I received Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Whitson on Thursday and couldn't put it down the whole weekend. The story revolves around civil war widows who want to make a new life by claiming homesteads in Nebraska. Sixteen women are going west together with train tickets purchased for them by the "Ladies Emigration Society". They find out later that this is not on the up and up.
Before you start to feel overwhelmed at the thought of keeping track of 16 women, the focus is on five of the ladies with glimpes at the others. And if millions of people can keep track of the first season of Lost, you can keep track of these ladies. The story is well worth it.
The five main ladies have to overcome things that are still around today. Ella feels like she is not a real woman because she is tall and "beefy" and not pretty to look at. Sally is overcoming an abusive relationship. Ruth is still grieving the loss of her true love after 3 years. Caroline has been branded a traitor by her family for her choice of husband. And Hettie . . . well you'll just have to wait to the end of the book to find out.
This is a very engaging tale that weaves God in subtly largely through Ella's mother, Zita. I do wish that there was a bit more about the spiritual transformation of the people, but I still give this book a big thumbs up.