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Sixteen Brides

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,859 Ratings  ·  392 Reviews
Sixteen Civil War widows living in St. Louis respond to a series of meetings conducted by a land speculator who lures them west by promising "prime homesteads" in a "booming community." Unbeknownst to them, the speculator's true motive is to find an excuse to bring women to the fledging community of Plum Grove, Nebraska, in hopes they will accept marriage proposals shortly ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Bethany House Publishers
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Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nook-books
Though the synopsis has no mention of it, this book would qualify as Christian fiction, in my opinion, though it is certainly far from some of the "over-the-top" Christian fiction that I have read. There are strong references to God, prayer, and the Bible, so if Christian undertones are a deal-breaker, you have been forewarned.

While the story may be called Sixteen Brides, we are ultimately following the stories of about six of these women, which lessens the confusion a bit. Whitson admirably rot
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was a pleasant surprise! I wasn't excited to read a book about 16 brides -- I thought it would be too confusing to follow, but we only really learn about 5 (6 counting Ella's mother) of these brides and their stories!

Mr. Hamilton Drake is a cheat and a fraud, but unfortunately the women of St. Louis don't know that. So when he organizes the Ladies Emigration Society to help women acquire land in their own name in Nebraska, several women join. They are all without husbands - widows of t
Sep 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
I had high hopes for this one, and was rather intrigued especially since my best friend is from Nebraska. I was quickly divested of my enthusiasm, however. The author has too many characters all vying for attention with their own point of view. We jump rapidly from one to another, to the point I'm not even sure which one I was reading about.

One of the main girls in the story was from Tennessee and the author has given her the most horrible, movie-fake southern accent I've ever read. She's a you
Amber Schamel
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting story about a pack of women determined to leave the past behind and embrace the pioneer spirit.

Each character was endearing in their own way and each had their own struggles to overcome.

There are a couple of "fast-forward" parts, but they weren't too bad.

The only disappointment for me was the ending. It felt inconclusive to me. Slightly abrupt. I would have liked to see how the rest of the story turned out with Jeb and Ellie, and Ruth and Lucas, and Sally and Pete. Really,
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sixteen brides (who don't know they are supposed to be brides) board a train heading for Nebraska with the promise of being able to own land. They don't discover their benefactor's subterfuge until they have nearly reached their destination. What a great premise for a story! So much scope for laughter and mayhem! And angst. Lots of angst. :-)

Trying to keep track of sixteen heroines in one novel would be impossible so Whitson has narrowed it down to five. Sally, Ruth, Caroline, Ella and Hettie al
Rachel Thompson
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 ...more
Shari Larsen
You might think from the title of this book and the cover, that it is fluffy romance and a "mail order bride" type of story- but you would be wrong.

Sixteen Civil War widows who are living in St. Louis are lured to Nebraska by a land speculator who promises them free homesteads in a "booming community", but unbeknownst to them, he is really using that as an excuse to bring them them to the fledgling community of Plum Grove, Nebraska, in hopes that they will accept marriage proposals from men look
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
I am fascinated by the true stories of post Civil War America when the scarcity of men influenced lonely women to consider becoming mail-order brides. And I loved this cover. So in spite of the fact that it was in the dreaded genre of "Christian fiction," I decided to give this book a shot. Happily the writing (or maybe it was the editing) is better than most Christian fiction. At first, there are way too many brides to keep straight but when eight of them move to another city, it becomes manage ...more
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Listened to this on audio book.

One reviewer on goodreads said there were too many characters to keep straight. This is true. I had to start writing them down and giving each character some identifying comments and I still couldn't keep them straight until after the book was truly underway and even then I sometimes lost track of who was who. However, I think the fault was in the writing rather than in my faulty brain. I have read books with many more characters and kept them straight. I think ins
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An incredible heart warming story of romance and faith in God. Before each chapter there is a Bible verse that sets the stone for what you are about to read. The five women's stories are intricately woven. You really get to know each one and come to love each of the characters instead of them getting lost in little tid bits here and there. These women are brought together under unusual circumstances that shows God works in mysterious ways. Despite the differences in these women's characters they ...more
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
The book was very interesting. I really didn't start to get into it until around page 200, which is really far in. It wasn't a page turner and I wasn't really ever on the edge of my seat. I think it is more suited to teenagers and adolescents then women. I was happy with the ending, but I wouldn't have re-read it again. It took me about 5 days to read and I usually get done with a book between 2-4 days but more like 3.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
While the novel started out with too many characters to keep up, I found myself enjoying the novel very much once the characters narrowed down substantially. As you'd expect from the title, there were numerous story lines and each had a different dynamic and focus.

Overall, I enjoyed this historical fiction novel.
Miranda Lydia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maggie Boyd
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is my first book by Ms. Whitson but it definitely won't be my last. An intriguing story, interesting characters and sweet romance made this a terrific read.

Mr. Hamilton Drake comes to St. Louis MO with the offer of free homesteads for ladies. He organizes the Ladies Emigration Society to help the women acquire land in their own name in Nebraska, assuring the ladies the land is all close to town, fertile and just ready for the slightest touch to make it into a home.

Caroline Jamison had marr
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Grace Whitson


Bethany House Publishers

Historical Fiction

Reviewed by Cindy Loven

It is 1872, the Civil War has ended. But for many widows life is now harder than ever. Seeing an advertisement about free land, available in Nebraska, sixteen women meet with the founder of the Ladies Emigration Society, in St. Louis and decide to head for Nebraska. Each woman has their own reason for joining the Society, but none of them are aware that Mr. Drake is really taking them to Nebraska to be ma
Vanessa James-brooks
May 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Sixteen Brides is a Historical Read and VERY Good~! I rate this book 5 Stars out of 5 Stars
I really enjoyed the whole story from start to finish I felt I was in 1870's when the 16 girls arrived to Plum Grove, and how their life changed when they got there. I felt like a widow too. These Lady's rink everything to start over and find a new love and own land... you have to read this book to find out what they find in Plum Grove. Also what I LOVE is each chapter starts of with a bible verse.
Here is
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have to say right off the bat that I am more a paranormal reader, and I have to admit that I have mentally over digested so many of the same cliche books of the supers(supernatural world) that I thought I'd try some thing different, and oh how I loved this book, who wudda thought. lol

this book is basically about sixteen woman who get coined into going west and settling there for a homestead, but really where being married off. eight woman stay behind when they find out the truth and try a new
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was trolling around on the amazon kindle site for free stuff, because, you know, that's how I roll. Anywho, found this book, with amazing reviews and figgered 'what do I have to lose?'. Great book, get it, read it, good for ladies mostly. It reads like real feminist fantasy literature..not like Zena, but a life where women come together despite hard times and make their life work according to their own terms. And the people around them see that by their deeds and their work that they are worth ...more
Margaret Metz
May 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
I had a hard time getting into this book because of the quick introduction to so many different characters without really getting to know any of them. It was confusing to keep track of them all for a while. They grew on me though - as did the book as a whole. I would have probably given it more like 3 & 3/4 stars - but since that was closer to 4, and I did really enjoy the characters and story a lot, I went ahead and gave it the full four. :o)
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting story about widows of the civil war who move out west to Nebraska to homestead. While this book is fiction I learned that hundreds of women actually did homestead back then. Strong women indeed.
And to add to the interest I found out that my Great Great Grandmother homesteaded with her sons. No wonder I felt an interest.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I only got 50 or so pages in and stopped reading. There were too many characters being introduced and I didn't have the desire to pay that much attention. Also, I didn't realize when I began the book that it was in the Christian historical fiction genre, which is of no interest to me, so I cut my losses This one wasn't for me.
I was disappointed in this book. It had great potential but there were too many "brides" to focus on in one book. I might have been better to lay the foundation for a series of books with the main focus on one or two of the brides. Still a decent read but not a favorite for me.
What kept this book from being a five star is that because of the multiple story lines I wanted a little more at the end with each pair, plus and epilouge.
Mar 14, 2010 rated it liked it
At first i found there were so many characters to keep up with, but once i had them all straight in my head, i enjoyed the book very much.
Sherry York
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good book but I did not feel an attachment to any one character. Great story line but needs more character development.
Rita Bodiford
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Complex Story Structure

I enjoyed the way each of the people in Sixteen Brides had true depth of character. Their stories were masterfully woven together!
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
First the title is terribly misleading. Though the story may start out with sixteen brides it really about five; Ella, Sally, Caroline, Hettie, and Ruth. These women all head west for a fresh start after becoming widows and have no intention of being anyone's bride.

This is Christian fiction and other then the scriptures at the start of each chapter, the author didn't really start involving God in the dialog until chapter 10. The main theme was mainly trusting in God and learning to forgive.

It w
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I loved how each character had their own flaw. Dare I say they were normal, relatable even? It's t was refreshing in this way.
The one issue I had was I wanted more. I wanted to know how it all panned out but I also understand if it went on, the book would almost go on forever.
Overall a good read!
May 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
The wild west!

The new frontier!

Women owning their own land in the late 1800's!

Sixteen Brides is a historical romance that covers a wild adventure of sixteen women marking new territory! Little did they know they really were being brought under false pretenses, to accept marriage proposals from the men in the community.

Will they marry? Or will they find other means to survive?


Wow! Talk about having some great stories in here. Stephanie takes yo
Sep 14, 2011 rated it liked it
It's difficult for me to put a number of stars to this book because there were some things that I really disliked about it, yet I kept reading it because I was gripped by some of the storylines. First of all, I must not have paid close attention to the Amazon reviews because I didn't realize that this book is very heavy-handed with Christianity. At first I was able to ignore it, since it seemed to fit with the time period, but after a while it got quite preachy. I was also really annoyed by the ...more
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Who is ure favorite character? 8 30 May 04, 2012 12:24PM  
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A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four homeschooled children Nebraska history, she was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephan ...more
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“I think," Ella said, "that what a woman does or doesn't do should be up to the woman, and she should make up her own mind and not change it when the wind starts to blow. I think a woman should be who she is, not what others expect her to be. And if she wants to go to a dance looking for a man, she should go and not feel like she has to explain herself. And if she want to have her own farm, she should do that and not feel like she has to explain that, either. And…I think you should be quiet now.” 6 likes
“Cooper took his hat off and swiped his forehead. Finally he spoke. "Well, Frank, to my mind, what a woman does or doesn't do should be up to the woman. She should be who she is, not what others expect her to be." It's her land. As far as I'm concerned she's the boss.” 3 likes
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