Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Pelican Bride book review

The Pelican Bride is the first book in Beth White's new Gulf Coast Chronicles series!  It is set in 1704 in the then French controlled Louisiana territory.

She's come to the New World to escape a perilous past.  But has it followed her to these far shores?
It is 1704 when Frenchwoman Genevieve Gallain and her sister board the frigate Pelican bound for the distant Louisiana colony.  Both have promised to marry one of the rough men toiling in this strange new world in order to escape suffering in the old.  Genevieve knows life won't be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of persecution for her outlawed religious beliefs.

When she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer-turned-farmer whose checkered past is shrouded in mystery, Genevieve realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace.  Trouble is brewing outside the fort between the French colonistis and the native people surrounding them.  And an even more sinister enemy may lurk within.  Could the secret Genevieve harbors mean the undoing of the colony itself?

Author biography:
Beth White's day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama.  A native Mississippian, her passion is writing historical romance with a southern drawl.  Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers' Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award.  Learn more at
(Description and biography copied from the book.  Cover photo found on Deeper Shopping.)

My review:
Okay Book. 3 stars
As my title says, this book was "okay."  I was very excited to read it, but unfortunately, it did not meet my expectations.
I had a hard time getting into it and found the first third or so of it relatively boring.  There are several different perspectives and the story bounces around a good deal in the beginning, making it difficult to keep up.  Just as I would get a good grasp of one, it would shift to another.  Frankly, I found it rather confusing and very annoying.
The characters seemed flat and I couldn't really connect with any of them, making this a difficult read for me.  I also despised 2 of them and sincerely hoped something awful would happen to them (unfortunately, nothing did.)  Thankfully, the story picked up a bit about halfway through and I was able to finish it quickly. 
Genevieve and Tristan are the 2 main characters, as the description states, though I kind of doubted that, with so many other things going on as well.  They seemed pretty shallow and colorless.  We know something happened to Genevieve and that she is hiding a secret, but we don't know it's about until pretty far into the book. I didn't find her to be a very likeable character and there was little about her with which I could relate.  Most of the book is from her point of view, which was okay, except that it was mostly descriptions and details about what was going on.  Interspersed were her concerns about Tristan and her sister, but that was about it for anything personal.
We don't know much about Tristan or his feelings, either.  His viewpoint often comes up, but as with Genevieve, it is mostly descriptions.  I felt I didn't really know either of them by the end of the book and definitely didn't care much about them.
There isn't much in the way of spiritual themes or development, even though this is a Christian book.  In fact, if I was asked to name a theme, I wouldn't be able to.  The characters speak precious little about faith, despite the fact that one of them claims to have "returned to the faith" by the end.
I also had an issue with Genevieve and Tristan's relationship.  They spend very little time together.  The bulk of the book they are apart, yet they claim to love each other by the end!  How?  I personally do not know, as they really don't talk much or truly get to know one another.
The reason I'm giving this book 3 stars, is because it is very well written and researched, has some excellent descriptions, and I do believe some people will love it.
I recommend this book if you absolutely love history and would like to while away a few hours reading about a generally ignored time period.
I received this book through The Book Club Network ( for my honest review, which I have given.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Have you read the book?  Do you agree or disagree with my review?  What can I do to improve upon my review and my blog in general?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions!  Please leave a comment letting me know you dropped by and what you thought!  :)

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