Cover Image: The Brideship Wife

The Brideship Wife

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Member Reviews

I received The Brideship Wife by Leslie Howard from NetGalley and Simon and Schuster in exchange for a fair review.
Charlotte lived with her sister Harriet and Harriet's husband in London. Charlotte was supposed to make a good marriage and make her family proud. When unfortunate circumstances take the choices away from Charlotte, she is on a bride ship headed for British Columbia to find a husband and raise good Christian children for her country. Harriet goes along with her to help her get settled. Life on the ship was not what either woman expected but as Charlotte began helping the Doctor on board and she began to think maybe she didn't want to find a husband but, maybe do what she chose for a change. 
If I tell you very much more, I will end up spoiling certain things so I am just going to say go read this book! I had heard of several countries that sent women to new homes to find husbands but, did not know about this program until I read this book. The details were great and the writing kept me engrossed the whole time. I didn't want to put it down until I had finished the book.
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So good. A period of time I have not read much about.  Really easy, quick and interesting read.  I highly recommend it.  I don't want to post too much.  Just read it!

I received this as an ARC from NetGalley.
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Nice read. Story captured my attention immediately. Never knew anything about this history. Even though the story was predictable, I really enjoyed it. Charlotte is just a normal woman faced with an extraordinary circumstance. I was hoping for a showdown with George or Charles but it was not meant to be. I would pick up another book by this author.
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I was fascinated by this story and simply could not put it down. Very well done! Thank you netgalley and publisher for this arc in exchange of an honest review.
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This is such a beautiful tale of a life I hardly knew existed long ago. I loved this and how I found myself often putting myself in Charlottle and Harriet's shoes. There were parts that we painfully sad and I felt deeply for the character in question, but this was only due to how realistic the events in this book were. There were moments of racism and lots of misogynistic men, fitting of this time frame. It was quite interesting watching it all unfold and I found it pleasantly surprising that this book don't end how I had planned. 

The story flowed wonderfully and made reading this book easy, aside from the just the content. Charlottle was so realistic and misfortune, but I adored her and understood her motives and how deeply they were based on the time she lived in. I do find that I was a little bothered by how things just continued to go wrong, but as i think about it, I wonder if life was just simply that way in that time. Houses catch fire, people pass from now simple illnesses, addiction to medicines not quite understood. This story is so real and still fits to me for present life in some ways despite the years passed. 

Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to read this book! I absolutely loved the trip to the past and would happily do so again, if she wrote any further novels.  Thank you.
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I couldn't put this book down. It's a little rougher (read: more realistic) than many historical romance novels, but it wasn't over the top. I felt the tension of constraints on women but also possible changing tides. It was a fascinating time period to read about and I -felt- the research in the way that the settings came alive. The harsh realities for women in the mid 1800s are not new to me, but reading about them this way always strikes me anew and fills me with fresh gratitude for the time I live in and the women who paved the way before me. But I digress.

Charlotte's (and her sister's) story is interesting. There is pain, suffering, sadness, and struggle, but there is also relentless hope. Charlotte's priorities and eventual choices are unorthodox, but not unbelievable. And there was plenty of sweetness in restoration and relationships.
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Thank you Net galley for the advance reader copy of this novel.   This was a historical fiction about a woman embarking on a journey to the British Columbia colony in the 1860s.   She is forced from London by a man who tried to take her to a brideship.    Adventure and hardship ensue as one would expect.   The growth of Charlotte, main character,  is great in this novel.   It took a bit to get into this but was a well written and researched novel.
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Finding freedom for a woman in the late 1800s wasn’t an easy feat, but it could be done in the Northwestern most British colonies. This society sister without marital prospects has quite an adventure throughout her ordeal surrounding the British Brideship and its journey. The story is interesting enough, yet is also a bit shallow, gliding over depth in order to move the timeline along. A full picture is seen, but I wish Howard had gone a bit deeper with the details.
This is definitely a light, feel-good read with some conflict to keep it interesting.
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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 [book:At the Mountain’s Edge|40539184] 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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The Brideship Wife was an interesting read about British women Imported to British Columbia as wives during the nineteenth century. I've heard of these events in other countries, but was unaware that Canada had a program too. Howard depicts the slim choices gentry  women had. They could either marry well or go into service. Charlotte botches her chances for a suitable marriage and is forced to sail to Canada in search of a husband. The novel is rich in detail. I enjoyed the author's note on the historical detail of the book.
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Well, well, well!  This story is about a subject matter that I knew absolutely nothing about.  The story is set in the late 1800's about women from England traveling to Canada to become wives and hopefully find better lives.  The better lives was not often the case.  

This was a well researched and well told story of this event in history.  I will say that it did take me a bit of time to really get hooked into the story, but once I was hooked, I could not stop reading until the end.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for this advanced readers copy.  This book is due to release in May 2020.
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What a wonderful book!  Leslie Howard took us from the class conscious society of England in 1862 to the Cariboo Gold Rush in British Columbia and specifically to the town of Barkerville.  Not only was the story rich in history, but her characters were well drawn and believable.

This was a debut novel of Howard’s so I will definitely look forward to more from her.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, Simon and Schuster Canada, in exchange for an honest review.
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Leslie Howard, author of the Brideship wife, grew up In Penticton British Columbia, and since childhood has always bee passionate about the history of the province. Her debut novel begins with the two sisters, Harriet and Charlotte, in mid nineteenth century England. Harriet has successfully married into a well to do family. Charlotte, the younger of the sisters, lives under the same roof, as she is still single and penniless. Harriet's husband is losing his patience with this situation and he sets Charlotte up one last time. if she is not engaged after this date, he will relinquish all responsibility. The truth is, Charlotte was never interested in marrying for the sake of being married. She was more of a wild young girl, enjoying the outdoors and she just loved caring for the animals on her family's estate (before it was left to her cousin). The problem was, that "society" in Britain had no place for women who were not "married".

When talking to her old childhood nanny, Mrs. Wiggins, about her predicament (i.e.: that she's not interested in marrying yet), Mrs. Wiggins mentions to Charlotte about an upcoming meeting in London concerning a program, (sponsored by Queen Victoria, The Columbia Emigration Society and The Anglican Church), that was taking single British women to the British Colony on Victoria Island . Charlotte decides to attended the meeting, and, the idea of starting a new life, very far away, begins to seem like a possible solution to her predicament. After all, Charlotte  could not rely on her sister forever.

In actual fact, four ships of women were sent from England to the colony on Victoria Island. This was done for the simple reason that the colony's population was predominantly male Yankee, gold miners. The only way to fix that and make the colony "British", was to bring in British women. Hence the #brideships! "The girls are coming. The girls are coming!"

I do not want to spoil the book, but you could probably guess what happens to Charlotte next

I really enjoyed reading Charlotte's story in #thebrideshipwife and so, I have no qualms giving it 5 stars. Thank you #netgalley and Leslie Howard for giving me this early digital edition in exchange for my honest review. In stores May 5th, 2020.
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An interesting look back at a period of Canada's history that I was unfamiliar with - the "brideships" of mostly poor, uneducated European women arriving on the shores of the recently established British colonies. Having been promised freedom and opportunity in this exciting new frontier, what awaited the women was vastly different than expected. The story of these women is told with sympathy and compassion, and provides thoughtful insight into the challenges they faced. It's a quick, enjoyable read from a first-time author with great promise. I look forward to seeing what she writes next.
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Having to leave England and venture to Canada to marry, this story follows Charlotte as she navigates her way through the new world. Having never been to Canada, I learned more about the country and what life was life in the late 1800s.
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Received this from Net Gallery. This is a story of a girl who wants to marry for love,her sister and  and brother-in-law have other ideas. When she has no money,no husband in England she is headed for Canada to start a new life.You will like Charlotte and the way she thinks and she's stronger than she gives herself credit for and finds new adventures! This started out kinda slow,the writing is good, the story is great and you will really like this book! Take a adventure with Charlotte,will she fund what she is looking for,for her life and for her love?
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Marred by a scandal that's not her fault, Charlotte is sent away from England by her brother-in-law who fears she may be a hindrance to his political aspirations. To add insult to injury, Charles sends his own wife along on the treacherous journey as she's been unable to produce an heir. On the journey to British Colombia, Charlotte meets a cast of unlikely characters and finds herself struggling to make her own way in the world. 

In 1862, a woman's worth is defined by her family, her husband and the company she keeps. Charlotte and Harriet are about to find out who they are when they lose it all.

This book took a little while to sink into, but once I was hooked, the adventure, friendship and romance kept me flipping the pages until the very end.
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This is my first novel by Leslie Howard. I enjoyed this novel although it did take some time to get going, although I enjoyed the character development. I also loved reading about BC!
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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.
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Well done Leslie Howard!  My favorite books are those that broaden my knowledge within its pages...and this book definitely fulfilled that goal.  It tells the story of women from England who are mostly poor and impoverished being shipped across the world to British Columbia in an effort to tame the “wild” men and further colonize the territory.  The main character is Charlotte, a strong woman who found herself on the wrong side of both her brother in law and gossip.  Loved the way she stood up for what she believed in and supported those less fortunate.  Charlotte and her poor sister, Harriet, endured so much hardship on board the bride ship.  I cheered for Charlotte’s strength and resilience and her decisions to follow her beliefs, as opposed to the expectations of high society.  Very entertaining, although the pacing through me a bit in a few sections.  Many many thanks to Leslie Howard, Simon and Schuster, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to read this entertaining novel to be published on May 5th.  If you love historical fiction with a strong female protagonist this book is for you.
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