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The Bridegrooms
     

The Bridegrooms

3.7 11
by Allison K. Pittman
 

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It Only Takes an Instant for Love to Strike

 
Tragedy hits the Allenhouse family on a hot summer night in Ohio when a mother of four vanished. Eight-year-old Vada virtually grew up overnight and raised her three younger sisters while her father lost himself in his medical practice in the basement of their home.
 
Now,

Overview

It Only Takes an Instant for Love to Strike

 
Tragedy hits the Allenhouse family on a hot summer night in Ohio when a mother of four vanished. Eight-year-old Vada virtually grew up overnight and raised her three younger sisters while her father lost himself in his medical practice in the basement of their home.
 
Now, Vada is a grown woman, still making her home with her father and sisters. Her days are spent serving as an errand girl for Cleveland’s fledgling amateur orchestra; her evenings with Garrison Walker, her devoted, if passionless, beau.
 
Dizzying change occurs the day the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to town to play the Cleveland Spiders and a line drive wallops the head of a spectator. The fan is whisked to the Allenhouse parlor, and questions swirl about the anonymous, unconscious man.
 
Suddenly, the subdued house is filled with visitors, from a flirtatious, would-be sports writer to the Bridegrooms’ handsome star hitter to the guilt-ridden ballplayer who should have caught the stray shot. The medical case brings Dr. Allenhouse a frustration and helplessness he hasn’t felt since his wife’s disappearance. Vada’s sisters are giddy at the bevy of possible suitors. And Vada’s life is awakened amid the super-charged atmosphere of romantic opportunity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781601421371
Publisher:
The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/13/2010
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
8.04(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.76(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
SPRING 1898

 
The violins came in late at the top of the third measure. Again.
 
They’d been late at yesterday’s rehearsal and earlier today just before lunch. One would think a generous hour-long break, complete with mint iced tea and citrus cake, would bring them back alert, bows poised over the strings, ready to touch down at the mere twitch of Bertram Johann’s wrist. But once again there had been just that breath of hesitation—the tiniest fraction of a beat—followed soon after by the cacophonous halt of every instrument, one cellist the last to realize as a singular low note echoed into the empty hall.
 
“Do you not have schools in Cleveland?” Johann’s voice bore the trace of his Austrian childhood—the one rumored to have been spent in the greatest concert halls in Europe. “Have you not learned to count? One. Two. Three. Four.” His speech was accompanied by the small sound of a baton striking his open palm. “Or perhaps here in America you think you are entitled to an extra half beat in each measure? You think you are Rockefellers of the music?”
 
Up in the balcony, Vada Allenhouse held the Bissell carpet sweeper still and listened to the tirade, smiling. She would have been on beat. Safely tucked away in the shadows, she peered out over the edge and looked down the line of mortified musicians. Their instruments hung listlessly at their sides, resting bows and stilled mallets. One face after another—some pale, some bearded, some young, some old—all men, all lined up with nowhere to look. Their eyes darted from the conductor to the floor to some invisible comfort out in the third row.
 
She scanned and scanned until she found the face she sought. Even in the dim light of the stage, Vada could see the flush that crept up from the stiff white collar of his shirt. She stared until the slightest turn of his head brought their gazes together. One pale eyebrow popped above the rim of his spectacles.
 
“You! Third Chair!” Johann’s voice brought the eyebrow back behind the spectacles and the face to full attention. “What is your name?”
 
“Walker?” The sound was weak and small before he cleared his throat and spoke again. “Garrison Walker.”
 
“Do you think you could tear yourself away from whatever is so fascinating in the balcony? Or would you rather I ask Miss Allenhouse to come down and conduct you with her feather duster?”
 
“Yes sir. I mean, no sir. That is—”
 
“Enough, Third Chair.” Johann struck his music stand with his baton. “We start again from the top of measure one, and—”
 
Vada focused her attention on the carpets and thrust the Bissell forward on the first downbeat. She moved the sweeper, keeping time with a swishing percussion as the flowers beneath her appeared and disappeared as the music swelled from below. She hummed the tune just beneath her breath and held her free hand aloft, imagining the strings of her violin beneath her fingers.
 
After an uninterrupted expanse of orchestration, the top row was swept clean, and she heard Johann’s muted, “Much better that time.” He must have given some permission to dismiss, because soon thereafter came the sound of dozens of soft conversations, the unmistakable click of instrument cases, and the scooting of chairs as the musicians became a wiggling mass of dark suits.
 
Vada tried again to catch Garrison’s eye, but he was engaged in conversation with the man beside him—a portly, older gentleman, Mr. Pennington, whose jowls quivered with each word. He was probably going on about his glory days playing with the quartet at the Hollenden Hotel. Played for presidents, he did, and Garrison would be kind enough to listen to each word, as if he were hearing it for the first time. Just as well. The prolonged conversation would give her time to freshen up. It was hot up in the balcony, and she sensed a fine sheen of perspiration on her brow, not to mention the trickle down her back.
 
Once the Bissell was safely stored in the upstairs maintenance closet,  Vada made her way down the steps, eager to have the vast powder room to herself for a quick splash of water on her face, and perhaps a repining of her hair.
 
“Miss Allenhouse?”
 
“Oh, Mr. Johann. You startled me.”
 
He was not a tall man, and he seemed always to be assuming some pose to increase his stature. He stood now at the foot of the stairs, his hands locked behind his back as he rocked on his heels. His hair had both the color and appearance of iron as it sprang, thick and straight, from all parts of his head.
 
“Did you take the program to the printer?”
 
“Not yet, Mr. Johann. I haven’t had a chance to proofread—”
 
“Are we to assume that it will walk itself around the corner?”
 
“I wanted to be sure there were no errors. I didn’t know if you’d want to make any changes.”
 
“Changes in what way, Miss Allenhouse?” He looked down at her, though he had to nearly raise himself to his toes to do so. “Is there something in our current repertoire that you find lacking?”
 
 “No…no, of course not.” She wanted desperately to bring her kerchief up to wipe the sweat from her brow, lest Herr Johann believe it was his pathetic attempt at authority that had her in such a heated state. But no such indignity could ever take place in the presence of one so highly self-esteemed, so she forced a sweet smile. “If you’ve looked it over—”
 
“It is my job, now, to verify the program? I am to be both the musical director, the conductor, and the theater secretary?”
 
The insufferable man made himself taller and taller with each word until Vada was tempted to look down to see if his expensive shoes were still attached to the floral carpet.
 
She puffed herself up a bit. “I’ll get them to the printer first thing Monday morning.”
 
“Which means you can assure me they will be ready by Friday night?” She bit the inside of her cheek. “Perhaps the printer is still open. I can take them by this evening on my way home.”
 
Herr Johann lowered his heels to the floor and gave a curt nod before walking away, his hands still clasped at his back. A peek through the thick double doors showed Garrison had made no progress extracting himself from the conversation with Mr. Pennington, so Vada allowed herself a quick foray into the powder room before making her way to the little office at the back of the theater. Here the faint rays of late afternoon sun stretched through the skylight, allowing her to find the large cream-colored envelope in the middle of her desk. Four sheets of paper in all—the first proudly announcing the debut of the East Cleveland Terrington Community Orchestra, under the leadership of Bertram Johann. The second listed the five pieces to be performed, beginning with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 and culminating in his “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
 
It was a far cry from the glorious philharmonic that had filled the city with ambitious, masterful performances for as long as Vada could remember. No, the gathering of musicians on this stage was very much a remnant—some carried over from the philharmonic, but most, like her Garrison, just ordinary men who’d once abandoned their instruments to work in small, cramped offices all over the city. Their names were listed on the final pages, followed by small blocks of advertising. After the concert, “Waltz” on into Sherm’s Soda Shoppe, present this program, and receive two chocolate sodas for the price of one! Visit the birthplace of the Viennese Waltz! Let D. S. Walters book your voyage today!
 
Vada sighed. What she wouldn’t give to take such a journey. To visit all those places she’d dreamed about as a child.
 
Someday.
 
Now, though, she squinted to make out the time on the wall clock. Four forty-five. If she hurried, leaving right now, she should have time to make it to the printer’s before they closed. She rushed out of the office, nearly colliding with Garrison in the hall.
 
“How did we sound?” Behind his spectacles, bright blue eyes searched for her approval.
 
“Better,” Vada said after just a breath’s hesitation. “Much better as the rehearsal wore on.”
 
He seemed awash in relief and held his violin case up in a gesture of victory. “I thought so too. But it’s hard to tell on stage. What did you think—”
 
“Listen.” She held up the envelope. “I need to get this around the corner before five o’clock. Can you walk with me?”
 
His face puckered the way it always did before giving her disappointing news. “Sorry, darling. I have to get some briefs prepared to file in court on Monday. And I don’t want to work on the Lord’s day.”
 
“Nor should you,” she said, unfazed by his response. “I suppose that is just the price you pay to become a successful lawyer.”
 
Garrison smiled, making him look like a little boy about to go visit his father at work. “Lawyer by day and third-chair violinist by night.” He cast his gaze above. “And junior partner by the fall, if, of course, that’s what the Lord has planned for me. His direction has to come first in any plans I make.”
 
Vada stood in front of him, leaning forward ever so slightly, as if to remind him of her presence as he made his future plans. “Don’t you ever want more? Does it ever cross your mind to just toss that partnership to the wind—strike out with nothing but the clothes on your back and your violin and listen to the music on every world stage?”
 
“You’re right, Vada.” He lowered his gaze. “Sometimes I think I’d go mad if I didn’t have this.” He held up his violin case. “Oh.” She made a vague attempt to hide her disappointment. “Well, yes, music is a great release—”
 
“And I know I couldn’t make it through a day if not for you.” He turned his head to glance up and down the empty hallway before bending to give her his familiar kiss. Top of the right cheek, his lips soft and dry against her flushed skin.
 
Just like that, she was third chair.
 
“I have to get to the printer’s,” she said as he drew away.
 
“And I have to get to the office.”
 
They walked together down the hall and out the theater’s back door, wished each other a good evening, and turned in opposite directions. She’d lost at least five minutes.
 
With renewed fervor, Vada rushed down the street, clutching the envelope to her like a schoolgirl with her precious homework. The sidewalks were crowded this Saturday afternoon, and she wove in and out of those people whose agendas were certainly less urgent than hers. The printer’s shop was still half a block away, and if she was to make it on time, she’d need to break into a most unladylike run. The piercing eyes of Herr Bertram Johann still burned at the back of her head, spurring her on and, finding an opening in the mass of people, she took her first lunging step.
 
“Excuse me! Pardon me!” she called out over her shoulder, not once considering slowing her pace to avoid the occasional brush with a stranger. While she was thus turned around, she noticed she wasn’t the only person running up the street.
 
“Oh, bother.” Should she slow her steps or attempt a final burst of speed? But in just that brief pause, he’d caught up to her.
 
“Miss Allenhouse?” There wasn’t a hint of labor to his breath while she clutched the envelope to disguise her heaving.
 
“Mr. Voyant. How…unusual to see you again.”
 
They stood in the middle of the sidewalk, impeding the pedestrian traffic, so when he touched the fabric of her sleeve in a most gallant manner, she allowed herself to be led beneath the protective striped awning of Moravek’s bakery.
 
“You’re not an easy woman to keep up with.”
 
“And you, apparently, are not an easy man to escape.”
 
He touched the brim of his cap, drawing her eyes to the fringe of jet black hair beneath it.
 
“What can I do for you today, Mr. Voyant?”
 
 “Well, for starters, you can call me Dave. And then, since we’ll be on friendlier terms…” He reached inside his jacket pocket and produced a small notebook and a stub of pencil. “You can fill me in on the big debut.”
 
Vada clutched the program even tighter.
 
His gaze lingered on the envelope. “And what would that be?”
 
For just a moment Vada wondered if he was more interested in what was within it or behind it. “I’ve told you before, Mister Voyant, Herr Johann won’t allow any press to attend the rehearsals. And as I am merely a secretary, I can hardly be a good source of information.”
 
“Oh, I have the feeling you’re more than a secretary—”
 
“Nevertheless, if you want a preview of the ‘Harmonic,’ you’ll need to conduct an interview with Herr Johann himself.”
 
“Come on, Miss Allenhouse.” He leaned closer, the deep bass of his voice underscoring the sounds of the street. “It is Miss Allenhouse, isn’t it?”
 
Vada flashed her best smile, the one she knew would bring out the dimple just above her chin.
 
“Don’t try your flattery on me, Mr. Voyant. I really can be of no help.
 
Now, if you would like to speak to Herr Johann—”
 
“I’ve tried.” He effectively blocked her exit with one side step.
 
“Maybe it’s my imagination, but I think that guy thinks I’m an idiot.”
 
She wanted to say it wasn’t his imagination at all, that Bertram Johann considered just about everybody to be an idiot, but she didn’t want to hurl an insult into his sincere green eyes. Instead she said, “I’m sorry. Mr. Johann is intent on revealing as little information as possible.”
 
“I’m begging you, Miss Allenhouse. Anything you tell me would be helpful.” He held up his little notebook again, clearly revealing the time on his wristwatch.
 
“Oh no!” Vada stamped her foot, and the envelope dropped to her side. “Now you’ve made me late for the printer’s, and we’ll never get the program on time.”
 
“So that is your precious cargo.” Dave’s eyes traveled the length of her, stopping short of being downright insulting. “What’s on the list for the evening’s entertainment? A little Bach? A little Beethoven?” As he spoke, he moved aside to hold the bakery door open, allowing a woman and her two children to pass through. He tipped his cap and wished her a good afternoon, at which time the woman turned and sent an approving smile over her shoulder.
 
Vada squared herself in response, preparing to get out of this conversation. Now. After all, Mrs. Moravek, the baker’s wife, had been serving Garrison and her their Sunday morning pastries for nearly a year. What would she think seeing Vada locked in conversation with another man? It was only a matter of time before she would come to the window and see—
 
“Maybe a touch of Mozart?”
 
“Honestly, Mr. Voyant. Why do I get the impression that your ability to rattle off a list of composers exhausts your vat of musical knowledge?” He chuckled and threw his hands up in surrender.
 
“You’ve caught me. I just got into town a couple of months ago, and the first assignment I get is the arts beat. So can you help a fellow out?”
 
“I don’t think—”
 
Before she could finish her sentence, Dave snatched the envelope from her hand.
 
“Give that back to me!”
 
“Were you headed for Franklin’s Dream Printing just around the corner?”
 
“Yes, until you—”
 
“I’ll take it in for you.”
 
“They’re closed.”
 
“They’ll open for me, Miss Allenhouse. Answer one question, and I promise you’ll have them in a week.”
 
 “We need them by Thursday.”
 
“Answer two, and you’ll have them Wednesday.”
 
She studied his face. The smile was still there, but it was void of any flirtation and artifice. How much harm could one question be? Or two? Keeping her nose in the air as high as safety would allow, she walked away from the bakery window, knowing he was following close behind. Once she was safely in front of an anonymous tailor’s, she turned, planted her feet, and folded her arms in front of her. “Two questions,
then.”
 
“Great.” He tucked the envelope under one arm and licked the tip of his pencil. “First, how does this orchestra compare with the philharmonic that disbanded in ’95?”
 
Vada’s mind flashed back to the missed beat at the top of the third measure. “It doesn’t.”
 
“How so?”
 
“Is that your second question?”
 
“My darling Miss Allenhouse. Perhaps you should consider a career in politics.”
 
“Hardly likely, seeing as I don’t even have the right to vote.”
 
Dave tilted his head back, squinted one eye, and gave a studied perusal.
 
“Funny, I didn’t take you for a suffragette.”
 
“Oh, I’m not, really. I leave that to my sister Hazel.”
 
“Sister? So there are more of you at home?” The leer was back. “Tell me, are any of your sisters as beautiful as you are?”
 
“Is that your second question?”
 
He had the good grace to look defeated. “Yes. I’m dying to know.”
 
“Well, I’m afraid there’s no way for me to answer without seeming immodest, so what a shame that you wasted it. And that, Mr. Voyant, is your cautionary tale for the day.” Invigorated by the exchange, she punctuated her statement with a victorious chuckle.
 
Without another word he flipped the cover, closed his little notebook, and returned it to his pocket as he looked at her with new, unabashed admiration. “Will you at least allow me to see you home?”
 
Vada wagged a chastising finger in his face. “That would be a third question. Not part of our agreement. But I’ll look forward to seeing you Wednesday with the programs.”
 
She walked away, replaying the entire conversation in her mind. Each time, her retorts were saucier, his banter more intense. Left to herself, she giggled in a way she hadn’t dared before. What would Garrison think if he had heard this verbal battle with Dave Voyant? For that matter, what was she thinking?
 
Little by little, her nose descended from its perch high in the air, and her head bowed to where she could only see the tips of her shoes peeking out from beneath her skirt with each step.
 
Forgive me, Lord, for my inconstancy.
 
Feeling chastised, Vada tried to make amends by replaying her last conversation with Garrison. But it was another full block before she could recall a single word.

Meet the Author

Allison Pittman is the author of Stealing Home, the Crossroads of Grace series, and her nonfiction debut, Saturdays With Stella. A former high-school English teacher, she serves as director of the theater arts group at her church. Allison makes her home in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Learn more about the author at www.allisonpittman.com.

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Bridegrooms 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Novel_Teen_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Review by Jill Williamson This book is about Vada and her sisters in the year 1898. The four girls live with their doctor father in Ohio. Vada is engaged to a sweet man named Garrison, who loves music and the violin as much as she does. But Garrison still hasn't set a date for their marriage and Vada is starting to feel like he never May. She comes home one day to find a baseball team, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, in her home. A spectator was hit with a pitch and Vada's father is seeing to the man. Vada and her sister's lived are turned upside down by all these new, strange visitors, including a flirtatious reporter looking for a big scoop on the injured man. Vada falls into much confusion with so many male suitors hanging around. I was drawn to this book by the cover. It reminded me of Little Women, and in a way, it quite similar. Both books are about four sisters living in the 1800s and their romantic opportunities. The Bridegrooms was an interesting and fun read. Vada is confused about her relationship with her boyfriend and gets herself into a lot of mischief. I couldn't help but feel bad for poor Garrison, even if he is a little slow on the proposal. Pittman's characters are unique and fun. Each sister, especially, was so different from the other, I felt like I knew this family well. This is a fun story for girls who like historical fiction with some romance in it.
Suzie2672 More than 1 year ago
Vada Allenhouse's life changed when her mother suddenly vanished from their home in Ohio. Her father consumed himself in his medical practice to help deal with the pain of losing his wife. Vada, being the oldest child knew it was up to her to raise her three younger sisters. As Vada grew to be an adult she captured the eye of Garrison Walker. Still her number one priority was to her father and sisters. Their happiness was of the upmost importance to her life. When the Brooklyn Bridegrooms played the Cleveland Spiders the town is excited about the game. When one of the spectators gets injured he is brought to her home for her father to treat. The event brings a host of unexpected guests to Vada's home. Through these new acquaintances her sisters are excited at the opportunity to meet eligible bachelors. Will Vada play a hand as a matchmaker to enable her sisters to find love so that she will be able to live her own life? Allison Pittman is one of my all time favorite authors. Her writing talent sets her aside from other historical authors. The Bridegrooms is an exceptional example of how she is able to weave a cast of characters into your heart and soul. With each offering I experience I grow more in love with her writing style.
christian_chick6 More than 1 year ago
Vada Allenhouse's childhood ended the night her mother abandoned their family, leaving Vada to raise her three younger sisters while her father buried himself in his work as a physician. Seventeen years later, Vada still takes care of her sisters while longing to pursue her dream of playing the violin. When a man is gravely injured at a Cleveland Spiders baseball game, he is brought to Doc Allenhouse for care . and suddenly the Allenhouse home is overrun with eligible men! In one crazy week, Vada and her sisters all find themselves trying to make sense of life and love. When I got The Bridegrooms, I knew it would be a romance-the cover alone leaves little doubt about that!-but I wish it had been an enjoyable romance! Each sister gets her own love story, but the novel mainly dwells on Vada's romantic travails. Vada, who has been in a committed relationship with Garrison for several years, suddenly finds herself attracted to two other men: Dave, a newspaper reporter, and Lucky, a Brooklyn Bridegrooms baseball player. This is understandable, as Garrison seems reluctant to marry Vada. But I wish the author had then taken the time to help the reader understand Vada's attraction to each other man. Lucky LaFortune has an instant connection with Vada, but why is Vada attracted to Dave? He seems to pop in and out of the story just so Vada can ruminate about how things could be different between them. But he isn't a fleshed out character, and he could quite easily have been left out of the novel. The Garrison-Vada-Lucky love triangle is certainly enough! I wish more time would have been spent with Althea, who to me was easily the most interesting character. Althea quit speaking when Mrs. Allenhouse left, and she pours her thoughts and feelings into poetry. She becomes quite attached to the injured man, and I would have loved to watch their love story unfold. Instead, I had to read about Vada. I also wish more time would have been spent on Vada's dream of playing the violin with an orchestra. At the time (the 1890's), Cleveland's orchestra was comprised only of males; I'd hoped that Vada, who worked as the conductor's assistant, would end up playing with them. Another of Vada's sisters, Hazel, has decided to move to Wyoming, where women can vote. I thought suffrage would be a major focus of the story, but it just gets a mention here and there. Ultimately, this book seems like it could have been a series with one book focusing on each sister. Then each relationship could have been fully developed, rather than squeezed in around Vada's. As it is, I didn't enjoy this book very much. Should you read it? Only if you have nothing else to read. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Renee90 More than 1 year ago
I've been excited to find some wonderful choices under the categories of Christian fiction, suspense and romance! Bridegrooms is one such book and I enjoyed reading it! The story line was interesting. The characters were realistic and moving. Christian romance and suspense kept me interested in the book till the end. All in all, a good book!
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
My Synopsis: The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman In the Spring of 1898 the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to town to play the Cleveland Spiders. Vada Allenhouse has no idea how that one baseball game will change her life. Vada had to grow up overnight when her mother mysteriously vanished over 17 years ago. Vada who lives with her father, Doc Allenhouse was given the charge of helping bring up her three younger sisters. Doc Allenhouse completely lost himself in his work when his wife disappeared and didn't seem to realize the amount of responsibility he placed on Vada's shoulders. But, now a mysterious patient lands on the Allenhouse doorstep when a line drive during a baseball game hits the spectator and knocks him unconscious. Doc Allenhouse is frustrated with the case but his daughters are giddy with all of the attention they are receiving from the patients visitors. A flashy reporter, a guilt ridden ball player any many other men suddenly appear for the Allenhouse girls to talk to even Vada is lost in the romantic opportunities. Will her passionless beau fall by the wayside? Will Vada finally find a love all her own? What will happen in that fateful week in the Allenhouse home? My Thoughts: Allison Pittman does a wonderful job describing Cleveland, Ohio in the late 1890's. She gives the reader a sense of really being there and being able to attend a ball game or go to the orchestra. Pittman's research into the customs of Cleveland during the time period as well as her attention to detail where the baseball of the time was concerned was in depth and concise. Vada was a character that was easy to relate to. Many people have had to deal the loss of a loved one under whatever circumstances and the responsibilities they leave behind. Vada has been selfless in caring for her younger sisters to the point of not looking to her own needs. Suddenly she has the opportunity to find the romance that is lacking between her and Garrison. It's almost like Vada is waking up from a dream as the reader see's her begin to blossom. I really enjoyed the angle of the baseball teams and how the figured into the story. I have been a baseball fan for years. I loved the Braves when they lost every game... LOL! So, this was a great idea for historical fiction. Most romances of that time don't involve the nations past time.
Richele More than 1 year ago
I had complete misconceptions on what this book would be about. I thought it would deal with the mother's disappearance more. I also thought it would have more intrigue and mystery. In that light, I was disappointed. However, that can be attributed to my misconception. Just know when you get this book it is more about the love stories of each of these girls to members of a baseball team than anything else. The book is well written and the characters are well developed. It's worth reading if you like romance. But even in that is just okay.
Nana_B More than 1 year ago
Vada Allenhouse and her three sisters live with Doc, their father,in Cleveland, Ohio in 1898. They are all trying to overcome the tragedy from 17 years earlier when Vada's mother mysteriously disappeared. Vada lost her youth as she took over being mother to her younger sisters. Now that the girls are grown they are each trying to find love and purpose for their lives. Their whole world changes the day that the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to play baseball against the Cleveland Spiders. A spectator at the game gets hit on the head by a fly ball. This unconscious young man is brought to Doc and suddenly the girls find themselves surrounded by eligible bachelors - besides the baseball players a young sports writer hangs around to try to get a story. Vada, who works for the Cleveland Orchstra, already has a steady boyfriend but she is tempted to leave the securty of the known for the excitement of the unknown. At the end of the week the other sisters have found love and Vada realizes that she's had love all along. I enjoyed reading this book. It was so beautifully written. I liked how each chapter was a day in this very special week for the Allenhouse family. I thought the characters were well developed and I came away feeling like I knew them personally. If you enjoy historical fiction/romance then I recommend The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman to you. This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group and there was no payment for the review.
StellaMize More than 1 year ago
This was such a wonderful read for me. Beautifully written, thoroughly entertaining! It's the story of four sisters whose lives were shattered with the abandoment of their mother and the effect it had on each one of them. Each girl reacted in her own way from pressing through the pain to silencing it away. Having lost my mother at a young age, I related to each one of them--one in particular. I believe the absence of someone has a greater impact on our lives than we care to mention causing each of us to "sleep" through life, settling for the mundane or the ordinary yet wanting more. I loved each character and that isn't always the case for me but found it pleasantly surprising. I rooted for each one, hoping they would find what they wanted and needed. The author, Allison Pittman, has stated that this was such a fun story for her to write and we can believe that with every line, every page. I have to agree with her as it was such a fun story to read! Needless to say, if the Brooklyn Bridegrooms hadn't come to town, The Allenhouse girls would still be sleeping.
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
Set in the late 1800's this lovely book is the story of the four Allenhouse sisters. Abandoned by their mother when Vada, the oldest was just eight years old, and Lisette the youngest was just a baby. Now grown, the sisters have all developed into beautiful young women. Each sister is unique in her interests, and her career choices and in their choices of romance. Vada, a music lover and accomplished violinist is a secretary for a conductor, and has a long time beau who is a lawyer on his way up. Hazel is an assistant to her father in his physician's practice and she is a women's right activist, and she is looking for love via the want ads. Althea, works at the telegraph office and she has never spoken a word since their mother abandoned them. She loves to write poetry and finds herself falling in love with an unknown patient in a coma. Lisette, is the baby and is still in high school, at only seventeen she is destined to be a heartbreaker, with boys following her around all the time. Doc, their father has done his best as a single father, with the help of faithful Molly the day cook and maid. This story centers around an accident that happens at a baseball game, where a fan is conked on the head with a fly ball and is in a coma, each sister helps to care for the patient in their home, while their father tries to figure out why he is in a coma. A wonderfully fun and quirky story of four sisters, who will find love no matter what. Allison Pittman has written a lovely story that is perfect to curl up and read on a quiet afternoon. 338 pages $12.99 US 4 stars This book was provided by Multnomah for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the winter of 1881 in Cleveland while it is snowing Mama left. Her husband the doctor and her four young daughters are stunned by her disappearance. The oldest eight years old Vada Allenhouse raises her three siblings (Hazel, Althea, and Lisette) while their father buries himself in his work. In 1898 the Brooklyn Bridegrooms baseball team arrives to play the local Cleveland Spiders. A line drive knocks out a spectator. The unconscious unidentified fan is rushed to Dr. Allenhouse for treatment. There Vada meets the Cleveland manager and third baseman Oliver "Patsy" Tebeau and other players like Lucky. Soon the baseball players court the four sisters, which Vada finds exciting as her boyfriend Garrison Walker, third chair at the East Cleveland Terrington Community Orchestra boring. Though readers will need a scorecard to keep track of all the players especially the double play combinations, Allison Pittman provides a warm uplifting historical romance that also pays home to the roots of the national pastime. Readers will feel they are in Cleveland just before the turn of the previous century (and prior to the American League forming); mindful of Meet Me In St. Louis. With a wonderful walk-off homer, baseball and Americana romance fans will appreciate following the escapades on and off the field of the Bridegrooms and the four Allenhouse females whose hearts are stolen. Harriet Klasuner