Catharine Olsen, from Holland, was willing to be a mail-order bride to start her life over. Peter Andersen, in Wyoming, wanted a mail-order bride because he couldn't find a woman to suit him, even with his mother's unwanted help.
Both parties left parts of their lives out of the letters that they exchanged over several months. Peter sent the money for her voyage, but didn't tell her that his mother, Clara, desperately wanted him to marry Dorothy Miller so he didn't let his mother know that he was even writing to Catharine, yet alone planning on bringing her to America so they could marry. Catharine used the money she had left from her parents shipping business, after they died and left her guardian over her two sisters, to pay for the voyage for Greta and Anna. Peter didn't know anything about her sisters or the fact that she'd been married before and lost a child in her past life.
Peter picks Catharine and the girls up at the hotel and takes them to lunch to discuss things, still not realizing the sisters will live with them, then the problems begin because as they are leaving his mother is arriving, sees him with the 'ladies' and demands to know what's going on. Peter invites his mother to the wedding and she shows up with his grandmothers wedding ring that 'he was going to give to Dorothy' and tries to stop the wedding that way. Catharine doesn't let her get away with it and agrees to marry Peter.
Since Clara's ploy with the ring didn't work, she hires a private investigator to check Catharine out. She thinks Catharine is out to get Peter's money and will prove it, she thinks anyway. The investigator discovers that Catharine was married before but can't find a divorce decree, so he says! Clara wastes no time in letting Peter know this piece of information.
Can Peter trust Catharine, why didn't she say anything to him about her previous marriage, she didn't tell him about her sisters coming, what else might she be hiding. Can Catharine believe that Peter loves her, he didn't tell her that he dated Dorothy, he didn't tell his mother that she was coming and he was going to get married, what else might he be hiding? Will this marriage survive?
An enjoyable book to read and yet again, another book that shows you should be honest in all things and trust God to lead you in your life. Maggie did a fine job of keeping me interested, so yes, I'm anxiously waiting for the second book in The Blue Willow Brides series, Twice Promised, to come out in September for the Kindle and in October in paperback.
I won this book at southernbellewriter(dot)blogspot(dot)com, I was not required to read the book or post a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I was first captivated by Ms. Brendan's hand at penning Christian Historical Romance after being loaned the Heart of the West Trilogy by another reader who highly recommended them. I read 1 book a day, for three days in a row, and was hardly able to put the books down.
It was because of this, that I was extreamly excited to get my hands on a copy of Deeply Devoted. I devoured this novel in the same fashion, within a 24 hour period. I just could not put it down...even when my eyes told me enough was enough.
The story revolves around Ms. Catharine Olsen, and her two younger sisters, Greta and Anne, who travel to America by way of Amsterdam, after Catherine answers an add for "mail order brides". Together with her sisters, she makes the trip across the country, to the wide open spaces of Wyoming, to start her new life with her new husband Peter.
The phrase "mail order bride" might be enough to turn off any seasoned reader, as it is a story line that is frequently used in historical literature. Let me assure you, I have read my fair share of these novels as well, and this book is simply different, on some many levels, and does not heavily focus on this topic. Have no fear...
The character development within the novel was wonderfully done. To some, it might seem that Catherine was far too accepting of her situation, and "fell head over heels" with Peter too quickly. But there is only so much that can be said within the confines of a novel. Take it or leave it, sometimes less is more.
The play by play between Catherine and her husband Peter was endearing and heart felt. I was reminded of my own Grandparents, and their life long love story.
Of course, not all happy endings begin with happy "starts" and prior histories, as the reader soon finds out. As Catherine finds herself wanting to reveal her past more and more to Peter, she finds it more and more difficult to do. Life, and lifes changes come rapidly, and Catherine finds herself in a tough spot. Should she, or shouldn't she? And will Peter still love her when he knows the truth?
Of course, one cannot leave out a spectacular cast of secondary characters, who are the "bread and butter" of the story, and hold everything together. From the precocious Greta, and her secondary love story, to the younger sister Anne, who would bring a smile to the face of anyone who has ever had a younger sibling. Not to forget, the story has it's fair share of villianous characters, including Peter's meddling mom Clara, and her private investigator friend. The invidual subplots and stories keep the reader on their toes and intrested, wondering what happens next.
I will be anxiously awaiting the next in this series, which I have been told do involve Greta, and finally Anne, allowing the story to conclude full circle.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone wanting good, clean romance, without overbearing Christian undertones.
This novel would also be perfect for young adults as well as adults alike.
Many valuble life lessons in love, honestly, and devotion are within these pages, and hopefully can serve as an example to many.
Maggie Brendan takes us on a delightful, but painstaking journey of one mail-order bride's quest to find love and trust in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in the late 1800s. Catharine Olsen leaves Holland with her two sisters to marry a man she has only met through letters. As Catharine arrives in Wyoming with only her mother's Blue Willow teaset, and a tragic past, she has high hopes that she can make a new start in life and find security, if not love, with the kind man with whom she has been corresponding, Peter Andersen.
Peter Andersen, a wheat farmer, is quite taken with his lovely new bride, but is quite chagrined as well, to see that she has brought along her two sisters, Greta and Anna. Catharine knows nothing of domestic skills, but does her best, in spite of being fought on every hand by Peter's mother, Clara, who had her heart set on her only child marrying the woman of HER choice. Soon troubles abound as Greta starts sneaking out to meet a young soldier she fancies herself in love with...and Clara unearths a terrible secret concerning Catherine; one that threatens to unravel every bond of love and trust that she and Peter have worked so hard to build.
Clara has been a lonely widow for years, but will she finally find love in the private investigator who she hired to find out about Catharine, or will he betray her trust, as Catharine has betrayed Peter's? Will Catharine ever find forgiveness with Peter, and what role does the lovely Blue Willow China play in the restoration of this family?
I simply loved this book! Maggie Brendan knows how to tell a story that will keep the reader saying, "I'm gonna read one more chapter...just one more chapter." Her characters are easy to fall in love with and I miss them already...even poor Clara, who is simply a victim of boredom and loneliness. A wonderful story of love, betrayal, and forgiveness, that is guaranteed to leave the reader's eyes filled with tears at the satisfying conclusion! Maggie Brendan's best yet...can't wait 'til the second book in The Blue Willow Brides series!!