A Reluctant Bride

by Jody Hedlund


Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love. 

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?


This was a thoroughly eye opening experience on a time and event in history I had no idea existed! The characters are incredibly well done, and I so enjoyed getting to know Mercy most of all. The plot was a fascinating one, and it’s rather amazing how much truth the author used in putting it together. I had such a hard time putting this book down. 

The view the readers get is from those in the steerage to those of wealth…and the drastic difference between the two. I felt the embarrassment of the women as they were put through such difficult events. These kinds of reads always make me wonder what I would have done in the characters shoes. So many women put in almost unbelievable conditions, left to decide if they want to sail away and marry a man they have never met or take a chance on dying in a workhouse or on the streets.

This story is incredibly crafted to have the readers in empathy with the characters, yet wonder if they would ever give themselves over to such a scheme. It helps to open the readers eyes to the plight of some, and to be so very thankful that I myself never had to make such a decision.

With realistic characters, a compelling story, and a plot based on true events it’s an experience not to be missed!

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.


Wife, mom, teacher, author, kisser of scraped knees, encourager of the downtrodden, guzzler of coffee, and, most importantly, passionate follower of Jesus. Thanks for dropping by!

Click on the picture to read all the information on this book…plus a purchase link
at Jody Hedlund’s website

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