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Christian Fiction Group Reads > November's Group Read - Christmas Mail-Order Brides: Four Mail-Order Brides Travel the Transcontinental Railroad in Search of Love

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message 1: by Diane U (last edited Nov 01, 2011 06:24AM) (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways?

Please remember to label your post with ** SPOILER** to warn those of us that have not read it yet that you may be giving something away about the book.

message 2: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
I bought this on Amazon yesterday, so hoping I get it in time to read it.

message 3: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments I'm bummed that it is not available on the kindle!

message 4: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments Yeah, I agree Diane. I wouldn't have nominated it if I knew that! Sorry ladies!

message 5: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments It's not you fault Camille! Not everyone has a kindle (but they should - LOL!)!

message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand Yeah, it looks like all the Barbour collections are paperback only. I got a cheap used copy a while back, will probably read this a bit later in the month.

message 7: by Barbara (last edited Nov 06, 2011 12:40PM) (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1460 comments Mod
I just saw in the Christian Book Distributors catalog that this one is only $2.99.

message 8: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
I ordered this on Amazon on the first and everything I get says to expect it on the 24th. i sure hope its sooner than that! It is coming from Tennessee which is pretty close to Ky. I just thought it would have come sooner and i paid $4.99 for my copy. Would have been nice to have gotten for $2.99. Oh well.

message 9: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
Well it came today lol!

message 10: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments This gives me hope that mine will arrive soon!

message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand I've just started this book! I've read the first story, it was the perfect length and very sweet. Not too long that it can distract me from my university work but just right for cuddling up with before going to bed :)

message 12: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
I read each one before bed. I really loved all the stories and had a hard time picking which one I liked best. I can't wait to read Mail-Order Christmas Brides: Her Christmas Family\Christmas Stars for Dry Creek now.

message 13: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand I read that Carrie Turansky's story, the first one in this collection, won a Carol Award! Definitely deserved it :)

message 14: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
So I know most have not read the book yet, but I was wanting to ask a question or get some thoughts on the Mail Order Bride thing. I know times were hard then, but I just can't imagine being a Mail order bride. While some found true love, it would be scary to expect to marry someone as soon as you get there. I guess some can learn to love another. But the whole thing just really scares me.

message 15: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments I agree Lorie. And I think, sadly, not all mail-order stories actually end up happy with love. But personally I would be terrified at the idea!

message 16: by Rachel (last edited Nov 16, 2011 12:51PM) (new)

Rachel Brand I love reading mail-order bride stories but I imagine not all of them are as wonderful as they turn out in books. Although considering the times they are set in, women would often have been set up with men they barely knew - family friends, men that their fathers wanted to make business/financial connections with. So I imagine a lot of women did end up in similar situations, just maybe not so far from home. We're actually quite lucky to have the freedoms we have!

On the subject of marriage, I was reading some contemporary reviews of Jane Austen's novels for a history project today and came across this quote, relating to "Persuasion":

"...we certainly should not number its moral, which seems to be, that young people should always marry according to their own inclinations and upon their own judgment."

Goodness, young women marrying men they've fallen in love with, rather than letting their parents decide who they should spend the rest of their lives with? Whatever is the world coming to!?

message 17: by Camille (last edited Nov 16, 2011 01:29PM) (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments Well, this obviously isn't your case, Rachel, as you are a happy bride-to-be, but the advantage for me would be that since I am so awful at dating that an arranged relationship would make it so I didn't have to fail at dating any longer. :p

message 18: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand Camille, that'd be a pretty good plot for a book, wouldn't it? A girl who has failed at every courting attempt so badly that her relatives send her off to get married somewhere else in the country. Hmm...

I totally sympathise with the horrors of dating, I was fortunate that I found the love of my life in the first guy I dated at college, but had some pretty horrible near-relationships in high school, I'm so glad that none of them went anywhere. The hilarity is that I'd had so many near-misses in high school that I started dating Simon after only knowing him a week and was convinced that it was a really bad decision, that it wouldn't go anywhere...and here we are, a year and a half later, getting married! God must have a sense of humour :)

I finished Vickie McDonough's story and loved it! It was a nice surprise having the heat turned up a notch in a Christian romance, I'm always impressed by how tactfully authors can do this. Kelly Long and Catherine Richmond have also managed this in their novels.

message 19: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
I really liked The Prodical Groom and yes the heat was turned up lol

message 20: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments That would be a good story! The only thing is I would have my mom and NOT my dad pick my future groom! But my goodness you are lucky to have found your one so soon! I have just had some awful relationships, but in retrospect even though I was heartbroken God was looking out for me when my ex-fiancé and I broke up! Had I married that guy I would have been MISERABLE and ended up divorced. :-| So it is very true, in my opinion, that everything happens for a reason!

message 21: by Rachel (last edited Nov 17, 2011 12:23PM) (new)

Rachel Brand As soon as you said that, Camille, I totally thought of the vacuum cleaner present and thought "Uh-uh, he's not getting to choose", LOL!

It's so good that you can look back now and see where God was taking your life and appreciate that. I think sometimes it's hard, especially as 21st century women, to sit back and let God take the reins rather than trying to control every aspect of our lives. That's why being a mail-order bride would be so hard - can you imagine praying over letters you've received from a man in another state and asking God if he's the one you're meant to marry? And then making the journey with the hope that you listened correctly? These women have such faith.

And yes, I am so lucky, I'm not going to deny it! And I can't believe how fast my life has been moving over the past few years! It's not where I expected to be at all and my priorities and future plans have all changed, but I can totally see now that God had been preparing me for this sort of future all along and I'd been trying to ignore it and let myself be swept up in what everyone else my age was wanting to do.

message 22: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand Okay, I've finally got around to getting back to this book. Read three books for English in a row and was definitely missing my romances with happy endings. Trust me, Hangover Square and Back are not books to read when you're needing cheered up. So today I finished "Hidden Hearts" by Therese Stenzel and I hope to get the last story read before going to bed.

Which is everyone's favourite story, if they've already finished the collection? Unless the last one is absolutely amazing I think my favourite is going to be "The Prodigal Groom" by Vickie McDonough.

message 23: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand Finished it last night! The last story was fun, and I liked that they wrote about the matchmaker to tie at all together, but Vickie McDonough's story is definitely my favourite, followed by Carrie Turansky's. Hope everyone's enjoying this month's book as much as I did - thanks for nominating it, Camille!

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