Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book Review: A Bride for All Seasons: The Mail Order Bride Collection by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher

What attracted me first to the book was the opportunity to read four short stories by different authors in one book. The four female authors got together to collaborate on a book about mail order brides back in 1870, when single women from the East moved to the then Wild West seeking marriage. 
available on here
As if the likely culture clash between the urban East and the cowboy and farming-dominated West was not enough, in each of the four stories further mishaps occur. In part, the romance is off to a bad start because the marriage broker Melvin Hitchcock, who manages the Hitching Post mail order brochure, embellishes the bios for the prospective husbands to make them more attractive to women.

To me it was interesting to see how the style of the authors came through in the individual stories, even though the topic is identical and how each author decided to incorporate the topic into a story. It was as if I was a teacher reading four assignments from students on a given homework topic. I would give all students an A+ on this assignment. Every author managed to bring their own style to the story, some even tied the story into prior books by them, while some wrote totally new stories with new characters. Every single story is entertaining and presents interesting twists that the prospective brides encounter in their search for love.

The mishaps precipitated by the less than truthful biographies of the prospective husbands range from unexpected children present, nowhere mentioned in the letters, to the bride assuming more responsibility and quicker than anticipated. Overall, the stories are funny, witty and keep the reader entertained. While the different styles of the authors come through, the identical topic generates enough of a common thread that the book does not seem like a forced co-existence of these stories. Some background reading also indicated that the authors actively collaborated on this book and that strengthens the common tie that weaves through the stories.

This book comes from a Christian publisher and while some elements of the Christian belief do come through in the stories, this is not an overtly religious book and should entertain people of all faiths.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed herein is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

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