Book Review: The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

The mayflower bride kimberley woodhouse book review

The Synopsis On The Back Of The Book

Mary 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 survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

  • Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
  • Will Be Published: Feb/2018
  • Pages: 256 Pages 
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.15 Stars
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He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.
— Psalm 72:12-14

Why I Chose This Book

When NetGalley sent out the email about this upcoming novel I was ecstatic to read it. Not too many Christian fiction books are set during the colonial times. Not alone a ship! 

First Initial Thoughts

This novel is a fictional story of the real Mayflower. The main characters in this story are fictional but there are characters in the novel that was on the Mayflower. If you need a little History reminder of what the Mayflower was, it was a ship that brought over the first "Pilgrims" in 1620. They were separatists from the Church of England. 

Mary Elizabeth is a 17-year-old girl that embarks on the Mayflower with her brother and father. Just a year prior her mother passed and her family has not been the same sense. She was not very excited leaving home and starting a new life in the New World. She was not ready to leave her mother, even though it's been a year. However, I admired her for her perseverance and faith in the Lord. She knew this is something her father dearly wanted and she wanted to make him happy. She also wanted a better life for her family, and that kept her going. 

William Lytton is a man that has had a tough life. Thrown out in the streets at 9 by his family he was homeless until a man named Peter saved him. Peter taught him the ways of carpentry and introduced him to Christianity. While about to leave for the New World he was approached by the Virginia Company to be a record keeper of the trip. He was told to not let anyone know. He is troubled by the fact, but also appreciative of the money he will have. 

Setting

Kimberley did an amazing job with her research. She brought the Mayflower to life with the characters from the actual Mayflower. She really made you feel like you were there on the ship experiencing the hardships and heartaches alongside the characters. 

I’ve faced a lot of loss, David. I’ve had people treat me poorly. But it wasn’t until I found salvation through Jesus Christ and my new faith that I was able to let go of the past.
— William Lytton

Final Thoughts

Many novels go into what it was like for the colonists to start their new life in the New World. However, not too many talks about what it took to get there. The hardships they had to face, the difficulties out at sea, and the sickness and disease that went rampant on so many ships.

When the people on the ship face a bout of sea-sickness and scurvy- my mind just thought of all the stench and all the people crowded in one area. Kimberley wrote about how Mary Elizabeth and her brother David, wore the same thing day in and day out with no ability to bathe. She also mentioned how they constantly took care of the sick including taking out the chamberpot. All I kept thinking was - 

Many of the passengers never saw daylight for most of the trip due to treacherous storms. I can't imagine being stuck in a small confined area for months on end. Especially with people being sick around you. 

Mary and William- they were so sweet on each other from the beginning. I love how they kept thinking of each other all the time but never told each other until later in the story. It was quite cute. I appreciated that they stuck together after all that they faced- a sure sign of true love. 

When they reached the New World, they were all ecstatic to be there. Ready to make a new life. However, many were still sick and exhausted. They also landed on the shores in Mid November. We all know what it's like in New England during winter. They were not prepared for such cold weather. Not to mention when they found out William was recording everything that was going on in the ship. There were definitely some hardships faced throughout this novel. 

I really enjoyed this story. I really appreciated how Kimberley went into what it was really like to be a passenger on a ship during that time. I also liked how she emphasized that people still continued their faith in the Lord even through all the difficulties. They kept praying even when circumstances didn't go there way. 

Would I Recommend?

Definitely! I think it's a great book to remind us to keep going, even when life throws us a curveball. It also reminds us that love will also endure all. 

 

There will be five more books in the Daughters of the Mayflower series coming out 2018/2019:

  • The Pirate Bride
  • The Captured Bride
  • The Patriot Bride
  • The Cumberland Bride
  • The Liberty Bride

You can pre-order The Mayflower Bride--> HERE.

I hope you enjoyed this review and had a lovely weekend! 

the caffeinated bibliophile

*Note: I received this book to review through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.