The Brideship Wife by Leslie Howard
A historical fiction novel about the British brideships
Synopsis: In 1862, Charlotte lives with her sister Harriet and brother-in-law Charles in England. She has no dowry and very few prospects for marriage. Charles has grand visions for a life high in the political arena, and he views Charlotte as a damper on his plans.
After a scandoulous evening at a party hosted by Charles, things begin to change for the family. Against her desires, Charlotte is sent away on a brideship sailing for Cananda where she is expected to make an advantageous match.
While on the voyage that lasts more than 100 days, Charlotte begins working alongside a doctor, which Charlotte enjoys and leads to some eye-opening experiences.
Once the ship reaches it's destination, the women learn that life in the Americas isn't that much better or scandal free than life in England.
I really appreciated the historical aspects of this novel. The brideships are a part of history that I was not previously familiar with. I had a difficult time connecting with the writing and characters, though. I did enjoy the inclusion of historical figures, such as Charles Dickens. Overall, I would recommend this book if you want something easy and informative to read. The story is interesting and I cannot imagine having to go through this kind of experience. It was enlightening and led me to do some of my own research on the topic.
Thank you to NetGalley, Simon and Schuster and Leslie Howard for the advanced copy of The Brideship Wife in exchange for my honest review.