Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review of "The Pelican Bride"

Rating: 3.5 Stars
~  ~  ~ 
Review: "Pelican Bride" brims with historical details surrounding a lesser covered era in history. Beth White places readers in the Gulf Coast, circa 1704.  Tensions run high between the colonies, Native Americans, and various religious groups.  There is no shortage of historical information or characters within the pages of "The Pelican Bride."  The plot jumps right into the unsettled environs of the Gulf Coast, and there are a multitude of details and political figures for readers to absorb.  White's thorough research is evident throughout, and the novel acted as a history lesson for me.  The political complexities were too much for me at times.  It took me several chapters to settle into the story, and I was drawn to certain topics more than others.  

"The Pelican Bride" goes far beyond a story about a ship of unmarried women traveling to unknown territories in search of husbands.  White uses the perspectives of several different characters to extend the plot.  While I appreciate the depth and dynamics various points-of-view lend to the story, the changes  left me feeling disconnected and unsettled. As the climaxes approach, the scenes switch quickly leaving us just on the brink of something significant occurring.  This definitely builds suspense, which can keep readers anxiously turning the pages.  Ultimately, I would have preferred fewer character perspectives and less sudden scene transitions. 

Because there were some subplots that held my attention more, the pace and my interest ebbed and flowed as I was reading.  The characters of Genevieve and Nika both have intriguing stories to tell with complex lives and backgrounds.  I appreciate White's portrayal of a French woman and a Native American woman living in the same area, but experiencing life in completely different ways, even when their paths cross.  The relationships that develop in "The Pelican Bride" are diverse and unique, and the political element adds suspense and historical background.  For readers looking for Christian fiction with a well-researched plot, "The Pelican Bride" offers a love story wrapped in layers of history. 

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Revell through the Revell Reads Blog Tour Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Summary from Baker Publishing Group: She's come to the New World to escape a perilous past. But has it followed her to these far shores?

It is 1704 when Frenchwoman Geneviève Gaillain and her sister board the frigate Pélican bound for the distant Louisiana colony. Both have promised to marry one of the rough men toiling in this strange new world in order to escape suffering in the old. Geneviève knows life won't be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of persecution for her outlawed religious beliefs.

When she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer-turned-farmer whose checkered past is shrouded in mystery, Geneviève realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. Trouble is brewing outside the fort between the French colonists and the native people surrounding them. And an even more sinister enemy may lurk within. Could the secret Geneviève harbors mean the undoing of the colony itself?

Gulf Coast native Beth White brings vividly to life the hot, sultry South in this luscious, layered tale.

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