Title: The Necessary Bride
Author: Patsy Frost
Publisher: Create Space
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction
Paperback 374 pages Kindle E-Book
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“Can a lady like you watch livestock and people fall down and die of thirst in the desert, the flies swarming on the sun-bloated carcasses and smell the stench of ‘em after they bust open?”—The Necessary Bride
Rape, forced marriage, death by childbirth and the repressive status of women in Early America take center stage in Patsy Frost’s historical romantic masterpiece, The Necessary Bride. As the saga draws to a close, its heroine proclaims that if she had not run away to seek her fortune in California, her life as a Maryland “lady” would have been “proper” and “dull” (i.e., dull when the vicious Baltimore males weren’t treating her like chattel). Frost puts a fresh spin on an old story about wagon train travel in the Old West by letting us view it through this adventurous young woman’s eyes—urging us to feel what she feels in her heart as she gradually builds a new life that is built on trust and mutual respect with a man who is not of her culture or race.
This painstakingly crafted tale brings the smells and tastes and emotions of that time into bold relief through meticulously detailed scenes of pioneer life. The author also deftly manages multiple points of view to provide character insights that keep even the villains from coming off as one-dimensional. Frost subtly alters reader perceptions by loosening the writing style from narration-heavy, archaic language to a looser, more contemporary tone when this bold young seeker finally reaches her destination and her destiny.
Seamless lively action carries the story, making it a fun page turner. The last line portends a sequel. One can only hope there is one soon, and also a film.
Very impressive first novel!