3 out of 4 stars
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Set in America during the early days of colonization, The Saga of Bridget and Amanda: Book One The New World by Carole Love-Forbes takes the reader on a journey into the lives of Bridget Wodehouse and Amanda McNeely as they adjust to a new world.
Bridget and Amanda meet while aboard a ship on it's way to America. Bridget is an English noblewoman, educated and with means of her own. She is kidnapped and brought onboard the vessel by a seaman as a replacement bride for a Puritan man. Amanda is a child of the streets who while caring for her ailing mother winds up in prison after stealing a loaf of bread. In prison, they give her a choice to stay or sail to America and become an indentured servant. We follow Bridget and Amanda on their journey to America, through abusive relationships, the birth of their daughters, Rachel and Melinda, and their new lives in America.
I like the way Ms. Love-Forbes weaves together each woman’s journey using her descriptive writing style. The story captured my heart from the beginning, and I found it hard to put down. Love-Forbes reminds us of the history of our country, even though we don‘t want to admit it, where women possess few rights and many times treated as possessions. These women live in a nation of slavery, indentured servanthood, and hardships. However, they find out it is also a country of new beginnings, and personal triumphs.
Ms. Love-Forbes creates female characters with character. Even though they may not have a formal education, their intelligence and ingenuity protect them from a hostile environment. Looking for a way to better their circumstances, they befriend others willing to assist them. I admire these women, not only Bridget and Amanda, their daughters Rachel and Melinda but also the women who they meet along their paths.
As with many historical fiction novels, the characters interact with historical figures. Readers will see Bridget and Amanda interact with prominent people such as Algernon Fry, a merchant ship captain; William and Alice Bradford, Governor of Plymouth Colony and his wife; John Cotton, a controversial and pre-eminent clergyman of the day; and Anne Hutchinson, spiritual advisor and essential participant in a religious controversy in Massachusetts.
I found several grammatical errors. These errors did not disrupt my reading. I would love to give this book a four-star rating but I can‘t due to the many mistakes, and therefore, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. Readers of historical fiction and those who love stories about strong women will enjoy not only this book but the entire series.
The Saga of Bridget and Amanda
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