Lisa Tawn Bergren has done it again! The moment you pick up one of her book's, your instantly devoted to every character, every situation, every trial and victory as every emotion is happening to you alongside them!
The Captain's Bride, Elsa and Captain Peder Ramsted, childhood sweethearts and now newlyweds are preparing to leave their homeland Norway and charter new dreams and hopes to America. Karl Martensen, having also grown up alongside Peder as brother and best friend has secretly been holding a torch for Elsa, but doesn't want to jeopardize his friendship and love to the two most important people in his life.
Elsa's young rebel sister, Tora stowaways aboard the ship, and causes turmoil, frustration and pain to almost everyone she meets, as she too seeks independence, wealth from high society in America.
Kaatje and Soren are also trying to begin fresh and new in their marriage. Yet Soren, a womanizer cannot stay devoted to his wife, amidst failing attempts to forgive and forget.
The characters have many twists and turns, yet Lisa Bergren stays true to form, making you feel the sorrow, the joy, the pain and the triumph of each relationship bringing so much depth to them, and this is just the first novel! I loved this book so much, I highly recommend it for anyone!
"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.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
The Captain's Bride, by Lisa Tawn Bergren, is a well-written historical novel showing the lives of immigrants as they traveled to America and attempted to forge new lives there. She begins the story in Norway, and follows her characters through both their struggles and celebrations even after they arrive at their new homes.
Elsa and Peder Ramsted marry in Norway and sail for America two days later. As Peder is the captain of the ship and president of their shipyard in Maine, their lives are very much open the public. They go through typical problems that many newlyweds encounter, finding the answer in following God's will for their lives. Tora, Elsa's younger sister, stows away on the ship, causing nothing but trouble on the voyage and after her arrival in America. Many of the others, Karl and Kaatje for example, will also steal the reader's hearts in their struggles.
Bergren's characters were very down to earth and realistic. Their personalities and problems, the mistakes they made, and the victories they had were all true to people in current everyday life. I very much enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to all who enjoy historical fiction.
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
Lisa Tawn Begren's The Captain's Bride is a gripping tale of love and betrayal on the high seas as well as on the new land of America.
Instantly, one is drawn into the story line as one after another, the characters' secrets start unfolding. Even the most "perfect" of characters soon discover life is not so perfect thus shattering dreams but creating new ones.
That is exactly what this novel is about--new beginnings. Each character desires a new beginning for various reasons. Whether to start their married life or save their marriage, the characters find themselves leaving their homeland in search of the their new beginning in America. However, things start to unravel as life on the seas, despite it picturesque vistas, starts to experience physical and emotional storms. Will they be able to weather the storms even when unexpected cargo--Tora Anders threatens to destroy one life after an other in pursuit of her selfish goals?
Their life at sea and the arrival in America is not so much a travel journey but one of growth. The protagonists learn that marriage is not the same as the captaining of a ship or the painting thereof. While other characters learn that their actions have consequences often times hurting the innocent. Restoration and forgiveness is a lesson they will have to learn over and over once their sea journey ends and their land one begins.
Overall, this book captivated one's attention and heart. One could not help becoming distraught as the characters lived through tragedies and becoming angry as the nemesis continued to wreak havoc on those around her. This is an excellent read for a mature audience, since some themes and innuendos are explicit.
Elsa Anders is about to become the wife of Captain Peder Ramstad. Leaving her beloved Norway for the shores of Maine, Elsa wants to be more than just a captain's wife. She wants the adventure of the seas; see exotic places, painting the beautiful sights and vistas, and just being with her husband. Will Peder allow it? Or will his authority as captain spill over into their lives?
Kaatje wants to come to America to save her marriage. Her life, and the life of her unborn child depend on it. Karl Martensen has been friends with Peder since childhood. He fights his secret and impossible love for Elsa, but his emotions threaten to destroy everything they have set out to accomplish. And Tora Anders, the defiant yet seductive young woman that believes she can win the world with her woman'y wiles and wit. Will any of these immigrants find what they are looking for in America? Or is their fresh start an unreachable dream?
This book will take you on a wonderful journey, Once set your eyes to it's pages, you are sucked into the tale and there is no describing the agony of waiting to see what will happen to all the characters you've come to love. I have held my breath so many times in anticipation, stifled a gasp at another twist in the plot, that I feel silly for becoming so enchanted without so much as a look back. I read a lot of books, and I like to think that I can anticipate and know what happens next. This book stripped away all I know of fiction, and took me to the beautiful country of Norway, a magical voyage across the sea that became a mix of tragedy and joy, and finally brought me to the promised land. But so many questions remain. Bergren tells many character stories, but she is successful at making each person an unforgettable part of the tale, as real as the many immigrants that have docked at our shores.
A copy of this book was provided for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.