Thursday, January 28, 2010

“The Bartered Bride” is full of Surprises!

The Bartered Bride

Erica Vetsch

Heartsong Presents, 2009. 170 pages

“The Bartered Bride” is full of Surprises!

I bought “The Bartered Bride” because I just wanted to read a book by this author. I didn’t know what to expect because “The Bartered Bride” is not so much a title as it is a theme like “The Hidden Child” or “Baby on the Doorstep” or my favorite, “ The Marriage of Convenience”.

However, I did have expectations. I thought the book would take place in Regency England and I thought the heroine would be bartered to a rich titled older man so as to save her family from ruin because of her father’s gambling debts. None of this is true. This bartered bride is a surprisingly different, fresh, and new story.

The story takes place at the turn of the century (19th to 20th ) America on the Great Lakes in the city of Duluth. It is a very exciting time. There is great energy, homes have gas lights and electric lights, the streets have horse drawn carriages and automobiles, there are even suffragettes and planned demonstrations. This is all in addition to storms, shipwrecks, piano recitals, high society, tycoons, oppressive mothers, and absolutely wonderful descriptions of home interiors.

The author’s attention to detail and the research that must have gone into the short novel is amazing. I am very excited about reading more books by Erica Vetsch. I hope her publisher allows a little more creativity in the next title. For example, I would have preferred a title like: “The Unsinkable Melissa Brooke” – that’s not too far off. ‘Melissa Brooke’ is pretty closer to ‘Molly Brown’ and the young heroine is certainly feisty given her secret nighttime activities. (You’ll just have to read it yourself!)

By the way, the book is also a very nice example of Christian fiction.

As much as I loved the book, I would have edited two sentences towards the end because the reality presented is so strong, for me at least, it stepped on the happy ending and lessened the good feelings I expected to enjoy. However, other readers may enjoy the realism. If you read the book, and I hope you do, I’d like to know your comments on this matter.

Excellent Reading Enjoyment!


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