This is the first book in the new “The Daughters of the Mayflower” series.
It’s difficult to lose a mother. It’s also difficult to leave one’s home, but that’s what is required of Mary Elizabeth Chapman . “The Mayflower Bride” by Kimberley Woodhouse gets underway as Mary Elizabeth and her best friend, Dorothy, listen in on a conversation that changes their lives. They, along with their families, and others, prepare to sail to the New World.
History: Too many times we’re so anxious to start the actual story that we overlook information from the author. After the Dedication to this book, Woodhouse, writes a “Dear Reader” letter in which she explains the true language versus the language of the book. She also gives us a “Glossary of Terms” regarding the ship, a list of fictional characters and a “Historical Speedwell/Mayflower Passengers” list. I found these extremely helpful. This was my first Kimberley Woodhouse novel and historical fiction like this one is rewarding to read.
Characters: The differences between the “Separatists” and the “Strangers” were well written into the scenes. The Separatists lived by strict guidelines that were often ridiculed and some “Strangers” even tormented them. The Separatists, those we now call Pilgrims, were not a weak people. They were a people of strong faith and throughout the book we learn about their convictions and way of living.
Mary Elizabeth, Separatist and protagonist, loved God and she strove to follow His ways. She had a flaw that I wanted to pull right off the page and make walk the plank, but this irritating characteristic made her believable and strengthened her faith as she depended upon the Lord. Mary’s best friend, Dorothy, almost stole the show, but only briefly. Mary Elizabeth’s and Dorothy’s friendship was a beautiful and an integeral part of the story.
William Lytton, a Stranger and a carpenter by trade joins the journey. He observes many things and finds himself having to make serious choices. He and all the other characters drew me into sharing their struggles and victories while sailing the sea with them.
Plot: As a title, “The Mayflower Bride” is deceptive in that it’s much more than a romance. It is a very real account of hardship and sacrifice, but also a story of hope and perseverance. The Separatists first board the Speedwell, but it was the Mayflower that carried them to the New World. Many things happen in this story that might cause you to ask questions like, “How would I have handled what Mary Elizabeth faced?” and “Would I have survived the voyage?”
Setting: The Speedwell and the Mayflower. Ships. The “Glossary of Terms” was extremely helpful especially if you know nothing about ships. Woodhouse did an amazing job at describing life aboard in 1620.
My Thoughts: If “The Mayflower Bride”, is the standard for the other books in this series, then I know I’ll enjoy every one of them. It’s a book that I’ll keep and recommend because the content is extremely clean, free of graphic descriptions and inspiring.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Personal Rating: 4.73 Star Rating:
Title: The Mayflower Bride
Author: Kimberley Woodhouse
Publisher: Barbour Books
Published: Feb. 1. 2018
Series: “Daughters of the Mayflower”, Book 1
Reading Format: ebook, Kindle
“Daughters of the Mayflower” Series
About “The Mayflower Bride”
A New Series Begins for Lovers of History, Adventure, Romance, and Ancestry
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.
Mary Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?
Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series begins with The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.
More to come in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (coming April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (coming June 2018)