Sunday, October 17, 2010

"A Bride in the Bargain."

Yesterday we stopped by the discount store in town, the one with the stacks of books and swing music constantly playing in the background. I picked up four books, and my mom and grandma got me a few for Christmas, too. They had a whole table full of Christian historical fiction, and many of them are pretty recently released books. Every book was $4.99 or less. A ton of Beverly Lewis and other authors that I see in the Family Christian Store catalog but have never read.

I love history and I love fiction, so I'm a little stumped as to why I don't read more historical fiction that I do. What I've read I've loved, but it's just not something I normally pick up. Maybe it's because books like these are everywhere and it's hard to guess what will be good and what won't be. So yesterday I ended up with:

1. "She Walks In Beauty," by Siri Mitchell (which I've meaning to read for some time, because the cover and plot summary were so lovely),
2. "How Do I Love Thee?" by Nancy Moser (because Elizabeth Barrett Browning's story is interesting to me and I loved "Just Jane"),
3. "Stagestruck," by Tomie dePaola (because I'm addicted to picture books and Tomie dePaola's illustrations are adorable and it was half off= $1.50!),

and this one:

I started it yesterday around noon and finished it up this morning (very reluctantly putting it down to go to sleep last night). I loved this book!

Anna Ivey is a nineteen year old girl whose whole life has been destroyed by the Civil War. She's working as a cook in Massachusetts when she reads about a young man, Asa Mercer, from Seattle who has come east to find several hundred women to go back with him. She signs a contract with Mercer to become the cook for a Seattle man's lumber team. Joe Denton is the lumberjack, and when he signed his contract with Mercer, he paid $300 for a wife from the east. His wife had died before she could follow him out west to Seattle, so he's about to lose his 640 acres of land because the law says a man must be married to be entitled to the acreage. Joe paid for a wife, but Anna signed on as a cook. She doesn't realize until she makes the long journey that she's expected to marry Joe, and she refuses. Both of them are struggling with issues from their past, so can Joe convince Anna to marry him in the mere weeks he has before he loses his land to another man?

This was a very enjoyable book. I loved the setting and the characters. There was some major chemistry between the two main characters, more so than I expected. :) A large part of the book focuses on the relationship between Anna and Joe, but things pick up with more action later on. I thought that the plot would be predictable, and it was to a certain extent, although there were definitely a few twists thrown in that I didn't expect. I don't want to ruin anything, but at one point close to the end, I didn't think that the author could draw everything into a satisfying conclusion. But she did! All of the loose ends were knotted up nicely, and this was a sweet little book. Quite a few parts made me teary. One of my favorite parts was the author's note at the end, where she tells about certain aspects of the story that came from real life. It was fascinating to see how she took several little historical instances and tied them together into a story!

I recommend "A Bride in the Bargain." I would give it 4.5 stars out of 5. I'll be posting reviews of the other two novels as soon as I read them. I've learned my lesson, so now I will be posting reviews immediately after reading a book or watching a movie, so everything is still fresh in my mind, rather than putting it off!

Until next time,


  1. I love this kind of historical fiction! I just might have to look into reading "A Bride in the Bargain". ;) Thanks for the great review!

    -- Taylor

  2. I love historical fiction, and I've added A Bride in the Bargain to my to read list. :D


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