Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Bunch of Brides on a Boat

The Pelican Bride

Beth White

It is 1704 when Genevieve Gaillain and her sister board a French ship headed for
the Louisiana colony as mail-order brides. Both have promised to marry one of the rough-and-tumble Canadian men in this New World in order to escape religious persecution in the Old World. Genevieve knows life won’t be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of beheading. But when she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer whose courageous stand for fair treatment of native peoples has made him decidedly unpopular in the young colony, Genevieve realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. And a secret she harbors could mean the undoing of the colony itself.  

Christians have been persecuted for as long as they have been following Christ. Now, in the United States we are blessed to be mostly separate from those afflictions. How often do we forget that our people are still being persecuted, still facing trials we consider to be ancient and only biblical. There was a time when Christians were not only persecuted but persecuted other Christians over doctrine and reading the Bible. One of the cool things about this book is that I am also descended from a French Huguenot and found it easy to relate to.

Genevieve is a French Huguenot, a far cry from the state religion of Catholicism. persecuted for her faith, and when put in a situation we couldn’t image she runs away to be a mail order bride. I thought from the summary that they were already given to specific men, and that those men had already paid the passage. It is not so, the women are brought over by the French Government to a Louisiana fort to help populate the area and keep the fort alive. They are allowed to choose (by accepting and denying proposals) their husbands. Which I personally think is a step up from the regular practice of answering newspaper ads.
The point of view kept it interesting, Most books are told from the heroine’s and the hero’s point of view. Somare are told from a whole cast of characters like the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, but Ms. White actually got a point of view from one of the snooty and really quite annoying characters. It was absolutely wonderful and very refreshing and kind of mind numbing because her thoughts and problems were so petty.

The novel did have a lot of historical facts, and they sometimes got really confusing so I had to skim over them. The nice part of so many unnecessary facts was that the reader got a really indepth sense of what it was like to  live in that time period in that area. Most of the characters in the book are fictional, not one of the young brides who comes to the fort was based on an actual bride. The two share several events. I was actually surprised that the rest of the characters were all fictional, they seemed to fit the area and time very well.  

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