Rachel Thompson's Reviews > Sixteen Brides

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson
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Dec 05, 11

bookshelves: christian, romance, historical
Read in December, 2011

The title of this book is terribly misleading. Sixteen women embark on a journey to claim land in the west. Most of them are widows, though a few are on the run from abusive husbands. Unfortunately, the real reason they're being taken west is to become brides for men who already own land, because there's a shortage of women inhabiting the harsh land. The whole truth comes out before they reach their destination, so the women choose to split ways. Half stay in Plum Grove to attempt new lives free of men. The other half continue westward, deciding to become brides after all.

This story is really only about six women, rather than sixteen. At the beginning, I felt overwhelmed with the number of characters. It was very difficult to keep things straight, though the main characters were likable and after a while I could keep track of everyone. However, I was expecting a story of mail-order brides, which this isn't. I also think it would have been easier to keep track of characters, as well as being able to relate to them, if the author had chosen a couple to follow rather than six to eight. So while this was a fine story, I didn't get overly attached to any of the characters because the author didn't really spend too much time on any one person. (view spoiler)

At times, this book came off as a bit preachy, as one of the characters lost his wife and turned his back on God. This is my biggest complaint about Christian books. Instead of leaving the poor guy alone, to work through his grief by himself, everyone he comes into contact with decides they need to preach to him about the importance of seeking God's forgiveness. Not everyone needs to be a believer...except in Christian fiction apparently.
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