Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

I thoroughly enjoyed Sixteen Brides.  It focuses on five of the women who after the Civil War, thought they were heading to Nebraska Territory with the opportunity to own land (an unheard of thing doing that time) and to start new lives.  They soon find out they have been mislead and unknown to them, they were coming as prepaid mail order brides.

Some of the women were widowed, some divorced or fleeing bad relationships, but all of them had pain from their past they were trying to escape, and none of these 5 were interested in marrying.

They all banded together to support each other and make a life together in the harsh land they found themselves in.  The book was hard to put down as each woman’s individuality and past life was revealed and woven into the present.  I liked the fact that even with such diverse personalities and backgrounds they became a close knitted group of friends.  Everyone one of the ladies has some special and surprising talent or skill that filled a need.

The courage and personal growth each showed as they created a new existence and left their pasts behind was inspiring to me.   It reminded me that determination and perseverance with God’s help can overcome trials or heartaches not matter how difficult.  It also gave me insight of how the Civil War affected the personal lives of women during that era and the difficulty and hard work homesteaders faced.