Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Two Brides Too Many" Review

Since I was asked to review the second book in the “Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek” series, “Too Rich for a Bride,” then I decided to check out the first book from the library so that I would know what was happening!
“Two Brides Too Many” by Mona Hodgson begins telling the story of the Sinclair sisters (four in all – Ida, Kat, Nell, and Vivian) and their adventures moving out west to Cripple Creek, Colorado, beginning in 1895. The first book narrates the stories of Kat and Nell, as they leave their home in Maine to become mail-order brides in the rugged frontier.
After corresponding with their intendeds through letters, Kat and Nell are both nervous and excited to meet the men who they will marry in Colorado. When they arrive at the Cripple Creek train station, however, they discover that a fire has ripped through the town. With the town in a crisis, the two sisters suddenly find themselves without their promised husbands-to-be and seemingly alone in unfamiliar territory.
For the most part, this story is a lighthearted tale of life in a western mining town. The first few chapters are not lighthearted at all, but after things get straightened out from the fire, the book settles into more of the usual romantic historical fiction story. I really enjoyed the secondary characters in this book. The little girl, Rosita, was so sweet, and Hattie, the owner of the boardinghouse, just leapt from the page! Hattie's wisdom and love of God help Kat and Nell to discover what paths God has prepared for them.
This novel is the first adult fiction novel by Mona Hodgson. She has many children’s books to her credit, as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles. For a first novel, I thought it was really good. There were a few things that I did find to be unpolished, to my non-writer eye. I found it a bit difficult when the story switched from Kat to Nell and back. It seemed as if their stories should have been split into two different books. Also sometimes the dialogue was difficult to follow. One other thing that bothered me was that the father in this book actually sends his daughters off to be mail-order brides. It was his idea! I realize that I do not live in the year 1895, and I do not fully understand the view of women at that time. Still, it seems a bit harsh for a father who is supposed to protect his daughters to just send them off to be married to who-knows-who.
Anyway, I thought this was a decent first effort for a children’s author writing adult fiction.
I will give “Two Brides Too Many” by Mona Hodgson……  3 BookWorms.

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