It’s been a bit since I’ve posted a book review, so here you go!
So, I recently picked up a couple books by Tracie Peterson. I’ve never read any of her work before, but I was intrigued by the description on the back cover. I love historical fiction, so I thought I’d give her books a try.
Let me say, Peterson does not disappoint when it comes to quality writing. I kept this book with me to read every chance I got. It’s good clean fiction set in the Seattle Washington Territory in 1888. There’s a lot going on in this story and it’s through many different points of view, but it doesn’t make it difficult to follow. In fact, it makes the story more interesting.
Lenore Fulcher is a twenty year old proper lady who wants for nothing. She has had a high society upbringing yet she has a grounded view on life. She wants to marry for true love, not for position or money. Her mother and father want her to marry a man who can take proper care of her, but they support her desire to find real love.
However, her father has already planned a courtship and engagement with one of his business associates. Lenore is backed into a corner and has no other choice but to court this man unless she finds another suitor. Enter Kolbein Booth.
Kolbein Booth, a Chicago lawyer, is in town looking for his runaway sister. He has been her caregiver since their parents passed away and despite the fact that she is now nineteen he still sees her as a little girl unable to care for herself in the real world. He comes to Seattle because he has reason to believe that she has answered an add for mail order brides.
He is very much relieved to find out that the business he’d suspected her to be at was not for mail order brides, but was a bridal school to train eligible young women on how to be a proper lady and housewife. Still, his sister was not there.
This school was the Madison Bridal School owned by a group of senior women who were caretakers to Lenore’s best friend, Abrianna Cunningham, who was left in their care as a baby by her sickly mother. Abrianna is a fiery redhead who has no interest in learning the ways of becoming a proper lady in society and landing herself a husband. Instead, she feels that God has called her to spend her life serving the poor and needy. She feels so strongly about this that she sneaks out along the docks and alleys bringing food and other items to the homeless and poor. Her other best friend (besides Lenore), Wade Ackerman, who owns a nearby business building and repairing wagons helps her on her outings to aid the poor and also looks out for her safety like a big brother.
Throughout the story we get to see through the point of view of each of these characters on a rotating basis. Some readers don’t like a changing point of view, but I actually enjoy them. It lets you get to see what’s going on in different character’s heads.
As the story develops, Lenore has to follow her father out of town for a while (not sure based on the time frame exactly how long it is) after meeting and catching the eye of Kolbein Booth. Even though they haven’t seen each other in so long, Abrianna does her best to talk about Lenore often to Kolbein as she helps him in his quest to find his missing sister.
There are hardly any clues as to his sister’s whereabouts except her dress up for sale in a store window. So, Kolbein knew he was in the right area. I won’t give any spoilers away as to what happened to her. You’ll have to read to find out.
Abrianna also catches the eye of a local businessman, Priam Welby, who desperately wants to buy the Madison building from her aunts for his import business. We find out that his motives in courting Abrianna are not so pure and that his import business isn’t exactly based on merchandise, but trafficking young Asian women. Wade suspects something is off about Welby from the beginning and warns the women about his suspicious motives. Abrianna never holds any interest for Welby and gives him a chance to get to know him, but never courts him.
What I did notice throughout the story is a very strong development of romantic feelings between Abrianna and Wade. They’ve grown up together since they were young kids and both seem to be confused and trying to figure out what these feelings are. By the end of the book it seems Wade is very sure as to his love for Abrianna. Abrianna seems to understand her feelings for Wade as well, but might be in denial or afraid to cross that line of friendship vs. relationship.
Lenore and Kolbein fall madly in love with each other and when they finally close in on a wedding date, someone unexpectedly is cast onto their deathbed which could ruin everything…
Yep. I just did that. Left you wondering…
So, how was the book?
I loved the storylines and how seamlessly they were woven together. Each character is on their own walk with God and at different places. There is much inspiration for a believer in this story.
Now, there are two other books that I know of in this series. (Thank goodness because I thought I was going to freak out when I turned the last page and realized I was at the end.) Readers are definitely left wondering what happens to the characters and what the outcome of the story is.
Do Wade and Abrianna ever confess their feelings for each other? If so, then what happens next? Does Priam Welby continue to pursue Abrianna? Does Welby obtain the Madison building and continue human trafficking? How do things end up for Lenore and Abrianna’s friendship?
I cannot wait to read the second and third installments to this series, Brides of Seattle.
If I had to rate it, I’d give it:
Find it here on Amazon: