Title: The Cumberland Bride
Author: Shannon McNear
Series: Daughters of the Mayflower #5
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: October 1, 2018
About the Book:
Thomas Bledsoe and Kate Gruener are traveling the Wilderness Road when conflicts between natives and settlers reach a peak that will require each of them to tap into a well of courage.
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.
Love and Adventure Are Discovered on the Wilderness Road
In 1794, when Kate Gruener’s father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to learn and live out her own story of adventure like he did during the War for Independence. She sets her sights on learning more about their guide, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas’s job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But naïve Kate’s inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas’s Shawnee connections than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?
Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear.
More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)?
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
About the Author:
Shannon has been writing one thing or another since third grade and finished her first novel at age fifteen—but waited more than thirty years for her first book contract. In the meantime, she graduated from high school, attended college, met and married her husband, birthed nine children, lost one, taught five to drive, revised that first story innumerable times, and completed six others.
Her first published novella, Defending Truth, in A Pioneer Christmas Collection (Barbour, 2013 & 2015), was a 2014 RITA nominee. She writes regularly for Colonial Quills, is a member of ACFW and RWA, and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.
Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, she loves losing herself in local history. When this homeschooling mom isn’t sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies.
I absolutely adore this series! (I’m not-so-secretly hoping they add some more to the list as well). I love how the series has been laid out in a way that each of the authors contributing are able to create their own stories that both stand alone, and fit together at the same time. I’ve been able to read stories from author’s I’ve read in the past, along with being introduced to some that are new to me. Shannon McNear is one of them. Her writing style fit in very well with the series, but it’s also peaked my interest to look into more by her.
One character that had me really intrigued throughout the story though was Thomas Bledsoe. His connections (both physical and emotional), to both the “whites” and the Indians really added another layer to the whole story. If his past hadn’t been what it was, it would have literally changed the whole book. Often when children learn about history, they hear one side of the story–the one that won out for space in their history books. An entire people can be misunderstood and essentially demonized simply because their side is never considered. Shannon shares some more about this in her author’s note at the end, but she shares that she felt it was more important to share something more historically accurate than modernly accepted. I can really respect this. I also was able to learn from it too!
I really felt bad for Kate’s character because of how injury-prone she appeared to be throughout the story. As Shannon shared in her notes at the end, there were a whole lot of dangers and illnesses that travelers faced on their journeys. It certainly wasn’t a trip to be taken lightly. Shannon shared that each of the events she had in the story really happened to other travelers, though not all from one story. It’s a good thing Kate was a strong young woman, because I would not have enjoyed her journey!
I really enjoyed The Cumberland Bride and I’m curious to see what’s next, both for the series and for Shannon McNear! Although the books can easily be read as stand-alone novels, I’d suggest starting at the beginning and reading all of them anyways simply because it really is a great series. I hope you enjoy them too!
*I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to share a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Age Appropriateness/Content Warnings:
I would consider this a clean read and one that would be appropriate for younger readers if they express interest. There is some mild violence but nothing graphic. There is a person who is shot in self-defense. I would say the most graphic scene is where the group comes across a caravan that has been attacked by Indians and there are several people found dead. There is some details shared, but they could have been much worse. I would compare this series to the Dear America books but geared towards an older audience. Even though it’s written for adults I think this could also be a good read for a younger avid reader. I’d recommend for ages 12 and up.