The Brideship Wife
Inspired by the history of the British “brideships,” this captivating historical debut tells the story of one woman’s coming of age and search for independence—for readers of Pam Jenoff's The Orphan's Tale and Armando Lucas Correa’s The German Girl. Tomorrow we would dock in Victoria on the northwest coast of North America, about as far away from my home as I could imagine. Like pebbles tossed upon the beach, we would scatter, trying to make our way as best as we could. Most of us would marry; some would not. England, 1862. Charlotte is somewhat of a wallflower. Shy and bookish, she knows her duty is to marry, but with no dowry, she has little choice in the matter. She can’t continue to live off the generosity of her sister Harriet and her wealthy brother-in-law, Charles, whose political aspirations dictate that she make an advantageous match. When Harriet hosts a grand party, Charlotte is charged with winning the affections of one of Charles’s colleagues, but before the night is over, her reputation—her one thing of value—is at risk. In the days that follow, rumours begin to swirl. Soon Charles’s standing in society is threatened and all that Charlotte has held dear is jeopardized, even Harriet, and Charlotte is forced to leave everything she has ever known in England and embark on a treacherous voyage to the New World. From the rigid social circles of Victorian England to the lawless lands bursting with gold in British Columbia’s Cariboo, The Brideship Wife takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through a time of great change. Based on a forgotten chapter in history, this is a sparkling debut about the pricelessness of freedom and the courage it takes to follow your heart.

The Brideship Wife Details

TitleThe Brideship Wife
Author
ReleaseMay 5th, 2020
PublisherSimon Schuster
ISBN-139781508259350
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Cultural, Canada, Fiction, Romance

The Brideship Wife Review

  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    This story of the brideship women is relatively unknown chapter of Canadian history. The idea was to give the women of different backgrounds including impoverished gentlewomen and serving class a chance to marry or live independently in the colony of British Columbia. Where there were supposedly more opportunities, which later turned out not necessarily true.England, 1862. Charlotte, impoverished gentlewoman, at the age of twenty-one is not ready to get married and a position of a governess enta This story of the brideship women is relatively unknown chapter of Canadian history. The idea was to give the women of different backgrounds including impoverished gentlewomen and serving class a chance to marry or live independently in the colony of British Columbia. Where there were supposedly more opportunities, which later turned out not necessarily true.England, 1862. Charlotte, impoverished gentlewoman, at the age of twenty-one is not ready to get married and a position of a governess entails the exhausting boredom. She craves something more exciting. She inherits her father’s adventurous and independent spirit. She is told about the Columbia Emigration Society, which sends ships of unmarried women to the colonies. “The idea is to give the women a chance to marry or live independently in the colony of British Columbia, where there are more opportunities.” Even with her adventures spirit, she is hesitant at first as she doesn’t want to share the unknown land with unlawful men. But an unfavorable situation at home puts her straight on the ship to Americas.While crossing the oceans on the ship she gets to assist a doctor in seeing patients. It gives her an enjoyment she hasn’t foreseen. And the suffering she witnesses on her daily rounds is heartbreaking and eye-opening.Once in the New World, the bridesmaids learn that the better opportunities don’t include the serving class. The life here is actually not that much better than at home.The historical background is what I’d consider a pretty light one. It of course involves limitations opposed on women of the time, Proclamation of 1860 – promise of free land if you’re married and promise to farm or ranch the land, exploitation of the natives, the epidemics that wiped out villages. However, whatever is presented, it doesn’t go into details or it’s very brief. The heroine is pretty independent and takes the challenges on. She has her dreams and she takes steps towards those dreams. There is some light romance and friendships.It is told with simple prose. What kept me interested in the story was how her new life would look like and how the life in the New World would be depicted.I hoped what was left behind in England would be the past and new beginnings would happen in the New World, but there was unnecessary mulling on the ship over the past, which looked like it might follow her. And a bit of it did, but that part was brief and fine.Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    I have such a huge love for historical fiction. Thankful for these stories that are inspired by our history. I had heard of the British Brideships prior to reading this beautifully written story. Living on Vancouver Island this was a book I knew I needed. The Brideship Wife is set in England, 1862. Twenty one year old Charlotte Harding has a duty to marry, has no dowry and little choice in the matter. This story takes her on a journey of self discovery as she makes her way to the New World with I have such a huge love for historical fiction. Thankful for these stories that are inspired by our history. I had heard of the British Brideships prior to reading this beautifully written story. Living on Vancouver Island this was a book I knew I needed. The Brideship Wife is set in England, 1862. Twenty one year old Charlotte Harding has a duty to marry, has no dowry and little choice in the matter. This story takes her on a journey of self discovery as she makes her way to the New World with aspirations of a better life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very well written, excellent character development and a great flow. I highly recommend to historical fiction lovers!Leslie Howards note in the back of the book talking about her real life connection to these stories was so heart warming! You could feel her love for her story throughout these pages. A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for by review copy!!
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  • Genevieve Graham
    January 1, 1970
    A beautifully told, meticulously researched story of the little known bride ships and the courageous women on board those shabby crafts who risked everything for freedom then fought to get what they deserved. Debut author Leslie Howard brings history to life by masterfully navigating the social demands of the time, the perilous journey into the unknown, the politics, hazards, and often tragic results of colonization, and the minds and hearts of those bridging both.
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  • DeB MaRtEnS
    January 1, 1970
    My knowledge of the British bride ships, which left England with women during the mid 1800’s to travel to British Columbia, Canada was enhanced by reading Leslie Howard’s recently published fictionalized version of these events. The heroine, Charlotte, has unfortunately lost her place in society due to financial losses and her future further jeopardized by “compromising circumstances” beyond her control- setting her on the perilous journey by ship, via Bermuda, the Falkland Islands, Port Stanley My knowledge of the British bride ships, which left England with women during the mid 1800’s to travel to British Columbia, Canada was enhanced by reading Leslie Howard’s recently published fictionalized version of these events. The heroine, Charlotte, has unfortunately lost her place in society due to financial losses and her future further jeopardized by “compromising circumstances” beyond her control- setting her on the perilous journey by ship, via Bermuda, the Falkland Islands, Port Stanley to around Cape Horn and back north up the west coast of the Americas. I found the novel worth reading for that information, the shipboard conditions and arrival, alone. Leslie Howard researched extensively for her novel, and I enjoyed the Author’s Notes almost more than the novel itself. She writes that she made the sailing ship out to be far more luxurious than the Tynemouth was in actuality. Her intention was not to be factual, which for my taste gave less “heft” to the dire situations would have been more reflective of this period. Not to say her authorship didn’t spell out a great deal - Howard covered an immense amount of material, social issues, opium addiction, British hauteur, the plight of women, the Gold Rush, American Expansionism- velvet-gloved by the search for true love, in best dresses. The latter was a bit of a tough swallow for me with so much weighty matter on deck. Perhaps the most irksome were the references to Indigenous issues, which were basically ignored in the day, and the thematic treatment which is relevant to current times and our present social conscience in Canada, but which were not during the 1860’s. The overlay was well intentioned, and perhaps good for storytelling, but out of place for the historical context. There was an aspect of “noblesse oblige” to the character Reverend John Crossman, who was there to bring smallpox vaccination to the decimated populations of aboriginals; in truth, a few charitable souls attempted some work in 1862, prior to the date of this novel, but the Brits banded together to quarantine themselves rather than provide care for “others”. The open integration of races represented by Governor Douglas and his Cree wife were remnants of the French, who intermarried and learned the hard ways of living through Canadian winters with the wisdom of the country’s earliest inhabitants. The British brought with them Imperialism, which continued for generations in Canada, spilling into superior attitudes over not only First Nations but waves of immigrants from countries other than England. The multicultural hopefulness portrayal from current Canadian life was superimposed upon the young women here. Those who did go on to enjoy success did so in spite of the British attitudes, not because life among the population was any kinder. (For instance, I know that Chief N’Kwala’s daughter, of the British Columbia inland, was married to a soldier in the regiment by “the way of the land” and he left his family for a Christian marriage in Victoria, during this time promoting his career and without a look behind himself. The hard feelings over that action have never left.)For those who know little of British Columbia’s early history, the gold rush days, Barkerville and the British presence in Canada, the novel will be very interesting framed around the love stories of the brides from England. I’m glad to have learned about them. I knew so much about the brides of New France- or Quebec, so it is quite something to discover that Charles Dickens had a hand in trying to set up the bachelors of British Columbia, Canada with young women from Britain. For the contribution to my knowledge on a subject which I knew nothing about, and a good “yarn” told in the breathy style of the era, I’m very happy to recommend this light historical fiction novel. 3.5 stars
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Sixty women hesitantly, boarded a bride ship headed for Victoria. What could happen if they were brave enough to start over? Would they even make it there? And how does someone marry someone they don’t know? This was realistic fiction at its core. There was poverty, prejudices, drug abuse and death. I was pulled in at the injustice unfolding and struggled at times to take in all the hardships. It was just one thing after another and I had to see it to the end. This is a HEA, but you’ll have to e Sixty women hesitantly, boarded a bride ship headed for Victoria. What could happen if they were brave enough to start over? Would they even make it there? And how does someone marry someone they don’t know? This was realistic fiction at its core. There was poverty, prejudices, drug abuse and death. I was pulled in at the injustice unfolding and struggled at times to take in all the hardships. It was just one thing after another and I had to see it to the end. This is a HEA, but you’ll have to embrace the true telling of what it was really like to sail there. If you’re looking for a romantic book, then this is not for you. But I really enjoyed its historical account and I’m very glad I read it. I hope you read this and enjoy it as much as I did. This was a NETGALLEY gift from the publisher and all opinions are my own.
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    I love reading historical fiction novels as a general rule, and especially when the story teaches me about something in history that I never knew before. That is the reason I’m very glad I was able to read The Brideship Wife by Leslie Howard.This book chronicles the lives of a group of young women who left England in the early 1860s to travel halfway around the world to Vancouver Island. All of these women were encouraged to travel to help settle the region by becoming wives of gold miners and o I love reading historical fiction novels as a general rule, and especially when the story teaches me about something in history that I never knew before. That is the reason I’m very glad I was able to read The Brideship Wife by Leslie Howard.This book chronicles the lives of a group of young women who left England in the early 1860s to travel halfway around the world to Vancouver Island. All of these women were encouraged to travel to help settle the region by becoming wives of gold miners and other men who had moved to the area. For the women, it was a chance to make a better life for themselves as well, since most were either impoverished gentlewomen or working class women from the mills and factories with little chance to live decent lives in their homeland.In this novel we see the story through the eyes of one of the gentlewomen forced by circumstances in her life to join the ship headed for Victoria, Vancouver Island in 1862. It is a harrowing trip for her and the other women she meets on this journey, full of hardship and sorrow, but also friendship, hope, and love.This is Ms. Howard’s debut novel, and it is a very good beginning for her writing career. She did an excellent job researching the facts and incorporating them into the story. Many of the events that happened to the characters in this novel actually happened to the real brideship wives. The story is well written and does a wonderful job of letting us see what these courageous ladies went through to try to improve their lives. The characters are well developed, and easy to connect with. I became invested in these characters as I read about all they went through.This is not a historical romance, though there was some romance in the story. This is a story that demonstrates how far we as humans will go to make a better life for ourselves; a story of the resilience of the human spirit.I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Brideship Wife, and I think you will enjoy it as well.I received an ARC from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an honest review.Rainbow Reflections: http://rainbowreflections.home.blog/
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  • Karren Sandercock
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Edelweiss, Simon & Schuster and Leslie Howard for my digital copy of The Brideship Wife.England, 1862. Charlotte Harding is a sweet young lady she’s shy, she dreams of being a veterinarian but it will never happen due to societies expectations of women at the time and her only option is to get married. She lives with her sister Harriet and her wealthy brother-in-law, Charles, who has high expectations and he wants her to marry someone who will be of benefit to his political career. Whe Thanks to Edelweiss, Simon & Schuster and Leslie Howard for my digital copy of The Brideship Wife.England, 1862. Charlotte Harding is a sweet young lady she’s shy, she dreams of being a veterinarian but it will never happen due to societies expectations of women at the time and her only option is to get married. She lives with her sister Harriet and her wealthy brother-in-law, Charles, who has high expectations and he wants her to marry someone who will be of benefit to his political career. When Harriet hosts a party, Charles wants Charlotte to charm one of his colleagues George, but before the night is over, her reputation is ruined and it’s not her fault. But the rumor mill is rife, Charlotte is shunned and much to her horror her poor sister Harriet is punished for not producing any children and they both find themselves on a ship on its way to Victoria in British Columbia the western most province of Canada.The Brideship Wife is about the long voyage to the other side of the world, where single women like Charlotte take a big risk by traveling to a new country and where hundreds single men are eagerly waiting for the chance to marry. For Charlotte it’s a journey filled with sadness but also one of hope and self discovery when she makes friends with a fellow bride to be Sarah, she helps the ship’s doctor treat the sick and injured and meets Reverend John Crossman whose mission in life is to eradicate smallpox.I enjoyed The Brideship Wife it’s based on a true story about single women leaving England and moving to the other side of the world. They had no idea what life would be like in the New World and for many it opened up opportunities that they would never experienced if they didn’t make the decision to go and take such a big risk. I enjoyed the book, I gave it four stars and I have shared my review on Goodreads, Edelweiss, Amazon Australia, Kobo, Twitter and my blog.https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/
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  • Debby
    January 1, 1970
    This is a first time read for me by Leslie Howard. When beginning my read of The Brideship Wife, I was tempted to stop as it was a bit slow. However, as I continued to read I found the story well-written and the story lovely.I loved the history and how the plot flowed until ending. The descriptions and main characters were very nice and I became drawn into the story because of the writing. Very nicely done and would love to listen as an audio.I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for This is a first time read for me by Leslie Howard. When beginning my read of The Brideship Wife, I was tempted to stop as it was a bit slow. However, as I continued to read I found the story well-written and the story lovely.I loved the history and how the plot flowed until ending. The descriptions and main characters were very nice and I became drawn into the story because of the writing. Very nicely done and would love to listen as an audio.I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for this complimentary ARC. All opinions in this review are solely mine.3.5 - Stars
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  • Tamara
    January 1, 1970
    Charlotte Harding needs to find a husband, she knows that, but she isn’t really all that crazy about the man that her brother-in-law Charles would like her to marry because it benefits him more than it does her. She would like to marry for love, but her older sister Harriet also wants her to make a good match.This a well written and researched book about the Brideships bringing women from Victorian England hopeful for a new life in British Columbia’s (Canada) rugged landscape.This was a good ver Charlotte Harding needs to find a husband, she knows that, but she isn’t really all that crazy about the man that her brother-in-law Charles would like her to marry because it benefits him more than it does her. She would like to marry for love, but her older sister Harriet also wants her to make a good match.This a well written and researched book about the Brideships bringing women from Victorian England hopeful for a new life in British Columbia’s (Canada) rugged landscape.This was a good very read for me. It was highly engaging, and Charlotte Harding was an easy character to like and even admire her tenacity. She had a lot going for her, even though, seen through the lens of the social classes of England, she was just a penniless spinster. In British Columbia, she saw all the opportunities that were being given to her, and she didn’t hesitate to grab a hold of what she saw as an adventure. It was wonderful to find out something new historically about the country I am proud to call home.My gratitude to Simon and Schuster Canada and Net Galley for a copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.
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  • Nikki Locking
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced copy as a part of my job and am in no way required to write a review. However, this book definitely deserves some praise!! I am not a major fan of Canadian history since learning it in both French and English in grade school and then further in university. However, this well researched novel of British Columbian history took my breath away. The writing was compelling and detailed with just the right amount of plot twists. Charlotte Harding was a character with such strong I received an advanced copy as a part of my job and am in no way required to write a review. However, this book definitely deserves some praise!! I am not a major fan of Canadian history since learning it in both French and English in grade school and then further in university. However, this well researched novel of British Columbian history took my breath away. The writing was compelling and detailed with just the right amount of plot twists. Charlotte Harding was a character with such strong values and principles I found her relatable. It would have been an honor to know her or any of her friends in real life. The journey of these brideship wives and independent women was unbelievable and full of much courage that I would like to learn more. For a debut, Leslie Howard, I cannot wait to see what you write next!
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  • Elinor
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. There was much to like about the book. The premise of a young woman striking out for British Columbia on her own was intriguing, and the historical aspect of British brides being sent out to bring colonial ideals to the wilderness was also compelling. I liked the characters, and the action moved along smartly. Where the novel was found wanting, in my opinion, was the writing, which seemed a trifle wooden. Neverthe I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. There was much to like about the book. The premise of a young woman striking out for British Columbia on her own was intriguing, and the historical aspect of British brides being sent out to bring colonial ideals to the wilderness was also compelling. I liked the characters, and the action moved along smartly. Where the novel was found wanting, in my opinion, was the writing, which seemed a trifle wooden. Nevertheless, I was glad to read a novel that fills in another gap in our vast unrecorded Canadian history.
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  • Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
    January 1, 1970
    📚 Hello book friends! I love historical fiction based on true events. The Brideship Wife by Leslie Howard starts in 1862 and tells the story of twenty-one-year-old Charlotte. Her sister Harriet is determined to find her a husband. When her meeting with one of Harriet’s husband’s colleague turns to disaster, she and her sister are forced to leave everything behind and venture to the New World. The one hundred and six-day journey will take them from London, England to Victoria in British Columbia. 📚 Hello book friends! I love historical fiction based on true events. The Brideship Wife by Leslie Howard starts in 1862 and tells the story of twenty-one-year-old Charlotte. Her sister Harriet is determined to find her a husband. When her meeting with one of Harriet’s husband’s colleague turns to disaster, she and her sister are forced to leave everything behind and venture to the New World. The one hundred and six-day journey will take them from London, England to Victoria in British Columbia. The journey will be dangerous and filled with incertitude. Will this give Charlotte a chance to find freedom or none?.This book is based on the voyage of the Tynemouth, a ship that was used to bring single women from England to the New World to be married to the single men in that area. It also touches the history of the gold rush in British Columbia and the smallpox epidemic its ravage in the indigenous community.This is a wonderful book and I recommend it to all history lovers.🙋🏼‍♀️ Thank you, Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me an ARC of this wonderful book. The Brideship Wife by Leslie Howard is now available at your favourite bookstore.#poodles #poodlestagram #poodlesofinstagram #furbabies #dogsofinstagram #bookstagram #dogsandbooks #bookishlife #bookishlove #bookstagrammer #book #books #booklover #bookish #bookaholic #reading #readersofinstagram #instaread #ilovebooks #bookishcanadians #canadianbookstagram #bookreviewer #bookcommunity #bibliophile #bookphotography #thebrideshipwife #lesliehoward #bookreview
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    As I read this book, I vacillated between thinking it was it was quite good and being quite disappointed in it. It starts off with a lot of info dumps, because obviously it's super important to know all about the main characters' lives and what their parents' marriage was like. The main character is the common cliche of a woman with today's sensibilities living in the past. I thought for sure she would get a bee in her bonnet about settling the wilderness of Western Canada and decide to ship out As I read this book, I vacillated between thinking it was it was quite good and being quite disappointed in it. It starts off with a lot of info dumps, because obviously it's super important to know all about the main characters' lives and what their parents' marriage was like. The main character is the common cliche of a woman with today's sensibilities living in the past. I thought for sure she would get a bee in her bonnet about settling the wilderness of Western Canada and decide to ship out, but the way she reached this decision was a lot more interesting that I had assumed, so I was impressed for a bit.Then comes the time on the ship. The description I read of the book led me to believe that it's mostly set in Canada, but more than half of the book takes place before they ever land in the New World. A lot more took place on the ship than I thought truly necessary. I was always interested in finding out what British Columbia would hold and had to wait a long time for any answers. It's not until 63% that we finally reach our destination and get off the boat for good, making this far more of a book about a boat ride than about people settling the Canadian wilderness. There's nothing inherently wrong about a book taking place aboard ship, but I wish I had known from the beginning that the word "ship" in the title was going to be much more important than either "bride" or "wife." I constantly wished we would just arrive already so the story could actually get moving.Once we do land, the story finally gets going, but some of the main character's choices made little sense to me. I can't put them here without risking spoilers, but she turns proposals down (isn't the whole point here to become a wife?) and whenever someone hits on her or appears to possibly be hitting on her, she thinks to herself how much she isn't interested, before she even remotely gets to know them. I'm all for being choosy but the ratio of men to women is insane in this time and place (one of the other brideship wives gets proposed to the moment she's off the ship) yet our main character goes on no dates nor has any romance at all once she reaches Canada. I was so lost in the last 40%. It was like the main character just wanted to get to Canada and she was never planning on marrying anyone there, even though that was supposed to be the whole reason behind the endeavor. It made no sense. Until the end, where a completely ridiculous thing happens that makes everything up until then make more sense from a writing perspective. Obviously the writer knew this super unlikely thing would happen, but how did the main character know? Color me confused.I was very put off by the ending, but there were enough interesting things that happened throughout the book that I didn't regret reading it. I just really wish the synopsis/description had been more clear that it's much more about crossing the Atlantic than it is about settling Canada.I received an ARC of this through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This was such an incredible and lovely story! I've really been enjoying historical immigrant stories lately, with (usually British) heroines travelling across the ocean to arrive in the New World to begin a new life. (I recently read The Forgotten Home Child, which I highly recommend!)Charlotte is our bookish, wallflower of a heroine. Though she has no dowry, she has a generous sister she loves an An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This was such an incredible and lovely story! I've really been enjoying historical immigrant stories lately, with (usually British) heroines travelling across the ocean to arrive in the New World to begin a new life. (I recently read The Forgotten Home Child, which I highly recommend!)Charlotte is our bookish, wallflower of a heroine. Though she has no dowry, she has a generous sister she loves and a very wealthy brother-in-law with political connections--and who may be able to help her marry upwards. However, when a party goes disastrously wrong and Charlotte's very reputation is at risk, she's forced to board a ship to what would soon become Canada.I truly loved this story. I loved the female relationships, particularly between Charlotte and Harriet. I also liked that a chunk of the narrative actually took place on the boat itself, propelling them toward the New World--it's an aspect some stories gloss over, but the details and realism were excellent. I loved seeing Charlotte grow and gain both confidence and independence. This was a stunning, well-written, and engaging debut, and I'm excited to see what the author will write next.
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  • Carolyn McBride
    January 1, 1970
    The concept of bride ships was a new one to me, so I found the premise interesting when I requested a copy from NetGalley and the publisher.I found it to be an enjoyable and educational read. I was quite pleased to read the author notes at the end and find the topic matter deeply researched. The story was easy to read, beautiful and well-paced, in fact, I read it in two sittings. The politics of the day was well carried into the story, social expectations and norms were as well. I think there co The concept of bride ships was a new one to me, so I found the premise interesting when I requested a copy from NetGalley and the publisher.I found it to be an enjoyable and educational read. I was quite pleased to read the author notes at the end and find the topic matter deeply researched. The story was easy to read, beautiful and well-paced, in fact, I read it in two sittings. The politics of the day was well carried into the story, social expectations and norms were as well. I think there could easily be a sequel to The Brideship Wife, and if there is, I'd gladly buy it.Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this opportunity.
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  • Marie Dixon
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a review. What attracted me to the book in the first place was its subject matter - I didn’t know that England had shipped women over to BC to be married and I thought it made for a compelling premise, and it does. However, I found most of the characters shallow and unlikeable, including the main character, Charlotte who, despite being 21, conducts and speak as if she were 40.By focusing on a upper-class woman in I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a review. What attracted me to the book in the first place was its subject matter - I didn’t know that England had shipped women over to BC to be married and I thought it made for a compelling premise, and it does. However, I found most of the characters shallow and unlikeable, including the main character, Charlotte who, despite being 21, conducts and speak as if she were 40.By focusing on a upper-class woman instead of on a woman of more modest means, I think the author lost a great opportunity to turn her good novel into a great one. Her upper-class characters are villainous to the point of caricature and the various scandals attached to them are rushed and overused. I’d much rather have read an entire novel focusing on Sarah, a secondary character who befriends Charlotte on the way over. The language is a bit stilted at the beginning, but the flow gets better as the book progresses, but I expect that more editing should take care of that prior to publication.
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  • Rachel McMillan
    January 1, 1970
    Deeply researched and lovingly told, Howard's soft, accessible style frames Charlotte's journey from high Victorian society to a voyage aboard an English "brideship" to begin life in a land equally treacherous and beautiful. I enjoyed the balance of travails and triumphs, small moments of grace and the embrace of humanity. While never shying away from presenting the limited opportunities afforded women in the 19th Century (often worth more as bartering chips than human beings) Howard still provi Deeply researched and lovingly told, Howard's soft, accessible style frames Charlotte's journey from high Victorian society to a voyage aboard an English "brideship" to begin life in a land equally treacherous and beautiful. I enjoyed the balance of travails and triumphs, small moments of grace and the embrace of humanity. While never shying away from presenting the limited opportunities afforded women in the 19th Century (often worth more as bartering chips than human beings) Howard still provides readers with a warm, slow-burn romance and a salient treatise on hope and the human spirit.A note that I am so excited that this publisher is making room for quality Canadian historical fiction. It serves us so well to find voices who open the doors to lesser known parts of our past. with thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy
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  • Jules
    January 1, 1970
    Author Leslie Howard has channeled her passion for Canadian province history into her debut novel, The Brideship Wife. I had not heard of the brideship women previously, and I was intrigued to learn more about it. Apparently, England seemed to enjoy shipping away their problems. The shipment of criminals to Australia is widely known, but how many of us had an idea they were also shipping off their inconvenient and troublesome women to northwest Canada?While it is purported that women of various Author Leslie Howard has channeled her passion for Canadian province history into her debut novel, The Brideship Wife. I had not heard of the brideship women previously, and I was intrigued to learn more about it. Apparently, England seemed to enjoy shipping away their problems. The shipment of criminals to Australia is widely known, but how many of us had an idea they were also shipping off their inconvenient and troublesome women to northwest Canada?While it is purported that women of various classes were “offered the opportunity” to marry or live independently in the new colony of British Columbia, Ms. Howard’s story leads me to believe that these women did not often find better opportunities in this faraway colony.The Brideship Wife is set in 1860s England and Canada. The stiff dialogue greatly represents the stuffy, class-conscience attitudes of the time. The book is divided into three parts: the story set-up in England, the maritime journey from England to British Columbia, and life in the “new world”. The life in England is a fairly typical read, and modern readers will be justly aghast at the deplorable treatment of women. The life at sea was a bit too long for my taste. New characters were introduced and relationships established, and while that second act was critical for the heroine’s growth, I felt like I had been stuck on a ship for months with her.Ms. Howard’s descriptive narrative of life in British Columbia made me feel like I was experiencing the place along with Charlotte. Newly wealthy men desperate for a wife proposing to women the minute they step off the boat. Rowdy, crass men looking to take advantage of desperate women. The lawlessness of the more remote towns. Trading shares in gold mines, land grabs and the same social and political hazards they thought the left at home. Through all this mayhem, Charlotte behaves like a much more modern woman than the naïve, bookish young lady that she is purported to be. I was looking forward to more in-depth look at life in Canada and the details of the brideship program than I got; however, I did appreciate the history that was included, and it made me curious enough to explore more on my own. This sweeping, Victorian-era novel is sure to be loved by anyone looking for a story about strong, independent women. I received an advance copy of this book from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for my honest review. For more reading recommendations, visit Book Junkie Reviews at www.abookjunkiereviews.wordpress.com
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  • Elise
    January 1, 1970
    Charlotte Harding is a young woman in mid-19th-century London. She is upper-class, but her father spent all their money before dying, leaving her without a dowry with which to get married. So she lives with her sister Harriet and her brother-in-law Charles, who try to get her married. But when a scandal erupts around her, she gets sent to British Columbia on a so-called brideship, a ship full of women of a marriageable age off to populate the British colonies with good Christian English children Charlotte Harding is a young woman in mid-19th-century London. She is upper-class, but her father spent all their money before dying, leaving her without a dowry with which to get married. So she lives with her sister Harriet and her brother-in-law Charles, who try to get her married. But when a scandal erupts around her, she gets sent to British Columbia on a so-called brideship, a ship full of women of a marriageable age off to populate the British colonies with good Christian English children. The story is told in three parts, first in England, then on the ship, and finally in Victoria.This was an interesting bit of history I didn’t know much about. I know of the “filles du Roy,” women sent from France to populate New France, but I had no idea the same thing happened on the other side of the country too. It was interesting to read in the author's note also than some characters and events in the book were real historial people/events.As interesting as it was on the surface, though, that’s just it, it always stayed on the surface for me, I never felt sucked in and actually interested in the characters and their predicaments. I felt things happened too quickly, people’s feelings were rarely explored, I felt a bit removed from everything.I also couldn’t help comparing it to At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham, another historical romance set in BC not far from the same time, and it came short. GG’s main character was a young woman determined to grasp her fate in her own hands, and while Charlotte often says and thinks she wants to step away from what is expected of her—a good marriage, having children, being quiet and meek—, we don’t see her do anything to actually fight these expectations until well past half the book.So a rating of three stars from me, meaning it wasn’t terrible, but neither was it phenomenal.
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  • Elizabeth (teacupsandfirereads)
    January 1, 1970
    I will say honestly, I had no knowledge of the brideships that came to Canada from England prior to picking up this book. Canada being my home, this was very fascinating to me.This book was intriguing right from the get-go. I had feeling of dislike towards characters in the book I believe the author wanted us to disliked and I liked the ones I was meant to. The England-based portion of this story was a bit slow for me and I didn't resonate with it as much. Once Charlotte and her sister were on t I will say honestly, I had no knowledge of the brideships that came to Canada from England prior to picking up this book. Canada being my home, this was very fascinating to me.This book was intriguing right from the get-go. I had feeling of dislike towards characters in the book I believe the author wanted us to disliked and I liked the ones I was meant to. The England-based portion of this story was a bit slow for me and I didn't resonate with it as much. Once Charlotte and her sister were on the ship, it picked up for me and continued to for the remainder. I really enjoyed the independent and strong character Charlotte portrayed in wanting to find her own way. To me, this was what stood out about the book. It made me connect with her more. It is evident that thought and research went into the book. However, what made it a three star read for me was that I felt in a daze most of the book, I felt like an outsider and couldn't fully connect with the characters and story even though I very much wanted to. It feel like there wasn't a lot of depth to the storytelling. Additionally, I felt the end was far too rushed and didn't provide proper closure.Content warning: death, assaultThank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Marjorie DeLuca
    January 1, 1970
    A well-researched look at a relatively little known aspect of Anglo=Canadian history when young women of all social classes were shipped out to British Columbia in the hopes of finding a suitable husband. Charlotte, the main character is an adventurous young woman seeking a fresh start in life, but in the latter half of the nineteenth century, independence was difficult to find for most women. Charlotte struggles in her quest for freedom as she is encouraged to marry for money and position rathe A well-researched look at a relatively little known aspect of Anglo=Canadian history when young women of all social classes were shipped out to British Columbia in the hopes of finding a suitable husband. Charlotte, the main character is an adventurous young woman seeking a fresh start in life, but in the latter half of the nineteenth century, independence was difficult to find for most women. Charlotte struggles in her quest for freedom as she is encouraged to marry for money and position rather than love. Well written and with engaging characters, this novel makes a fascinating read as we follow Charlotte's courageous journey in a new and comparatively lawless land.Thanks to Net Galley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for a copy of this book. It starts out with a girl named Charlotte Harding , Her whole life she has been told that she needs to make a respectable marriage but with no dowry she relies on her sister Harriet and brother-in-law Charles Baldwin to help her make such a match. A scandal happens and she finds her self on a brideship heading to Victoria and there starts her adventure. I really liked the book but it was a slow start and towards the en Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for a copy of this book. It starts out with a girl named Charlotte Harding , Her whole life she has been told that she needs to make a respectable marriage but with no dowry she relies on her sister Harriet and brother-in-law Charles Baldwin to help her make such a match. A scandal happens and she finds her self on a brideship heading to Victoria and there starts her adventure. I really liked the book but it was a slow start and towards the end I felt like everything was going to fast.
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  • Sarah Disher neddow
    January 1, 1970
    Received an ARC from Netgalley for my honest review This was a lovely, and at times challenging, story of a tumultuous time in the establishment of Canada. I was unfamiliar with the plight of these women, who many times saw no options for themselves but to leave the country of their birth for unknown lands.Some parts read faster and more engaging than others, but all meld well together to round out the store.Historial fiction that stands with the best. Proud to know it is a Canadian story by a C Received an ARC from Netgalley for my honest review This was a lovely, and at times challenging, story of a tumultuous time in the establishment of Canada. I was unfamiliar with the plight of these women, who many times saw no options for themselves but to leave the country of their birth for unknown lands.Some parts read faster and more engaging than others, but all meld well together to round out the store.Historial fiction that stands with the best. Proud to know it is a Canadian story by a Canadian author.
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  • Bonnye Reed
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free electronic copy of this ARC historical novel from Netgalley, Leslie Howard, and Simon & Schuster Canada. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read The Brideship Wife of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am looking very much forward to the future works of Leslie Howard. This debut novel is an excellent start to hopefully many years of works from Leslie Howard. There are many books covering the importation of brides to I received a free electronic copy of this ARC historical novel from Netgalley, Leslie Howard, and Simon & Schuster Canada. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read The Brideship Wife of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am looking very much forward to the future works of Leslie Howard. This debut novel is an excellent start to hopefully many years of works from Leslie Howard. There are many books covering the importation of brides to the wild woods of Oregon and Washington state, but this is the first reference I have encountered to these unmarried English women traveling to Vancouver Island in hopes of finding a man or a job or a life. Leslie Howard does a fine job of presenting these most accurate historical facts in a format acceptable to us historical/romantic/fiction readers. The storyline is compelling, the protagonists sympathetic, and the ending is much too soon. More, Please, Ms. Howard. pub date May 05, 2020Simon & Schuster CanadaReviewed on Goodreads and Netgalley on May 2, 2020. Reviewed on AmazonSmile, Barnes&Noble, BookBub, Kobo, and GooglePlay on May 5, 2020.
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  • Kaitlyn S.
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely a story set in a period of history I knew little to nothing about. The thought of so many women coming to Canada on ships, destined to be wives for strangers, is at once appalling, intriguing, and romantic, in the adventurous sense of the word. Charlotte is living with her sister, Harriet, and Harriets husband, Charles, Charles is a prominent, well-to-do man, hoping to inherit his uncles title of 'lord" one day, but he needs an heir. And he needs his sister-in-law to marry. He can't h Definitely a story set in a period of history I knew little to nothing about. The thought of so many women coming to Canada on ships, destined to be wives for strangers, is at once appalling, intriguing, and romantic, in the adventurous sense of the word. Charlotte is living with her sister, Harriet, and Harriets husband, Charles, Charles is a prominent, well-to-do man, hoping to inherit his uncles title of 'lord" one day, but he needs an heir. And he needs his sister-in-law to marry. He can't have a spinster on his hands. He sets up a marriage with her and one of his prominent friends, and gives Charlotte an ultimatum: either marry George, or leave his home, seeking a governess position. During a party that Harriet gives, Charlotte and George wander away at Charles urging, and hi insistence that Charlotte make him propose. When George ends up attempting to rape Charlotte, her brother-in-law forces her and her sister both to leave on the bride ship her old spinster governess told her about, but not as brides, as mere passengers, being banished to the colony. The journey is fraught with interesting characters and perils of the sea. Harriet is sick and Charlotte must help her overcome the addiction. John is a sweet man, who's desire to help is admirable. And Charlotte blossoms as she sets aside convention and the rules of the day and helps the doctor on board care for the sick. When her sister dies and she joins the bride ship women, she joins forces with one of them and goes on to live with her and her father. Together, they make a new life for themselves. The romance in this book is fairly light. There were a couple of intense kisses, but over all, nothing too cringeworthy. There is an attempted rape scene, which is more detailed than I generally care for, and I skimmed over parts of it. The parts where Charles Dickens featured were a sweet surprise to my vintage loving, classic reading soul. I mean, how perfect that Charlotte would love the author who gave us Little Dorrit! But, over all, the story is endearing and sweet. I am thankful to NetGalley and the publisher for gifting me a copy of this book.
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    In newly established colonies, predominantly populated with single men, crime and immoral activities abounded. Social reformers and church leaders believed the way to tame these behaviors was to be provide young marriageable women. The Columbia Emigration Society, of which Charles Dickens was a member, provided free passage to maids, mill workers and others in hopes of improving behavior. Women came from all over England in hopes of a better life. In 1862, sixty women were provided passage to Vi In newly established colonies, predominantly populated with single men, crime and immoral activities abounded. Social reformers and church leaders believed the way to tame these behaviors was to be provide young marriageable women. The Columbia Emigration Society, of which Charles Dickens was a member, provided free passage to maids, mill workers and others in hopes of improving behavior. Women came from all over England in hopes of a better life. In 1862, sixty women were provided passage to Victoria (now British Columbia) on the S.S. Tynemouth. Upon arrival women either stayed in Victoria, or moved on to Vancouver or small gold mining towns. This historical event sets the premise for the novel.Charlotte is twenty-one with few appealing marriage prospects and a desire to do something more with her life. Her sister Harriet’s ambitious husband pressures her to charm a powerful political ally, but things go terribly wrong. Charlotte and Harriet are booked passage on the S.S. Tynemouth. Without giving too much away, the story is told in three parts; London life, the voyage, and arrival in the new land. Part 1, is story that has been told countless times before. The voyage was interesting, but was disproportionately long and not as engaging. Part 3, in the new land, was rushed and could have been so much more.I prefer historical fiction that educates as well as entertains. When the author included historical details, the story was at its best. She obviously conducted a lot of research and I wanted to benefit from that! The dialogue did not seem true to the time period and was a bit uneven. The drama was not overwhelmingly dark and I appreciated that. For a first novel, Howard wrote a book that was a quick, light read. I give it 3.5 stars. Now, off to read more historical documents about this particular brideship.////Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for this eARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
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  • kaylasbookishlife
    January 1, 1970
    Written about the English women who travelled to the colony of British Columbia to marry the British men who were there. Their goal was to help populate the land for the good Christian British people. Charlotte, our main character, is one of those women and is actually sent there after a disastrous event involving a suitor and her brother-in-law's political career. I really don't know how to rate this. I am stuck between a 2 and a 3. I guess it is more a 2 and a half. Let's start with the positi Written about the English women who travelled to the colony of British Columbia to marry the British men who were there. Their goal was to help populate the land for the good Christian British people. Charlotte, our main character, is one of those women and is actually sent there after a disastrous event involving a suitor and her brother-in-law's political career. I really don't know how to rate this. I am stuck between a 2 and a 3. I guess it is more a 2 and a half. Let's start with the positives shall we, I liked that it told this part of history. I grew up learning and reading about les filles du roi who sailed from France in the 1600s to New France (Quebec). That part really intrigued me. Okay, I felt like there were a lot of issues with this book. I think there were too many plot points. It seemed that when a plot/ drama was introduced, within 2 pages we had moved on to another one. There wasn't a lot of exploration. Charlotte seemed to be privy to everything, capable of everything and way ahead of her time in a strange way that didn't make much sense. Actually all of the women seemed to be this way except for the two married ladies. I also felt like some of the dialogue was odd and it didn't seem very natural.People seemed to be coming and going between Canada and England as though it was easy and not a journey of several months! It seemed like everything happened within a week and a new person would show up to threaten her. She is in Canada not England so I really didn't see the point.
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  • Stephanie (earlgreyreads)
    January 1, 1970
    I was completely wrapped up in this beautiful story! There is something so special about reading historical fiction about your home.Charlotte Harding is one of the many single women aboard a ship from England to Victoria, BC, Canada, in 1862. With no family money, and in the aftermath of a scandal, she has joined a program to bring eligible women to the colonies with the intention that they will marry and start families there. This is a really interesting account of a lesser known, yet important I was completely wrapped up in this beautiful story! There is something so special about reading historical fiction about your home.Charlotte Harding is one of the many single women aboard a ship from England to Victoria, BC, Canada, in 1862. With no family money, and in the aftermath of a scandal, she has joined a program to bring eligible women to the colonies with the intention that they will marry and start families there. This is a really interesting account of a lesser known, yet important, part of Canadian history. It was amazing to read about locations that I see everyday, and others that I am very familiar with, with a viewpoint from the 1800s. I wasn't aware of the bride ships or how land was simply given away to married couples at the time. This novel made me realize how little I know about our own history!The Brideship Wife is an intriguing story with realistic, well-developed characters. Though I could see where some parts were going, I was also surprised by some of the character's actions. I liked Charlotte and her sister Harriet and was routing for them the entire time! There is a strong feminist theme as Charlotte sets out to accomplish her own goals in a new land. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone looking for an engaging novel involving Canadian history!Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • LibraryCin
    January 1, 1970
    It’s the mid-19th century, and Charlotte, at 21-years old, is desperate to find a husband. Well, she isn’t that excited about it, but her sister and brother-in-law, high society people, are insisting. The match they want her to make, however, is a jerk, to put it mildly. But, Charlotte doesn’t have a lot of options, until she finds out about a “brideship”. England is sending unmarried women to the colonies in the New World, specifically to Vancouver Island and British Columbia, in what would lat It’s the mid-19th century, and Charlotte, at 21-years old, is desperate to find a husband. Well, she isn’t that excited about it, but her sister and brother-in-law, high society people, are insisting. The match they want her to make, however, is a jerk, to put it mildly. But, Charlotte doesn’t have a lot of options, until she finds out about a “brideship”. England is sending unmarried women to the colonies in the New World, specifically to Vancouver Island and British Columbia, in what would later become Canada, to provide the men there with potential wives. Although Charlotte is initially hesitant, she ends up on one of the ships... I really liked this. I liked Charlotte – she is more independent than many women at the time, I think – certainly those of her social class. Although quick to read is nice, I did feel like the book could have gone into more detail/spent more time on many of the topics. As I always hope for, the author did include a note at the end where she talks about where she learned of many of the issues she covered in the book, including treatment of women, social classes, smallpox in the Native population, the gold rush towns in BC, the culture in those towns, as well as the tendency toward fire in the buildings, and more. She also provided a master list (can’t think of what it’s called) of actual women who sailed on one of the brideships (she used many of the names). Many of the things that happened in the book were events happened to someone in real life.
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  • Margaret
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThe Brideship Wife is a story of two sisters and the bond they share, it’s about social classes, scandal, and new beginnings. Stepping outside your comfort zone and standing tall despite the change in the direction your life takes. So much of this book takes place on the ship with meals, teas, strolls on deck in the appropriate attire that made me forget it was 1862 at times. Social classes are pro dominate here, the author played that out nicely arousing my irritation and frustration 3.5 starsThe Brideship Wife is a story of two sisters and the bond they share, it’s about social classes, scandal, and new beginnings. Stepping outside your comfort zone and standing tall despite the change in the direction your life takes. So much of this book takes place on the ship with meals, teas, strolls on deck in the appropriate attire that made me forget it was 1862 at times. Social classes are pro dominate here, the author played that out nicely arousing my irritation and frustration at the mannerisms of the high and mighty. While the journey was long and dangerous the author downplayed all the trauma that could have incurred, but instead developed relationships. The historical aspect I found interesting. The history of the West Coast with names like Vancouver, Fraser popping up along with the Indigenous people not just of that era but prior as elaborated on in the extensive author notes - which are a fit ending for any historical fiction book. Anything to do with Canadian history interests me which is why I was drawn to this book, along with that gorgeous cover. My thanks to Simon & Schuster for a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
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