Friday, May 22, 2020

"Sixteen Brides" by Stephanie Grace Whitson (again)

This is such a delightful book.  I loved it the first time I read it, and I loved again this time through.

Don't be worried by the thought of sixteen main characters to follow.  Whitson does not put her readers (or herself) through that sort of Tolstoy-esque torment.  Although there are indeed sixteen women travelling to Nebraska to claim homesteads, the story focuses on only five of them.

Most of these ladies are widows.  All are unmarried.  One widow brings along her adolescent son.  None of them are seeking husbands, but are instead hoping to begin new lives by proving up on homesteads.  However, unbeknownst to them, the man who has organized their trip to Nebraska has actually promised unmarried men at their journey's end a trainload of prospective brides.

Some of the women are absolutely horrified when they learn this.  Some are not.  Some see finding a husband quickly once they reach Nebraska to be a sensible choice.  Some refuse to entertain the thought.  Some of the ladies fall in love.  Some do not.  By the end of the book, there have been a few weddings, and there are more on the horizon, but we are not treated (subjected?) to sixteen wedding ceremonies.  

So if you're worried that this book is a collection of sixteen love stories, don't worry!  It's more about the characters learning and growing as people and as Christians than it is about romance, though there definitely are a couple of romances that get fleshed out.  

On the other hand, if you're expecting sixteen love stories in this book, it's best you know right now that that's not exactly what you'll get.

Here's something that amuses me:  the first time I reviewed this book, I said that if I belonged to a book club, I would insist on reading it with my club.  Well, I now belong to a book club, and guess what we read for our May meeting?  This book!  :-D

(Mine from my Instagram account)

Particularly Good Bits:

No one was coming to rescue her.  it was time she rescued herself (p. 11).

"I think a woman should be who she is, not what others expect her to be.  And if she wants to go to a dance looking for a man, she should go and not feel like she has to explain herself.  And if she wants to have her own farm, she should do that and not feel like she has to explain that, either" (p. 72).

"...God answers our prayers with what we need, not necessarily what we ask for" (p. 162).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:

PG-13 for violence including an attempted rape that is non-graphic but does use that word.


  1. This sounds sweet! Haha, 16 main characters would be rather daunting!

    1. MC, yes, as an author it makes me feel so tired. And as a reader, too!

  2. This sounds like an interesting book! Was there a viewpoint for each of the five main characters?

    1. Samantha, it's a fun one! Yes, it switched between the five main characters's viewpoints, but it was in third person, so not super confusing.


What do you think?

Comments on old posts are always welcome!

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)