Sunday, June 1, 2014
The Pelican Bride, Gulf Coast Chronicles Series #1 By: Beth White
About the book: It is 1704 when Genevieve Gaillain and her sister board a French ship headed for the Louisiana colony as mail-order brides. Both have promised to marry one of the rough-and-tumble Canadian men in this New World in order to escape religious persecution in the Old World. Genevieve knows life won't be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of beheading. But when she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer whose courageous stand for fair treatment of native peoples has made him decidedly unpopular in the young colony, Genevieve realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. And a secret she harbors could mean the undoing of the colony itself.
My thoughts: This was an interesting period of history for a novel. The Gulf Coast Chronicles promised history and it promised that of a region I am unfamiliar with historically or currently. I am a bit of a history buff yet did not know much about the area's history. I knew that a group of French Canadians emigrated to the Gulf Coast to escape persecution in Canada. It is also presumptive to assume that English and Spanish were contenders for the territory. And of course, there were the Native Americans – Indians – that were already in the area. It was a rough area just as the author depicted and the young ladies aboard the Pelican (boat they traveled on to arrive as “Pelican Brides”) did not expect it to be so rough.
The ladies soon found out that they as women were much wanted and desired by the rough, dirty, lonely men in this frontier. But even though they signed on to marry, they could have their choice of husbands. It was not quite this simple, though, as there was political unrest, dishonesty, and manipulation of the Indian tribes to suit the political and dishonest goals of the manipulators.
The characters are well developed and interesting. Genevieve Gaillain, a French Protestant and fugitive, is the lead female character who traveled with her sister as Pelican Brides. The main male lead, Tristan Lanier, is a strong interesting man. The supporting cast of men and women are woven into the story with ease creating a community of people that tend to make the reader think this is indeed a historical happening. While a novel, I found it appealing to my love of history. I especially liked the detail of the Indians and their interaction with the French and Canadian settlers. The Indian women teaching the French women how to make bread from corn which they grind themselves is interesting.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Revell in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.