Monday, May 24, 2010

Sixteen Brides

Sixteen BridesI had to pick Mia up from school today. She has a rash on her hands and feet, and the school nurse was concerned that it is Fifth's Disease. Neither Doogie or Molly had it, so this is my first experience with the illness. She spiked a fever shortly after we got home, and that was the last sign we needed: rash plus runny nose and cough and throw in a fever equals Fifths. I guess she's not even contagious anymore, now that the rash has shown up, but the school won't let her come back until the fever is gone.

In the meantime, she's snuggled up in bed with a cool washrag on her head and watching Jackie Chan in  The Spy Next Door. We'll take it easy today and see how she's doing tomorrow morning. Not a great way to start the summer. If you have any experience with this, leave me a comment or shoot me an email. I could use all the advice you have to offer!

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson is a frothy and faithful Western romance. Sixteen women in Missouri in 1871 jump at the chance to claim some land in their own name on the Nebraska frontier. Each one is looking for a fresh start, but that is put into jeopardy when they discover that the man who organized the trip was really setting them up as mail order brides. Several of the women rebel and stay in the small town of Plum Grove, Nebraska to claim their own homestead. Sally, the fiery redhead divorced from her abusive husband; Ella, whose deceased husband used her bulky build as a weapon to destroy her self-esteem; Ella's elderly but fiesty mother Zita; Caroline, the Southern belle who was disowned by her family after marrying a Yankee who was then killed in the Civil War; Ruth, the widow of a Yankee general who wants to build a future for her teenage son Jackson; and Hettie, the mystery woman who doesn't want anyone to know that she has doctoring skills. The title is a bit misleading. While the story begins with sixteen women, the story quickly winnows them down to seven main characters, but even that amount can be a challenge to a less talented author, but Whitson juggles them all with ease. Plum Grove is a town I would love to visit again; I hope that Whitson isn't finished with these characters.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book for review.