3 out of 4 stars
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The Saga of Bridget and Amanda; New Challenges by Carole Love-Forbes, is a historical fiction novel. This volume advances the saga of Amanda and Bridget, and their daughters, in colonial America.
The first half of the book recounts the experiences of Amanda and her daughter Lindy. Amanda resides in Maryland. After the death of her first husband, she marries Jamie. Jamie is a shipbuilder. He takes Amanda on an extended honeymoon aboard his newest ship. Lindy marries Fulke. They begin their family. Lindy grows spiritually as religious conflicts affect the colony.
Bridget lives in New Amsterdam. She longs to improve her relationship with her daughter. Rachel lived with Anne Hutchinson for several years. A tragedy forces Rachel to return to her mother’s home. Here, she reunites with Tepho, the grandson of Massasoit. They marry and renew contact with the Wampanoag tribe.
The character development of the daughters is remarkable. Lindy and Rachel mature as they encounter difficult situations. Childish attitudes evolve into an interest in others. Selfish behaviors transform into service.
Difficult situations affect the daily life of the colonists. British soldiers capture settlers and imprison them in England. Ex-convicts arrive from overseas to populate the colonies. Food shortages and lack of funds strain the morale of the standing army. Differences over the freedom of religion provoke confrontations among the colonists. Relationships with Indian tribes are a source of concern.
The author does an excellent job of presenting colonial life from a unique perspective. The perils of childbirth, religious persecution, skirmishes with British soldiers were all realities of daily life. I liked the description of the controversy surrounding the Toleration Act.
My favorite part of the book was the story of Esther. She came from a mixed marriage. She married Mark without revealing the truth about her parents. Her husband reacts viscerally when one of their children gives evidence of Esther's parentage. We see slavery and racial discrimination surface in the early days of the colonies. The author presents these themes in a sensitive manner.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The numerous grammar errors force me to lower the score. The historical events stimulate emotions. Amanda’s choice of a second husband surprised me. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this book. Romance readers would also appreciate the various relationships that develop in this novel. This book is the second in this series. The author does a good job of giving sufficient backstory enabling this book to work well as a standalone.
'The Saga of Bridget and Amanda' (book 2)
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