The Mayflower Bride

The Mayflower Bride

A New Series Begins for Lovers of History, Adventure, Romance, and Ancestry A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees. Mary Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—a...

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Title:The Mayflower Bride
Author:Kimberley Woodhouse
Rating:

The Mayflower Bride Reviews

  • Jocelyn Green

    A marvelous feat. Through The Mayflower Bride, Kimberley Woodhouse has woven a tender tale of love and endurance through a rich historical tapestry. The momentous voyage and landing takes on new depths of meaning through every carefully crafted page. What an inspiring tribute to the hope that filled those men and women’s sails, and to the courage that buoyed them through their storms.

  • Deanne Patterson

    I was really excited to have an opportunity to read and review the first book in the Daughters of the Mayflower series,The Mayflower bride. I really love reading historical facts and learning historical things in books I read. Now I know this is a fiction book but many of the facts presented I was not aware of since I don't regularly read in the time period presented. The author included a glossary of terms used in the book and I found it so helpful since a lot of the terms refer to parts of a s

    I was really excited to have an opportunity to read and review the first book in the Daughters of the Mayflower series,The Mayflower bride. I really love reading historical facts and learning historical things in books I read. Now I know this is a fiction book but many of the facts presented I was not aware of since I don't regularly read in the time period presented. The author included a glossary of terms used in the book and I found it so helpful since a lot of the terms refer to parts of a ship which I'll admit I am not familiar with. The cast of characters listed was also very helpful as well. Beautiful historical story that is the introduction to the series as it sets up the story for the upcoming books in the series. The hardships,hunger,depression,sickness,loss and raging storms is just incredible on this voyage. When they make it to land will it be too late for the planting season? Will things work out for Mary Elizabeth Chapman so she is able to marry William or will he be branded a traitor and expelled?

    This was a smooth reading fabulous book that I had trouble putting down. I can't wait to read the next books and continue the series.

    Pub Date 01 Feb 2018

    Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing, Inc. for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

  • Candace

    Mary Elizabeth Chapman, with her father and younger brother, David, are sailing on the Speedwell to the New World. William Lytton, a carpenter, is sailing on the Mayflower to the same destination. As the Speedwell has to make port several times because of leaks, it is decided that she is not seaworthy and its passengers transfer to the Mayflower.

    Mary Elizabeth is member of a religious group known as Separatist. They want to completely separate from the Church of England. They believe the Bible

    Mary Elizabeth Chapman, with her father and younger brother, David, are sailing on the Speedwell to the New World. William Lytton, a carpenter, is sailing on the Mayflower to the same destination. As the Speedwell has to make port several times because of leaks, it is decided that she is not seaworthy and its passengers transfer to the Mayflower.

    Mary Elizabeth is member of a religious group known as Separatist. They want to completely separate from the Church of England. They believe the Bible is the final authority. Separatist call themselves Saints. Anyone who isn't a Saint is called a Stranger. William is a Stranger.

    The sea journey is rough and the faith of the Saints is tested. Mary Elizabeth prays for courage. Mary Elizabeth's faith means everything to her. William, new to the Separatist's faith, prays for strength and wisdom. His new faith is tested on this voyage and when they reach the new land.

    Mary Elizabeth and William feel an instant attraction. This insta-love grows to genuine affection over the course of the Mayflower voyage and the settling of the New World. They become betrothed.

    William's secret job of recording in a journal the progress of the new colony could be seen as spying on the passengers. William is a trustworthy and godly man. Can his new reputation among the Saints stand through accusations of spying? What kind of life could he provide for Mary Elizabeth and David if he is accused of spying?

    Mary Elizabeth has lost he father and her best friend Dorothy to sickness. As the death toll rises on the Mayflower, her faith will spiral downward into despair. Can Mary Elizabeth pull herself out of the deep depression the sickness and deaths have put her under? Is her faith in the goodness of God strong enough to lift the depression?

    I found this Historical Christian novel captivating. Mary Elizabeth and William are fictional characters playing out their role among the historical ones. It makes for an engrossing and fascinating read. The prayers and scripture citations feel authentic to the characters and the plot. The writing flows smoothly. Changing the 'thee,' 'thou' and 'thy' to modern English and spellings helped to keep the characters straight and clear. Kimberly Woodhouse has written a historical fiction account of the voyage of the Mayflower. I look forward to reading her next book in the series. This is a clean novel.

  • Julie Carpenter

    I've often wondered what it would be like to live during some of the more famous events from history. Not that I necessarily want to live during some of those events but just wondering about the people who did live during those events. I have several ancestors who have been in some amazing parts of history, reading some of the stories that have been kept about those events have been neat. One of my favorite movies is based on the book,

    . In it Margaret goes to the Great Exhibition

    I've often wondered what it would be like to live during some of the more famous events from history. Not that I necessarily want to live during some of those events but just wondering about the people who did live during those events. I have several ancestors who have been in some amazing parts of history, reading some of the stories that have been kept about those events have been neat. One of my favorite movies is based on the book,

    . In it Margaret goes to the Great Exhibition in London to see all the wonders of the world. I always love that scene because I have an ancestor who lived at that time who walked several miles to visit her grandmother. Her grandmother wanted the granddaughter to stay and go see the exhibition, and especially the first steam powered locomotive. My ancestor talked about how they laid tracks down on the street to watch this train engine work. To think about how much of an advance that was for them but to us it seems small due to all that we have and see in our lives today.

    The first printing press, the first airplane, the first lightbulb. Columbus sailing off to find a new world. Pilgrims leaving behind all they knew to find religious freedom in a land unknown and undeveloped. The fears they might have had. The excitement. The stress. The joy. All of it building as they sold their possessions and chartered ships and land agreements and worked towards that day arriving and setting sail into the vast and open ocean. The unexpected (or maybe expected and anticipated) casualties and sorrows. The sickness. The change in plans. The weather. All that they had to encounter to go from point A to point B and being those early pioneers(yes they were called pilgrims but I use the word pioneer because they were pioneering the way) to help bring about change.

    This book opens with two dear friends, Mary Elizabeth (our main female character) and Dorothy, eavesdropping on the meeting of the elders to discuss leaving for this new land and who would go with the initial group. Dorothy is full of excitement and adventure and is practically bouncing off the walls with anticipation when she first hears the plan. Mary Elizabeth? Not so much. She is reserved, scared, fearful of what's to come, fearful to leave behind her life and fearful of how her family will survive. She's already lost her mother to illness, her father is still mourning her and has not been himself since her passing. Mary Elizabeth is unsure about the path that lies before her. But drawing from her deep beliefs that God will direct her path as she puts her faith and trust in him, she moves forward in preparing for her journey.

    Our main male character then comes on the scene in his own story. He is in a different part of Europe than Mary Elizabeth and has had his own struggles in life. He is joining the group bound for the new world as a master carpenter and is happy to not look back on his dear old mother land. Life has not been anything marvelous and wonderful for him. Being orphaned young, ignored and unwanted by family, living on the streets for years until finally a kind man rescues him and teaches him the skills of a carpenter. His rescuer dies after encouraging William to join this group and find a better life.

    These two characters' lives collide as they start their adventure on the two ships bound for America. The love story between them is sweet and tender and very befitting a Separatist's life. It's not easy or necessarily pleasant at some points but it was very sweet. They help strengthen each other with all the trials and sorrows that come their way on this journey.

    I think a good way to describe this book is to connect it to its subject matter. The Separatists group. Nothing flashy and glamorous. Not anything fast paced and big. But slow and steady (I mean that in a good way, not degrading). The pacing of the book is constant, but it isn't fast. There are moments of peril and many, many moments depicting struggles and trials that were faced by this group. The author did a great job in her research of this group and compiling it all into her novel. Each chapter has a date in the voyage so we see the time frame of the voyage and of how long certain events or sicknesses lasted. There are many, many characters within this book that she pulled from actual people who were on the voyage. At first when I was reading the list of characters at the beginning of the book, my head spun a little bit. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to keep them all straight or not. Honestly, there are a lot. But I took a deep breath and decided that at least I had a reference chart to look back at if I couldn't remember who was who. But guess what? I didn't need it. The way they were presented was done in a way that me, with my spinning head, was able to keep them all straight and I didn't feel overwhelmed once with who was who. Most of those listed were just minor characters but the author shows us who they are at the beginning in a glossary of characters. So don't fret if you see the big list and think, like me, how you're going to keep them straight.

    There were moments that I skimmed. Ok, maybe I should explain something. I'm a very fast reader. Usually I read each and every word. But when I skim through sections I'm still taking in everything that is happening. So my skimming is not quite the same skimming as other readers. Does that make sense? If not, no worries. Maybe speed reading sections might be a better way to say that. I don't know. But some parts were a little slower paced that I needed to move along the story otherwise my super exhausted brain was going to fall asleep. Not because of the book, but because of everything going on in my life that keeps me very busy and going full speed right now.

    The writing was well done. The style and characterization fit very nicely with the time period and the group of people being written about. I think any reader who loves history, especially this time period or subject matter, will give this book 5 stars or more because it is done well. I enjoyed it but there are only so many times I can read about sickness after sickness, and struggle after struggle, and not feel completely wowed by the book. But this book is about the group on the Mayflower so I know why it was included.

    There's peril in the form of a bad guy. He's angry and feels slighted so he's out to cause problems and gain back what he feels should be his. So watch out for him. Hell hath no fury like a woman, um scratch that cause it's a man in this case...Hell hath no fury like a man scorned. Ok, maybe not quite the best reference for the bad guy here because all said and done he really wasn't super scary or horrible. But, he did fit in great with the rest of the feel and pacing of the book. So kudos to the author for keeping it all connected that way.

    Overall it was a great depiction of this time and group of people. Their trials, their beliefs, their having to sacrifice and say goodbye to home, friends and family. There is a lot of depiction of death and storms on the seas, tragedies but some happiness too. If you're looking for a good historical read this is one that I would recommend picking up. I know many will really enjoy it. It is a Christian fiction genre book. I think that those who love that genre will really love this book and if you're not usually one to read Christian fiction because of the fear that it might be preachy but you love historical novels, I will say this to you...try it. Go into the book with the knowledge that it is about a group of people who were seeking for religious freedom. It is very historical and it does have a lot of talk about God and their beliefs but remember that was who these people were and why they were sailing on the Mayflower, crossing the ocean to find a new home. It's not preachy but it's who they were and what they lived. Just a little thought for you. If you still aren't interested, no worries. I am looking forward to the other books in this series. I've not read anything else by this author but did notice that she wrote one of the other books in this series. I'm looking forward to reading that book by her as well to see how I like it and her writing style with a little bit different time period. Each book moves forward in time just a little bit.

    Content: Clean. I think I've pretty much touched on everything that should be listed in the content section throughout my review. But for anyone who just jumped to the bottom to see if I listed content, here you go. Moments of peril due to storms on the sea, sickness, death from sickness, but nothing graphic. Some mild religious talk but that is due to the Separatist group that the story is about, I wouldn't say that it is preachy.

    I received a copy from the publisher, Barbour Books, via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own.

    Happy Reading!!!

    This book doesn't come out until February 1st if you start looking for it now.

  • Marlene

    (2018, Barbour), first in the

    series by

    , is a historical Christian romance set between 1620-1621 mostly on the open seas. The novel is a standalone story. I chose to read this book because two of my absolute favorite authors,

    and

    (2018, Barbour), first in the

    series by

    , is a historical Christian romance set between 1620-1621 mostly on the open seas. The novel is a standalone story. I chose to read this book because two of my absolute favorite authors,

    and

    , are contributing books three and six, respectively. I decided I might as well start at the beginning of the series even though I was nervous that a story set on the Mayflower would be too depressing. Not because of what I remember from school, but because of what I remember from the

    special

    !

    Mary Elizabeth Chapman, 17, is a Separatist. Years previously, the Separatists "fled England and King James' religious persecution… [and] made it to Holland." Holland has been her home for as long as she can remember, and now a group of Separatists has been chosen to be the first to travel to the New World. Mary Elizabeth's family is in this group, and she's devastated.

    William Lytton, 20, is a Stranger, defined as anyone who is

    a Separatist. A group of Strangers are going to travel to the New World to settle there along with the Separatists. William, orphaned at birth, has become a respected carpenter, and is now excited to leave for a new life. "They would all have to start with nothing. They would have to build or create everything with their own hands. They would be far away from everyone and everything they'd ever known. That was fine. Making a new life took hard work and sacrifice. He was ready." Needless to say, William is elated.

    *In the Ms. Woodhouse's dedication, she writes of Tracie Peterson, a veteran Christian fiction author: "You are my dearest friend other than my precious husband…my prayer and Bible study partner, accountability partner, and listening ear."

    *Of the Separatists: "The Saints, as they preferred to call themselves… believed only what the Bible told them, so they considered all the man-made rules and traditions of the Church of England to be wrong."

    *Of the prevalence of God and the Bible: This is possibly the most scripture-laden book I've ever read. The scriptures and prayers included seem culturally appropriate as well as

    . To me, it didn't feel preachy; it felt authentic. For example, in the face of very real fear, Mary Elizabeth's friend asks, "Why don't we recite the Twenty-Third Psalm together?" And

    I thought it was a wonderful application. It's atypical in the Christian fiction I read, but I did like it. "The fear was because of her doubt and worry - neither of which was honoring to God. She'd have to work on those areas of her life." Amen!

    Oh, yes!

    *As described in the foreword, Ms. Woodhouse "had to research each person on the ship and then bring aboard only a few fictional people." I really liked this approach, as opposed to the usual approach of sprinkling in historical figures and events. Thankfully, there is a list of characters before the story which indicates which characters are entirely fictional.

    *There was also a glossary of seafaring terms at the

    of the book. That was fabulous, because I have read Kindle books with a glossary at the

    and in almost every case, I didn't even realize it was there until after I finished the story!

    *The villain. I didn't think he was necessary. I cannot know for sure, but it seems as though the villain was created in order to manufacture conflict at the "right" time in a story arc. I think this story had enough hardships without a villain in the mix. Fortunately, he did not come into play overmuch. I tried to not take much notice of him

    *Instalove. Mary Elizabeth and William are instantly attracted to each other, and it seems like that attraction equals love. Once I got over that, I was fine with their relationship.

    *The use of the word prayerfully. This word was used several times to mean thankfully. I don't know whether this is a correct use of the word, but it jarred me out of the story each time.

    ***********

    This was a good rendering of the Mayflower's journey. I recommend this book to Christian fiction readers who won't mind that this book is NOT Christian Lite. I look forward to reading the rest of this series, including book 4, which will be by the same author.

    (See

    ).

    I received this book from NetGalley.

  • Kellyn Roth

    4.5 stars

    That was a great book! Made me remember how much I love about the

    story. It was

    well-researched, which I appreciated because I apparently know everything about the

    . (That awkward moment when you suddenly realize you know everything about a historic event and you had no idea?)

    Also, finishing it on Thanksgiving was picture-perfect because it reminds me of Thanksgiving even though the first Thanksgiving never actually happened on-page.

    4.5 stars

    That was a great book! Made me remember how much I love about the

    story. It was

    well-researched, which I appreciated because I apparently know everything about the

    . (That awkward moment when you suddenly realize you know everything about a historic event and you had no idea?)

    Also, finishing it on Thanksgiving was picture-perfect because it reminds me of Thanksgiving even though the first Thanksgiving never actually happened on-page.

    (Read the review with original formatting

    )

    Title: The Mayflower Bride

    Author: Kimberly Woodhouse

    Series: Daughters of the Mayflower, #1

    Genre: Historical/Christian Romance

    Era: 1620s (Pilgrims)

    Setting: England and then New England, 1620

    Publisher: Barbour Books

    Source: from NetGalley (in exchange for honest review)

    Time Taken to Read: seven days (during NaNoWriMo, too!)

    Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

    This novel is a lovely read about the Pilgrims of Plymouth. I enjoyed it quite thoroughly and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in this era.

    It was so much fun to read it in the days leading up to Thanksgiving even though the first Thanksgiving didn’t happen on-page. Got me in the stuff-myself-to-death mood with all the starvation and what-not. *shudders*

    It was a light, clean historical romance read – though the romance thread wasn’t too heavy. Not the best I’ve ever read … but quite sweet.

    PLOT: 4/5

    At times, it did seem like it just wouldn’t get to the point. It was always quite interesting, and I never was exactly bored, but still. I kept waiting and waiting for something to happen out of the ordinary going-to-Plymouth of history (lol) … and it was forever until something did!

    I also take issue with the title. What bride? She was no longer on the Mayflower, per se, by the time she became a bride – at the very, very end of the book. This book should be The Mayflower Single Girl. ;)

    None of this is to say that I didn’t enjoy the book! It’s just easier to list the negatives than the positives. It was a really good book, and I’m happy to have read it.

    CHARACTERS: 5/5

    All very well-done! I liked them a lot, and they all seemed well-developed. The author plainly took time to create them all individually.

    There were quite a few characters, but it was never confusing. Don’t let that long list at the beginning deter you! They were all individualistic. I loved the way they all got along together and cooperated on the Mayflower and then when they finally arrived at Plymouth.

    Mary was a sweet, brave girl. I just want to give her a hug! Poor angel … she had to bear so much in her life. I really got to understand her feelings and thoughts as the book progressed. It was like being right there with her!

    William was also cool. I mean, he wasn’t exactly swoon-worthy, but he was still a neat, upstanding guy. It was cool to see him grow close to Christ. His backstory was so sad, poor baby. *gives him lots of chocolate*

    SETTING: 5/5

    Very well done! I was surprised by the depth of the research. I know a lot about this era and these people (got a little obsessed when I was younger – or rather my mom did, haha), and I was deeply impressed.

    A fellow reviewer has mentioned some historical errors. The first is that pneumonia was not diagnosed until the late 1800s (

    contains more details) and the second that washing a person’s mouth out with soup as a punishment for swearing wasn’t used until later.

    But … honestly, I didn’t even notice – nor do I care – and it didn’t decrease my enjoyment one whit. Still, if you’re a super history buff, I guess that’s something to think about.

    WRITING: 4/5

    I really appreciate that the author chose to use slightly more modern speech. I love Shakespeare as much as the next gal, but I don’t want to have to unravel what people are saying when I’m reading a just-for-fun novel!

    Still, it definitely wasn’t too modern. Modern enough to be understood – but not slangy or full of contemporary terms.

    The book was fairly well-written overall. There was a time or two when I thought sentences could have been improved upon, but these were few and far-between and more a matter of personal preference than anything. *is a writer who edits peoples’ books in my head* *shrugs*

    CONTENT: 1/5

    Language: n/a

    Violence: people fear that the local Indian tribe may attack

    Sexual: brief mentions of childbirth and pregnancy

    Other: passengers on the Mayflower are ill a great deal and many die, lots of hunger

    Squeaky clean! Probably 13+ for reading level, but no objectionable content.

    OVERALL: 4.5/5

    I really did love this book! I haven’t delved in the Pilgrims’ lives in forever, and I was so glad to have the opportunity to do so again! Definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone interested in or studying this era or simply historical romance/adventure readers looking for their next novel.

    ~Kellyn Roth,

  • Hannah

    Preliminary thoughts:

    I liked Mary and William as characters and enjoyed the descriptions of what they faced on the Speedwell and the Mayflower.

    Jarring historical errors:

    —Pneumonia: Not only were the symptoms and treatment and the statistics of fatality off, pneumonia wasn’t even discovered and named until 1881

    —Washing one’s mouth out with soap as a treatment of swearing: First, there wasn’t bar soap as we know it. Most soap was “brown soap,” with lye sourced from ash, which doesn’t fully harden

    Preliminary thoughts:

    I liked Mary and William as characters and enjoyed the descriptions of what they faced on the Speedwell and the Mayflower.

    Jarring historical errors:

    —Pneumonia: Not only were the symptoms and treatment and the statistics of fatality off, pneumonia wasn’t even discovered and named until 1881

    —Washing one’s mouth out with soap as a treatment of swearing: First, there wasn’t bar soap as we know it. Most soap was “brown soap,” with lye sourced from ash, which doesn’t fully harden. Further, the earliest instance of using soap to wash out one’s mouth as a punishment was in 1832.

    Format choices: I get that she wanted to stay as close to Biblical quotes as possible, and included the ampersands for “and” in the quotes, but it was extra-distracting to try to interpret symbols instead of a simple word during character conversations.

    Later thoughts: I actually recall it more as a 2.5; I really won’t be rereading. There are just so many other Mayflower stories that are more historically accurate and better plotted.

    Thanks to the publisher for a free review copy.

  • Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    I have to admit, I first wanted to read this book because of the amazing cover. I was intrigued by the historical setting and what story the author would tell. While the book has plenty of details of the Speedwell and Mayflower voyages, they were basic and I didn't find them very compelling and didn't feel immersed in the setting. I felt like I was being told facts instead of experiencing it along with the characters. I liked Mary Elizabeth and the realistic portrayal of her fears, and how she r

    I have to admit, I first wanted to read this book because of the amazing cover. I was intrigued by the historical setting and what story the author would tell. While the book has plenty of details of the Speedwell and Mayflower voyages, they were basic and I didn't find them very compelling and didn't feel immersed in the setting. I felt like I was being told facts instead of experiencing it along with the characters. I liked Mary Elizabeth and the realistic portrayal of her fears, and how she relied on her faith to give her strength to overcome. Her friend Dorothy was a bright spot with her optimism and enthusiasm. William has a background that is tragic yet redeeming, and his developing friendship with Mary Elizabeth is sweet. Somehow I didn't feel a connection to the emotions they described, and felt like what depth was there was repeated throughout the book.

    (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

  • Staci

    The lovely cover is what drew me first to this novel. Then when I saw it was a series starting with the crossing of the Mayflower, be still my historical loving heart!

    The author does a fabulous job of setting up the story in the introductory comments to the reader. Likewise, the afterward provides additional details about what was Fiction and which parts were fact in the afterward. I especially loved reading about some famous descendants from those that sailed and survived the crossing of the Ma

    The lovely cover is what drew me first to this novel. Then when I saw it was a series starting with the crossing of the Mayflower, be still my historical loving heart!

    The author does a fabulous job of setting up the story in the introductory comments to the reader. Likewise, the afterward provides additional details about what was Fiction and which parts were fact in the afterward. I especially loved reading about some famous descendants from those that sailed and survived the crossing of the Mayflower.

    I think it was the introductory comments to the reader that set my expectations high for the level of historical detail about to unfold in the pages. While the novel included historical details about the time, this could have been enhanced. I did feel the despair the passengers must have felt so the mood was established by the author.

    Overall, it was a good story. One of my favorite parts of reading historical fiction is learning something new. I absolutely learned a few new things from The Mayflower Bride and for that I come away from my time spent reading this novel gratified.

    My gratitude to the publisher Barbour Books for a complimentary NetGalley copy of the novel. The opinions expressed are my own.

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