The Captain's Bride
by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Trade Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Released: June 2, 2009
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description from Goodreads:
Elsa Anders's dream of marrying Peder Ramstad is about to come true. But as this independent, strong-willed woman discovers her own creative gifts--a love for travel, painting, and the sea--can she find happiness with a captain who insists upon leaving her safely on shore?
Leaving their home in Norway behind, Elsa and Peder embark on a new life in with their closest friends, including: Kaatje Jansen, a woman seeking a new beginning for the sake of her marriage and for the child growing within her; Elsa's sister Tora, a sly young vixen who knows exactly what she wants--and exactly how to get it; and Karl Martensen, a man torn between his friendship for Peder and a forbidden, secret love for Elsa, a man tormented by emotions that threaten to ruin them all.
From the gentle hills of Bergen, Norway, to the rocky coast of Camden, Maine, and across the crashing, danger-filled waves of the open sea--experience an epic saga of perseverance and passion, faith and fidelity, in the Northern Lights series: the new historical series by Lisa Tawn Bergren
The Captain's Bride is a Christian historical novel. It has five main characters, and the story jumped around in location after the group splits up after reaching America. I never had any trouble keeping track of who was who or where they were, but the ending only provided resolution for a few of the characters and the rest ended with more of a cliff-hanger.
The characters were all very realistic and complex. They dealt with real life struggles, and most of their problems were brought on them by their own poor choices. The vivid historical details brought the story alive in my imagination without slowing the pacing. The suspense was created mainly by relationship tensions but also by physical danger to various characters.
Even when things were going well for the characters, I felt like something was going to happen to spoil it. I went through the novel feeling dread for what was going to come instead of hope that good would come through all the bad. Though good did come from the bad--stronger relationships and so on. Perhaps this feeling was partly because I couldn't predict precisely what would happen next, which is a good thing.
The Christian element was woven naturally into the story line and realistically portrayed the Christian walk, with its ups and downs. The brief prayers came across as genuine. The characters (except Tora) wanted to have a good relationship with God, and that's what affected their behavior (rather than lectures from other Christians). I liked how this was portrayed.
There were no graphic sex scenes. There was a very minor amount of "he cursed" style of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this well-written historical.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.