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Sixteen Brides Paperback – April 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Reprinted edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764205137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764205132
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephanie Grace Whitson, bestselling author and two time Christy Award finalist, pursues a fulltime writing and speaking career from her home studio in Lincoln, Nebraska.

More About the Author

Stephanie Grace Whitson has made a career out of playing with imaginary friends, and it all started in an abandoned pioneer cemetery. This one's graves are scattered on a tiny corner of land near where the Whitson family lived in the 1990s. That cemetery provided not only a hands-on history lesson for Stephanie's four home schooled children but also a topic of personal study as she began to read about and be encouraged by the pioneer women who settled the American West. Since writing had always been a favorite hobby, it was only natural for her to begin jotting down scenes in the life of a nameless woman crossing Nebraska on the Oregon Trail. Eventually that story took on a life of its own and Stephanie sent off a query letter--expecting instant rejection.

God had a different plan. He blessed Stephanie's beginnings, putting two of her three first books on the ECPA best-seller list and making two of her first nine books finalists for the Christy Award. More recently (in 2012) she received Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best Inspirational Romance. In addition to writing (she has authored more than two dozen books), Stephanie loves antique quilts and pioneer women's history and riding her Honda Magna motorcycle named Kitty. A lifelong student, she earned her Master of Arts degree in history in 2012.

"The flip side of writing," Stephanie says, "is being asked to teach writing and/or speak at various church and community events." She has developed a menu of lectures and workshops that "provide opportunities for me to travel and get to know not only other writers and history lovers, but also students and quilters. I love sequestering myself in a library to do research, but the speaking part of my career has provided some unique and wonderful memories."

And then there's Kitty, the Honda Magna. "In some ways I'm 60," she says, "in others I'm probably about 26. It all depends on the day." On days when her virtual age leans toward the younger side of that equation, she's been known to wake up in the morning and decide to ride Kitty to Canada. And then she comes home and descends to "the catacombs" (the basement office in her Victorian-era house) and heads back into the past to play with more imaginary friends.

Customer Reviews

This well written story is filled with excellent characters.
Amazon Customer
I found the book easy to read but hard to put down, as chores and meals were pushed aside to follow the stories of these brides to the end of the book.
A J Hawke Author
I think it was too many main characters in one book to develop well and have it be a good, smooth story line.
Edward Ballance Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

170 of 174 people found the following review helpful By A J Hawke Author on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
It is 1872 and sixteen women are lured to Nebraska with the promise of free land, independence, and an opportunity to start over after the devastating loss of their husbands. What they find when they arrive in Plum Grove, Nebraska is a story of hope, new beginnings, forgiveness, and love.

I found the book easy to read but hard to put down, as chores and meals were pushed aside to follow the stories of these brides to the end of the book.

Stephanie Grace Whitson always produces good writing as she carries you along on the journey with these women. Based on historical facts, she weaves the stories of these brides into the landscape of the prairie of Nebraska that leaves one at the end of the story with a nod and sigh of satisfaction.
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86 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Lollipops on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sixteen women, widowed by the war, are enticed by the promises of free land in the Nebraska territory. All they have to do is live on the land for five years. Since they all have things they want to escape, they catch the train with the land agent, and go west. But then they discover that all is not as it seemed. The land agent had collected money from men and promised that these war widows would be their brides.

Seven of these women had no intentions of being anyone's bride. They'd come west for the land. And they were determined to make it work. With Ella's planning, they devised a plan where they could all stay together and yet form four different homesteads.

There these seven women make their stakes on the land and on the hearts of the town. As they struggle to survive in an unforgiving land, will they find more than what they came for?

SIXTEEN BRIDES is by far the best historical I've read by Ms. Whitson. I totally loved this story, the seemingly seamless way the points of view of five women and two men were woven into it and excitement that lit the pages.

All of these characters were touched by death, yet the deaths were not portrayed in the pages of the book. The characters were ready to move on, to battle the demons that tormented them, and to start making changes in their lives. I really enjoyed this book, and if you are looking for a good historical, then you won't want to miss SIXTEEN BRIDES. It is a wonderful read.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Molly on April 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite kind of books! HISTORICAL! YAY! I absolutely loved this book! Although, I must say, in the beginning, keeping up with SIXTEEN women was rather overwhelming. But, by the end of the story, I wasn't quite so overwhelmed and was truly pleased with this after-war story.

Stephanie Grace Whitson has just became an author that I have add to my favorites list. She has true talent and researched enough to make this story feel real. I felt as though I was a war widow, stepping into a whole new town for a whole new adventure. I was captured from the beginning and quickly befriended all these amazing brides, and I was held til the very last page. This was a simple read, though, as I said, a bit overwhelming in the beginning. The author created a story full of humor, charm, wit, and God in such a way that, even though in the beginning there were so many different characters, it wasn't jumpy or confusing.

I highly recommend this book with 5 stars, especially if you love historicals and well created characters. I will be looking forward to many more books by Stephanie!

Many thanks to Bethany House and CFBA for my review copy!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nana on June 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't have an issue with the Scripture references, and the story certainly looked promising. But three chapters of bogus Southern dialect (our heroine being a Southerner) gave me the ominous feeling that I'd be plowing through an entire book of somebody trying to write like a Southerner sounds. And that, folks, was just too tedious a prospect to bear. It seems to me that you could easily establish Southern credentials for a character by mentioning her native state and (since this was a period piece), the fact that she had grown up on a plantation. Writing in that kind of dialect is insulting to the character, not to mention to people who actually speak with the accent in question. Even Margaret Mitchell didn't make Scarlett O'Hara talk like that for an entire book. I hope this author never writes about Native Americans--she will have them saying "Ugh" and "How" all the time. Sigh.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Chandler on November 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It took awhile to get into this book but after a few chapters it became an easy read. I liked the characters and enjoyed getting to know them, but I felt the last few chapters were incredibly rushed and hectic (nothing like the easy pace the rest of the book traveled at.) I was actually upset when I read the last page as I didn't feel like every story had been nicely wrapped up. I think this would have made a great series, but as a stand alone novel it leaves you wanting.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Alan A. Elsner VINE VOICE on August 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Strangely enough, before reading this sappy, cloying fable, I had just finished My Antonia by Willa Cather which I had downloaded on my Kindle for free.

I suggest that anyone wanting to know what it was really like for pioneer women in Nebraska should read that classic, which is also full of gorgeous, beautiful writing and deep psychological insight. You won't be sorry - you will be transported. And it costs not a cent.

Alternatively, read this for cheap, sappy stories with paper-thin characters based on cliches and truisms that demand nothing from the reader and give nothing in return. Read it also for totally superficial religiosity that imagines a world in which all problems can be fixed with a quick prayer.
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