Pelican Bride By Beth White

What a fantastic historical fiction novel! This is my favorite genre to begin with but this book was amazing!
Two young sisters, Genevieve and Aimee Gaillain, take a perilous journey to the Louisiana colony in 1704 as mail order brides. Their transport, the French ship the Pelican seems to be the answer to the problems they are facing in their homeland. Their father, a baker, became a martyr for their religious beliefs that went against the Catholic Church. Genevieve is also fleeing execution as a murderer for shooting a soldier to defend her family.
Scared but hopeful they embark on their journey in hopes of finding a good husband and religious freedom. They quickly find they Louisiana is not as promised. Instead they find themselves thrown into the midst of a disorganized settlement filled with filth and immorality. The men they have to choose from are dishonest and crude, even the officers. They must continue live in fear and secret concerning their religious beliefs. Genevieve has protected a portion of her father’s yeast from his bakery that she plans use to make a living as a baker in this new world. Her young sister Aimee is awed by the pomp and importance of the officers, failing to see their glaring lack of sincerity and character. Tristian Lanier, a widower who has nursed a broken heart for many years surprises everyone and asks Genevieve’s hand in marriage. Even more surprising he does so before leaving on a 2 month journey to encourage support and peace of local Indian tribes. His chances of coming back alive are slim.
In addition to the disgusting conditions of the settlement, lawlessness rules, especially in the corrupt leadership. Genevieve finds herself stretched thin trying to help the other suffering women, protect herself and Aimee, and living with the uncertainty and fear for their lives.
One thing that made this such a fantastic historical Christian novel is how the author included so very many detailed facts of politics at that time and the raw and difficult living conditions of the people. The story was fast paced and exciting. Do not read when going to bed at night! It certainly made me think about how blessed we are with our religious freedom today!
I received this book free from Revell publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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