A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.
Mary Elizabeth Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary Elizabeth survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?
Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series begins with The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.
More to come in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
About the Author
You can connect with Kimberley at: www.kimberleywoodhouse.com and www.facebook.com/KimberleyWoodhouseAuthor
Read an Excerpt
Saturday, 22 July 1620 Delfthaven, Holland
Gentle waves rocked the Speedwell as the vessel left behind the only home Mary Elizabeth remembered. Salty air stung her nose, and the breeze tugged at wisps of her hair — threatening to loosen them from under her confining cornet.
Standing as close to the stern of the ship as she could without bothering the crew on the poop deck, Mary Elizabeth inhaled deeply. If only the crisp air could clear her mind like it cleared her lungs. Breathing out a prayer for courage, she clung to the bulwark. Courage had never been her strength. The past few weeks had confirmed that indeed it was all happening. And here she stood. On a ship.
Could she do this? Truly?
She'd armed herself with her prized possessions: her mother's red cape draped comfortingly around her shoulders; treasured receipts from generations prior sat safely tucked into the pockets tied around her waist; and the memory of the woman who loved her and modeled what it meant to be a godly wife and mother resided, always and forever, in her heart. Reaching her hand behind her apron, she slipped it through the slit in her skirt and found the string of pockets tied around her waist. The one with the receipts hung in the middle. She ran her fingers over the edges of the worn papers. Grandmother's savory egg-and-spinach pie receipt, a boiled pudding receipt from her mother, and her favorite — Mother's rye-and-barley bread — were among them.
If only mother were still alive. Maybe this journey wouldn't be so difficult.
Even though their time in Holland had been full of difficult stretches, God had been good to Mary Elizabeth there. She'd had her family, her dear friend Dorothy, and plenty of work to keep her busy. Besides that, it was familiar. Safe.
But no more. The land she knew had drifted out of her sight hours before. Never to be seen again.
The Saints, as they preferred to call themselves, had left England twelve years before while under persecution from the King and the Church of England. When they left for Holland, they wished only to separate themselves from England's church so they could study the scripture more and follow the state's rules and taxations less. They believed only what the Bible told them, so they considered all the man-made rules and traditions of the Church of England to be wrong.
She didn't remember England. But Holland would remain forged in her mind for the rest of her days.
Now it all seemed surreal. Listening in the rafters that night had been the beginning for her, but the group's preparation had been going on for years.
Correspondence to grant the Saints permission to start a colony in the New World had gone back and forth to England. And then John Carver and Robert Cushman were sent to London to negotiate an agreement.
Finally, permission from the King had been granted. In fact, he seemed to bless the endeavor with his words, "as long as they went peaceably."
Memories of their departure from Leyden washed over her. The rest of the congregation that stayed behind and many of their Dutch neighbors had come to see them off. There had been shedding of tears aplenty. But when Pastor Robinson dropped to his knees, tears streaming down his face, Mary Elizabeth had lost control of her emotions, as well. As he prayed for the Lord's blessing and commended the travelers on their journey, she wanted to gain strength from his words. But she'd only felt weaker and more inadequate.
A spray of salt water hit her face and brought her back to the reality of where she stood. The planning was done. The packing was over. Goodbyes had been said. And now Holland had vanished from sight. She and the others on the ship would reach England soon, and after they met up with the Mayflower and her passengers — the other brave souls who would journey to the New World with the Separatists to establish a colony — they would be on their way.
To what, she was unsure.
Squinting, she gazed toward the horizon in the west. What would this New World hold? Papa had regaled her with stories of lush, fertile land. Land unclaimed by anyone else. Land supplying an abundance of food. Land that held no persecution for their faith.
Her faith. It meant everything to her. And the thought of freedom to worship and learn and grow in God's Word thrilled her beyond imagining. It was the one thing that helped her through the past weeks when she'd had to swallow the reality that yes, she was going to the New World. Dorothy helped her to focus on the positive, and Mary Elizabeth clung to the thought of her faith.
Years ago, her father had spent almost a month of wages on a Bible so they could read it themselves. The first time she'd been allowed to hold the volume in her hands, she'd cried. She found it such a privilege to read the Bible, translated in its entirety to her own English language and printed in 1560, and understood why her people — the Saints — longed to separate themselves from England's Church. Why didn't everyone long to read the Word as she did? Why were they content to sit in church, pay homage to their country, and listen to passages read from the Book of Common Prayer and nothing else? Church was an obligation, a ceremony, a ritual to them. But followers of Christ were called to share the Gospel and be set apart. The difference in thinking didn't make sense to Mary Elizabeth. Especially since so many had been persecuted for it.
The New World held more than just release from persecution. Papa and the other men dreamed of working their own farms with land as far as the eye could see. In Holland, the hard labor they'd all put in for decades had given them nothing of their own.
To think the New World could hold the answer to all their hopes and dreams.
It sounded lovely.
So why did her heart hesitate so? She'd shed enough tears to create a river the past few weeks, and she'd finally told the Lord that enough was enough. The only way she could make it through was with His help. Her new recitation became I can do this.
Papa's excitement rubbed off on her younger brother, David, but most of the time she'd had to force a smile. No matter. It wasn't her place to go against Papa, and his mind was made up. They'd been chosen.
Her father had kept himself busy with the plans to go. So much so, she'd hardly seen him in a fortnight. His absence made their departure that much more difficult to bear.
It made her feel ... alone.
And now she stood on a ship. Going.
She felt lonelier than ever.
She shook her head. She could do this. Her mind just needed to stay off these thoughts of loneliness and instead keep occupied.
Papa was engaged in excited conversations with the other men, which would probably be the daily activity for him the entirety of their voyage. So she must find something to keep her mind occupied and off these thoughts of loneliness.
She could do this.
But the recited phrase couldn't keep the questions from filling her thoughts: Would the New World be as beautiful as Holland? Would she make friends? Would she find a God-fearing husband?
Or would the savages kill them all in their sleep?
Another tiny shiver raced up her spine. Such thoughts were not appropriate. Papa would have a fit if he knew she'd listened to the sailors' stories. He'd scolded David for repeating the derogatory name savages. But what if that's what they were? Were they sailing into their own demise?
Dorothy's voice drifted across the deck of the ship, and Mary Elizabeth waved and smiled at her friend. She must not allow her foolish doubts to dull Dorothy's enthusiasm for every aspect of this new life.
"I had a feeling I would find you here. Fresh air is always your first choice." Dorothy smiled and leaned on the bulwark as the ship listed to the right. "Your father is teaching David about Jamestown and the New World."
"David is thrilled, to be sure." Mary Elizabeth looked back to the water. She really must swallow this doubt and fear. Far better to grab hold of the thrill and joy she saw on her friend's features.
Dorothy laid a hand on Mary Elizabeth's shoulder. "I've been praying for you. I know this isn't easy, leaving your dear mother behind and all."
All Mary Elizabeth could manage was a nod as an image of the cemetery flitted through her mind.
The gravestone with her mother's name — Elizabeth Chapman — denoted the all-too-short span of the beloved woman's life. It would lay bare now. No flowers. No one to visit.
Even though Mother's memory resided in Mary Elizabeth's heart and mind, leaving behind the grave — the place she visited weekly to pour out her heart and soul — hurt more than the loss of any other physical object in Holland.
"Here." Her friend offered a brown-paper-wrapped package. "I wanted to give it to you on your birthday, but I couldn't wait."
Mary Elizabeth smiled and took her time unwrapping the gift. The brown paper could be saved and used again, and they wouldn't have access to such frivolities — or anything of the sort — for quite some time. As she turned it over in her hands, she found a deep brown leather book with a leather string tied around it. There weren't any words on the cover or spine. "What is it?"
"It's blank pages. For you to write down your thoughts. I thought it would help since you won't be able to visit your mother's grave anymore."
Tears sprang to Mary Elizabeth's eyes. Only Dorothy knew her heart and the lengthy visits to the cemetery and what she did there. She clutched the treasure to her chest. "This must have cost you a small fortune." Paper wasn't a commodity most could afford. Mary Elizabeth looked back down at the precious book. "Thank you so much." The words seemed all too inadequate.
"I know you have a quill and pots of ink with you since I helped pack them" — Dorothy laughed as she patted Mary Elizabeth's arm — "and once we have a settlement and regular shipments coming in, you might want to write even more. You've always had a talent for stringing beautiful phrases together."
Tears flowed down Mary Elizabeth's face. She didn't even want to wipe them away. What a treasure. Not just the book, but the friend.
Dorothy bounced on her toes. "I will be with you, dear Mary Elizabeth. Through every step of this new journey."
Mary Elizabeth smiled through her tears. "I know you will, and I'm very grateful, I am. The journey will just take some getting used to."
"Well, don't take too long. Adventure awaits!" Dorothy's arms stretched out, and she spun around. Her friend's eagerness for the unknown made Mary Elizabeth laugh and wipe the tears off her face.
Mary Elizabeth folded up the brown paper and tucked it into her cloak. God had truly blessed her. With a wonderful family and a delightful friend. She could do this.
Courage. Her prayer from before sprang back to her mind.
The pounding of boots behind them made Mary Elizabeth turn and wrap her cloak around her tighter. The sailors weren't the most gentlemanly of sorts.
The ship master emerged from the group and looked straight at them. The weathered man always appeared tense and stern, but today another expression hid behind his eyes. Was it fear? "Go get your men. We need all able-bodied hands on deck. Including the women and children."
Mary Elizabeth nodded and moved to do the ship master's bidding.
But Dorothy tugged on Mary Elizabeth's cloak and stopped. "What's happened, Mr. Reynolds?"
Seeing the other sailors' grim expressions, Mary Elizabeth felt a knot grow in her stomach. She faced the man in charge.
Mr. Reynolds's mouth pressed into a thin line, and he clasped his hands behind his back as he glanced out to the water and then back to Mary Elizabeth and Dorothy. The severe expression grew dim. "It's not the best etiquette to speak to women of such calamity, but since you will carry the message below and there's not a lot of time, I feel it's best to be honest." He took a deep breath. "The ship's been leaking for some time now, and we're taking on a good deal of water. It is far worse than I suspected. If we don't do something about it, we'll sink before we ever reach Southampton."
* * *
Tuesday, 1 August 1620 Southampton, England
William Lytton lifted the last crate and his satchel of tools and readied to walk up the gangway of the Mayflower one more time. His leg muscles burned from the numerous trips up the steep, narrow walkway, but it was worth it.
The New World.
For years, he'd longed for change — a fresh start. The opportunity before him now presented all his dreams in one nice package. And the Mayflower would take him there.
If he could just make it through the weeks at sea, he'd be fine. They would all have to start with nothing. They would have to build or create everything with their own hands. They would be far away from everyone and everything they'd ever known. That was fine. Making a new life took hard work and sacrifice.
He was ready.
In a matter of weeks, he'd be standing on shores across the vast ocean — literally on the other side of the world. The thought made him smile. He might be an orphan, devoid of family or anyone who cared about him, and unworthy of English society's approval, but he was done with all of that. In this new land, in a new settlement, he could be someone else entirely.
A hand on his shoulder made him start and lose his grip on the crate, but he caught it with his knee. The man standing there didn't look like a thief.
"I'm sorry to disturb you, and I don't wish to startle you, but I have a proposition." The more closely William observed, the more he noted why the man's appearance exuded wealth. A shimmer of gold on the man's right hand didn't escape his notice. Only the wealthy donned such adornments.
William nodded. "Sir. Let me set my burden down, and we can discuss whatever is on your mind."
The man glanced around and moved to sit on another crate. As he reached into the pocket of his vest, the embroidery on the man's sleeves caught William's attention. The man must be rich indeed.
The mysterious stranger cleared his throat. "Are you William Lytton?"
Who was this man? The ring and clothing reminded William of royalty, but he'd had little experience with the upper classes, much less royals. "Yes, sir. I am."
The man smiled and motioned for William to move his crate closer. "I don't wish to take a lot of time, nor do I wish to be overheard, so I'll be brief. I'm with the Virginia Company and am also one of the Merchants and Adventurers. You may know that we have heavily invested in all who will be journeying with you to the New World."
It was no secret. The Merchants and Adventurers provided the monetary backing for the trip, and the Planters were the travelers to the New World. Every Planter over the age of sixteen received one share, while the Adventurers could invest and buy as many shares as they wanted. Once all the debts were paid in seven years, the profits would be divided by those shares. A rush of thankfulness hit William's chest. He had two shares when most Planters only had one. "Yes, sir. I am aware."
The man leaned closer, his voice hushed. "We need to hire a man with integrity to keep records for us."
William felt his brows raise but attempted to keep a plain expression. "Records? What kind of records?"
The man coughed into his fist as another sailor ran up the gangway. When the young man was past, he continued. "A journal of sorts recording all the comings, goings, workings, business — all that takes place at the new settlement. The ten-point agreement we have with you all, the Planters, is to come to fruition in seven years. While seven years seems like it can go by quickly, it is a good length of time, and the New World is a great distance away. We don't have a man available who can pick up and leave his life and family here, so we thought it prudent to find someone who would be a part of the new colony to help us out. Your name was given to me as a recommendation. We wish to see this venture succeed with the utmost honesty and respect."
Respect. If he'd learned nothing else, William had learned the importance of respect in business matters. As for honesty and integrity? Well, as far as he was concerned, there was no other way to act. And it gave him a boost in his confidence to learn that someone had recommended him. He lifted his shoulders and nodded. "How may I help?"
Excerpted from "The Mayflower Bride"
Copyright © 2018 Kimberley Woodhouse.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Mayflower Bride was a fast-paced, heartrending tale of the Separatists who braved the tumultuous seas, disease, and hunger, to establish the first colony in Virginia. Distress clutched my heart at the many trials and hardships our courageous forefathers had to face on the crossing of The Mayflower to the New World. The romance was not very passionate, but it does permeate the story keeping it somewhat less depressing. I enjoyed the diverse characters (factual and fiction), their solid faith during adversity, and the courage to follow their dreams no matter what the cost.
Oh the hardships that our ancestors braved and conquered. The desire for freedom and adventure drove them forward and gave them strength and endurance. A sweet love story and a true glimpse of history.
The story is told of all the hardships of trying to come to America by ship by the first settlers. Interesting read.
An interesting premise, this book combines historical fact with fictional characters to create a story about some of our earliest settlers. Early on, we learn about two of the young women on the journey, cautious and fearful Mary Elizabeth and exuberant and adventurous Dorothy. They are best friends who are on the ship, the Speedwell, along with some of their family members. I found it interesting that the author chose to follow Mary Elizabeth, rather than Dorothy in the story. Normally, the more dynamic character is central because of the energy they bring to the story. And this, I think, is the downfall of the story. I was bored through much of the story. While Mary Elizabeth was probably the deeper of the two characters, her meekness I think hindered some of the action that the other character, could have experienced. While I did enjoy the romance building aspect of the book, it just took too long and with such an inspiring premise, I think a lot of potential of the story was missed. Thank you to NetGalley / BookishFirst and the publisher for giving me an advanced copy to read. All opinions are my own.
Did you ever wonder what it might have been like to cross the ocean in a ship? How about in the 1600's? How about on the Mayflower? We have all heard the stories of the Pilgrims, the first Thanksgiving, and certain historical figures. But what was it like for the people, the families, the mothers and children? What were the trials, what was day to day life like aboard the Mayflower? The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse gives us an idea. Based on her extensive research, we see actual historical figures interact with her fictional characters. What the experience was like to travel to the new world? I remembered much and learned so much more. Such a great story here! The Separatists are setting sail to the new world to finally reach their dream of religious freedom, the embark on this journey aboard The Speedwell in 1620. Aboard this ship is Mary Elizabeth Chapman, her father, and her brother. Aboard the Mayflower is a carpenter trying to shed the old and seek opportunity and success in the new world. After a few different delays due to a leaking ship the Separatists are made to board the Mayflower as the Speedwell is deemed unsafe. The delays have cost the travelers precious time and it is really far too late in the year to be making this journey. Will the Mayflower make it, will the waters become too stormy for safe passage? How will the crowded conditions affect the travelers. So many questions! As Mary Elizabeth board the Mayflower she meets William Lytton, who just happens to be there to lend a hand! One meeting and Mary Elizabeth can't get him out of her mind. Is this a time for even considering such a thing? Of course, he isn't part of the Separatists group either, so it's silly to think of him. On the ship for months they face so much together that a romance begins, something sweet between the hardships and tragedies, and it is unheard of for Separatists and Strangers to even consider such. We see the deep faith of the Separatist people as well throughout this book. I loved this small glimpse into what was surely an extremely difficult, almost impossible voyage and the beginning of the new world. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I loved getting a closer look at this event in our history!
It started slow but quickly picked up a very good book. Gave a lot of insight on life on the Mayflower
Kimberley Woodhouse did an amazing job of penning this intense, moving, hard-working, and tear bringing book. To set the imagination of what these people faced while crossing the great, deep, dark ocean in search of being able to live in freedom for their faith. The times of sea storms, sicknesses, and death, she's included it all. As we study American History in school this year, I felt that this book was right on time and a great read gearing us up for our year of study ahead. I really look forward to continuing this series as new books come out! I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I am voluntarily submitting my honest review after receiving a copy of this ebook via NetGalley. In this first installment of the Daughters of the Mayflower series, Kimberley Woodhouse introduces us to Mary Elizabeth Chapman, a young woman emigrating to the American colonies with her family in search of a better life. On board, she falls in love with carpenter William Lytton, and together they face the many perils in their late-season arrival in the New World. This book did not hold my interest well. The pace was too slow, and the high volume of religious content made the book too preachy for my taste. At times, this book reads more like a sermon than a novel. In addition, the writing style suggests to me that young adult readers might be a more appropriate audience for this book. While I didn't particularly enjoy this book, I will read the next book in the series because having different authors write each installment is an intriguing idea.
The first book, The Mayflower Bride, has romance, adventure, secrets and intrigue, along with characters who are charming, witty, cunning and leaving all they know to enter into an unknown world to have a better life. Kimberley Woodhouse is an amazing author! Except i just cant get into the religious aspect. I dont think i disliked this book because of the way it was written or the plot because the writing was superb, im just not the demographic this book is geared toward. I habe an extremely hard time ever getting into or liking anything that has too much religion strung along. In my opinion all religion folklore are fairytales that adults should habe outgrown centuries ago and i just cant take anything seriously that involves it.
Wonderful characters & true to history....
Very slow reading. Enjoyed some of the characters but did feel like they were flat and not well developed. The conversations between the young ladies seemed more modern and immature than I expected. Not bad but not what I was expecting. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
The Mayflower Bride What a magical, warming, loving, tender and historical tale of the riders on the Mayflower. Oh how the author brought this tale to life. It was so original and real. The author did such a fantastic job catching your attention and bringing you along for the ride with the travelers; you honestly felt like you were on it with them but felt so grateful that we have the shot for pneumonia and bad that they didn't an awful for the result because of it. If this sounds good - which I know it does - go get this and enjoy for yourself…. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreviewers.blogspot.com
Mayflower Bride is well written and is a lovely story. I'm not a history buff. It's usually dry and boring. Yet this one brought history alive and has me wanting more! So glad that I read this book. It drew me in from the very beginning and kept me running back for more. Recommend! ***** esk 04/2018 *****
The characters were so interesting The book made cry and laugh at times. I loved it and would recommend it.
The Mayflower Bride is such an eye-opening book! I had no idea that the Separatists originally left from the Netherlands. I also had forgotten that it took them quite some time to establish Plimouth Colony once they finally arrived in America. I certainly don't envy all of their hardships and the harsh conditions that they had to endure. However, Kimberley so beautifully portrays the Saints' struggles and their devout faith throughout their entire journey. Mary Elizabeth's and William's relationship developed slowly and sweetly under these trying circumstances, and understandably, this book has a lot of emphasis on faithful endurance through life's trials. I could've done without the one aspect of the story that involves William's record keeping for the Virginia Company. It added so little to the story, and its resolution wasn't very climactic or exciting. ***I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley and am under no obligation to provide a positive review. All opinions are my own.
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse This is the first in a series: Daughters of the Mayflower. It is set in Holland, England and Plimouth, near Cape Cod in America in 1620. Most of the book takes place aboard the Speedwell and the Mayflower, ships that are making their way to the New World. I love learning about history and this is just like stepping back in time. A simpler time but a harder time. The players are the passengers of The Speedwell and Mayflower. Kimberly Woodhouse has used the original manifest from historical records. She has embellished the tale with her own set of fictional passengers as well. This does not take away from the sense that you are right there with the people as they endure cramped quarters, storms, seasickness and having to bail water because of the leaky Speedwell. They had to return to England and abandon the Speedwell pushing their arrival time in the Colonies to Winter. Mary Elizabeth Chapman and her companions are members of the Separatists seeking to find religious freedom in the New World. “Her faith. It meant everything to her. And the thought of freedom to worship and learn and grow in God’s Word thrilled her beyond imagining “. William Lytton is a carpenter looking for a fresh start and adventure in a place where he can leave his past behind. His kind, Christian mentor has died but although he showed the Gospel to William, William has yet to put his trust in Christ. Faith plays a huge part in our American history. These souls were venturing to the New World for the chance to worship away from the tyranny of England. Kimberly does an outstanding job of catching the perseverance and constancy of these brave voyagers. I liked the way she had Mary Elizabeth look for something to be thankful for in each new day. This was something she had to consciously do amidst the dire circumstances she faced. There is a lesson for us all! For fans of historical fiction, I highly recommend this book. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. * I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are my own.* Paula Shreckhise
My husband's 10th great grandfather was William Bradford, so I was definitely looking forward to reading this book; and it did not disappoint. This is the heartrending and horrifying fictional story of the Separatists voyage across the Atlantic to the eastern coast of the United States in 1600-01. This story is vividly written and closely follows the historic timeline of events while using a few fictional characters mixed among the actual sojourners. Woodhouse's historical research is evident throughout the story. Due to the inability of the Speedwell to continue the journey because of damage, the Separatists and the Strangers (those whose religious beliefs did not align with the Separatists) were crammed together onto the Mayflower. There was a high price paid for those who sought a new world where they would have religious freedom. Many were ill due to rough seas for the entire journey and some died. Others died due to scurvy or pneumonia. Of the women who braved the journey, only 5 arrived alive. Woodhouse does an incredible job of describing the efforts and bravery of the women who made the trip. One even delivered a baby during the voyage. The central focus of the story is the developing relationship between Mary Catherine Chapman, a Separatist, and William Lytton, the carpenter on the ship who is a Stranger. Bringing both a poignant love story that develops slowly and sweetly as well as the budding growth of William's faith in God to the forefront, made this along with the history an excellent story. I also appreciated the information Woodhouse included at the front regarding the cast of characters to understand which were fictional and which were real people. The notes following the story offered additional historical information that was quite interesting. Definitely made my 2018 Favorites list and highly recommended.
Do you love historical fiction? Then this is a must read for you. I had not read anything by Kimberley Woodhouse before, but this book was like stepping back in time on the Mayflower! It’s a story that follows fictional characters on a historic ship. Have you ever thought about the trials endured by those early settlers? Kimberley Woodhouse paints the picture of William Lytton and Mary Elizabeth Chapman to bring that time period to life. They face the challenges of the time and grow closer together as William searches for God. How much loss can one person endure? I cannot wait to read the next story in the series. Enjoy!!!!! “I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”
The Mayflower Bride is an outstanding beginning to the Daughters of the Mayflower series. I was intrigued by the premise that this series will follow members of a family through the history of America. I was immediately drawn by the list of authors who would be writing the different books. Each book can be read as stand-alone. Kathleen Woodhouse is a new-to-me author. Her use of descriptive prose immediately drew me into the story. I was able to empathize with the Separatists as they struggled through significant hardship and sickness on their journey to the New World. Yet in spite of the insurmountable odds, the spirit of adventure was not quenched as they sought a better life in the New World. The romance between Mary Elizabeth and William is engaging but not the main story. The spiritual threads of salvation and finding strength in the Lord are skillfully woven throughout this story that visits a setting that has not been explored by many authors. I look forward to reading other books by this author in the future. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
This is an incredible historical novel! The author starts by explaining which characters are fictional. I really appreciate that information. I found these characters very well developed and easy to connect with as the story progressed. At times I found myself verbally counseling William, the male lead, in how I felt he needed to deal with situations and people. I had learned the story of the Mayflower in school. The story of these brave people came alive in this wonderful book. It is no longer just dry history facts. The people became more real to me. Their fears and heartaches were easy to take on personally while reading. I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions 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.*
Putting faces to the story that we have known about forever, or at least we thought we did, this sure was not an easy ride, and from the beginning with three tries to leave England, we commence on the long journey, When I first considered reading this book, I remembered that Priscilla Mullens and John Alden are my children’s ancestors from my husband’s side of the family. So, I tried to make this personal as to what it felt like on that life changing move. Such struggles, and with so much death, you realize how very brave these people were, they struggled before they got on the ship because of their strong Christian beliefs, and then suffered immensely on the voyage. There is a sweet romance here, along with a bit of espionage, but these people live their faith, and I found myself walking in their shoes. I loved putting faces to these historical people and walking in their shoes through the eyes of author. Once I started the pages flew, and when finished I am now waiting for the next book in this series. I received this book through the Barbour Reviewer Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
The Mayflower Bride tells the story of William Lytton and Mary Chapman and the hardships faced as they travel to America. Both William and Mary are strong, well-written characters. Mary and her family are Separatists while William is an orphan who does not have much religious background. I enjoyed The Mayflower Bride and recommend it to others who enjoy historical fiction. I received my copy of The Mayflower Bride from Barbour Books. This is my honest opinion.
The Mayflower Bride is the first book that I've read by this author and I honestly enjoyed it. This book wasn't without flaws, however. The story stalled at times with the ridiculous (though accurate) amount of sickness and deaths aboard The Mayflower. While this was realistic, I almost became desensitized to the deaths and by the time that key figures in the book became ill, I found that I couldn't bring myself to be too upset about it. Overall, I thought the characters were endearing and likable. I enjoyed Mary Elizabeth's journey to the new world. I watched her struggle to overcome her fears and become a woman of great faith. William's conversion felt rushed and forced to me. I think this was because he was studying with the brethren while I was occupied with yet another round of illness aboard the ship. The ending felt slightly rushed, especially with the time jump. I felt there could have been more depth to the story but it wasn't a bad read. At 256 pages, this book is more of a novella. The length is what (in my opinion) contributes to the lack of depth. Having said all of that, I actually enjoyed the book and I'm interested in reading more by this author. This book was provided to me by Barbour Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
The cover of this story drew me in, while the story and plot pulled me in to open the pages. The writer, I believe, did a good job in describing the boat and the situation that Mary Elizabeth's family and friend encountered, and her blossoming interest in William. The same could be said for William. The one thing I did notice is that twice we were given the story of William's background, which the one time, at the beginning when he met the fellow whom he would working on documentation of the pilgrims. Then later in the story, it's regurgitated again, albeit worded different, but the same gist of the background. While I enjoyed the story, I believe that it is perfect for a teenage audience. It is very clean and wholesome, and I could see myself reading this voraciously as a pre-teen. Historically it did we, despite a few hiccups here and there, that gives one a moment to pause. The only thing I didn't like is the quality of the book, and that is not a knock against the writer. The publisher did an awesome job with the book cover, front and back. It speaks quality and is on par with some of the big name publishers, such as Bethany House and Thomas Nelson, to name a few. However, the pages within is where the quality went down. The font is large and the words go too close to the edge of the pages. It felt like it was hovering on a large print book. As a print designer, the lack of breathability around the page almost made me put down the book. But, the author deserved a better opportunity than to throw it away on poor layout. All in all, I think it was a good book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Barbour Books. All opinions are my own.