Are mail-order-brides changing their minds or is something sinister going on in Kansas?
Ten years ago, Penelope’s sister ran away as a mail-order bride, and it was the last their family ever heard from her. Now, with their parents dead and Penelope all alone, the young woman has one goal. Find her sister.
It took enough grit for Henry to write to Miss Mildred Crenshaw about finding him a wife in the first place, but when the stage arrives and no bride steps off, the whole thing feels like a confidence scheme. Investigation, however, sends chills down his spine as he realizes women are leaving the east for the west but many never arrive at their destinations.
Is it any wonder that Penelope doesn’t trust the man who abducts her from the clutches of her new friends and rides off into the sunset? Is his explanation reasonable? Can she convince him to help her find her sister?
And is she about to fall in love with a homesteader on the untamed prairies of Kansas?
My thoughts: This story was unlike any mail order bride story that I had read before, since it deals with the underbelly of sending women out to the frontier and how there was potential for their to be snapped up by someone who put them in a brothel. Chautona Havig does a wonderful job of handling some delicate subjects well, writing about something difficult without getting into details. I enjoyed getting to know the main characters and loved this unique story! I look forward to reading about more of the characters.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
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About the Author
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona
Mail Order Brides: Do We Romanticize the Past?
Although I recall reading about mail-order brides in school… somewhere… Patricia MacLachlan’s Sarah, Plain and Tall was my first introduction to the idea of advertising for or requesting the services of a matchmaker to find a wife. The book and the subsequent movie showed the difficulties of such a marriage and left us all with a satisfactory ending.
Some years later, while doing a bit of research, I discovered another side of the coin—a horrifying picture of what happened to some gullible young women and the unscrupulous people who used such matchmaking schemes as a means for human trafficking. It sickened me, as it should anyone.
All my ideas for mail order bride novels ended up as wadded up balls of mental paper and in the wastepaper basket of my mind. A few years passed, and I came up with a twist on mail order brides, one that will see the light of day if I ever have time to write it. A few more years passed, and a series of books featuring a matchmaking service for mail-order brides and the Homestead Act resurrected those ideas. I smoothed a couple out, reconsidered, and decided against writing them.
I’d have to miss the opportunity to join the series.
My mind never does follow orders well. Within minutes of that decision, I had a story. What would happen if there was some funny business going on with girls going west? How could I combine a satisfactory ending where two people came to a meeting of the minds and hearts in the midst of fighting something that ugly?
Penelope’s Pursuit was born.
Is my story idealized? Probably. I’ll be frank with you. I’m okay with that, too. See, sometimes all we need is a reminder that mankind is sinful and in need of a Savior before the story turns into how things should have been. After all, fiction mirrors reality, but it is also an escape.
I hope Penelope’s escape to the west and her pursuit of her sister encourages you to turn to the Lord for every decision, in every trouble, and with every praise possible in between.
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9
Blogging With Carol, October 9
Texas Book-aholic, October 10
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 11
Inklings and notions, October 11
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12
Lots of Helpers, October 13
For Him and My Family, October 13
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 14
deb’s Book Review, October 15
Joanne Markey, October 15
Locks, Hooks and Books, October 16
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 17
Mary Hake, October 17
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 18 (Author Interview)
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 18
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 19
Vicky Sluiter, October 19
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 20
Connie’s History Classroom, October 21
Blossoms and Blessings, October 21
Splashes of Joy, October 22
To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.