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Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

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Review of Sixteen Brides
Review of A Claim of Her Own
Review of Unbridled Dreams
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The Advocate

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Reviewed by Vickie McDonough

"Readers will find these spunky women inspiring and will quickly be drawn into their stories."

Sixteen desperate Civil War widows sign up with the Ladies’ Emigration Society and head west, dreaming of a new life. They were told that there is free land to be had, even for women, if they homestead for five years and prove up the land.

Ella Barton lost her husband and her farm. She’s a big woman and her first husband let her know how unlovable she was. Her only hope for a home for her mother and herself is to homestead free land. She may not know how to wrangle another husband, but she does know farming.

Ruth Dow was married to a general and the love of her life. She heads west, hoping to prove up a homestead enough to sell it after five years and earn enough money to send her son to college. She can’t imagine ever loving another man, so it’s up to her to provide for her son.

When southern born Caroline Jamison married a Yankee, her family disowned her. But now her husband is dead. Alone and desperate, she joins the Society as a last result. She is a strong woman, eager to start over in a new land.

Before their journey ends, the widows learn a terrible secret—they have been promised as brides to unknown men. Rebeling, half a dozen of the ladies join together and prematurely quit their journey in the small town of Plum Grove, Nebraska, where they learn that land is indeed available. Banding together, the women file for four connecting homesteads and begin to forge a life on the rugged frontier. What awaits them is trials, tribulations, and unexpected romance.

Sixteen Brides is the latest novel by best selling author, Stephanie Grace Whitson. Set in 1871, this book tells the story of six spirited, self-reliant women who risk all for a chance to own land and build a home. They combine their resources and build a common home, shared by all six ladies and Ruth’s son. Their story is one that is spelled out on the pages of America’s history. Readers will find these spunky women inspiring and will quickly be drawn into their stories. Ms. Whitson uses vivid imagery and finely researched details to bring this story to life, as well as deep emotions that yank on your heartstrings. I was especially drawn to Matthew’s story of being unable to forgive himself of a tragic event from his past.

If there’s one thing I would have liked to have seen more of in this book, it’s that the romance was more fully developed. But each story ends with numerous happy endings, though the road there was filled with potholes and danger.

Sixteen Brides is a captivating read, filled with deep emotion that will keep you engrossed until the final page.

Vickie McDonough is an award-winning inspirational romance author. She has written four Heartsong novels and five novellas. Her stories have placed first in several prestigious contests, such as the ACFW Noble Theme, the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest, and the Texas Gold contest. She has also written books reviews for nearly five years and enjoys mentoring new writers. Vickie is a wife of thirty-one years, mother to four sons, and a new grandma. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, gardening, watching movies, and traveling. Vickie loves hearing from her readers via e-mail.