unscrupulous Hamilton Drake convinces sixteen widows to journey west to Nebraska and stake claims to free homesteads. What they don't know is that he is running another side scheme-promising them as potential brides to the men of the town of Cayote. When the scheme is uncovered at a travel stop, several of the women who have no desire to remarry elect to stay behind in Plum Grove, Nebraska and build a life for themselves.

While the title is Sixteen Brides, the focus of the book is on five women who are each strong in their own way. Caroline is a beautiful war widow whose family disowned her when she married a Yankee, Ruth is a single mother still mourning the death of her beloved husband, Ella struggles with feelings of inferiority after years of marriage to an unfaithful man who told her she was worthless, Sally escaped a bad abusive marriage, and Hettie is running west to escape her problems. More of the book is devoted to Caroline, Ruth, and Ella and at times Hettie and especially Sally appear to be almost secondary characters. However I did feel that I got to know all five of the main women as well as the two main male characters, Matthew and Lucas. Matthew is a widower with a young daughter and he is struggling with how to be a good father to her. He has an estranged relationship with his cousin Lucas and he feels a strong sense of guilt over the death of his wife. Lucas is a charmer who at first seems very untrustworthy but my opinion of him grew throughout the book.

Sixteen Brides features strong female characters, romance, and a positive message. I loved how resourceful and intelligent the characters were in the face of hardship and loss. The romance is sweet and nearly every main character has a love story. The faith is woven through the book but never in a preachy manner. I would suggest this to fans of Lori Copeland and Tracie Peterson.

Readalikes: A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist, The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough, No Place for a Lady by Maggie Brendan,  Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot, Cathy Marie Hake's Only in Gooding novels, Tamera Alexander, Lori Copeland


  1. Sounds like a interesting book. I definitely love strong female protagonists and the setting although unusual for my reading tastes seems to fit well. Terrific review. Thanks

  2. Also reminds me of 1,000 White Women. I loved that book and think that this one sounds great, too!

  3. Tracie is so amazing. I need to check this out.

  4. oooh, sounds like there are a lot of love stories in this one!! yay!


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