Book Review: The Golden Bride

This book was written by Kimberley Woodhouse as part of the Daughters of the Mayflower series. When I read the title I had a strong feeling that the setting for the story would take place in San Francisco around 1849 to the early 1850’s. The book illustrates the historical time of San Francisco being populated by men primarily in search of gold while others capitalized on the men’s desperation in their search for gold by hiking up prices of supplies to extreme amounts. Good and honest people were few and far between. Despite the rising amount of people living there, San Francisco was turning into a very uncivilized place.

The author uses the information she found in her research to write a book with characters of corruption, cruelty and deceitfulness. But as one of the daughters of the Mayflower, Olivia moves to the city and begins to shine a light of hope and faith in the midst of trouble. She lived in Santa Barbara until her parents died from sickness. In order to quickly settle their debt to move to where her brother lives in San Francisco, Olivia marries Hezekiah. He pays her debt and promises to take her to San Francisco. It’s most definitely not a marriage of love but a marriage of selfishness which really isn’t a marriage at all. Hezekiah is determined to quickly get rich by finding gold which annoys Olivia because he spends money on supplies instead of food. Then he dies before they make it to the big city. Joseph is a recently saved gold miner. Daniel, Olivia’s older brother took the time to help Joseph find Jesus. Joseph is now prosperous in material and spiritual means. He employs people fairly and continues to visit Daniel at the Livingston restaurant which Daniel owns and operates. It’s how Olivia and Joseph meet when Olivia finally makes it to San Francisco alone, as a widow.

After her experience with Hezekiah being careless with a one track mind on greediness she vows to never marry a man interested in gold. In fact, she thinks it would be better to not marry ever again. She carries a considerable amount of guilt for the events and her private thoughts of Hezekiah surrounding the events of his death.

This book was about so much forgiveness for others and yourself. Olivia and the other. Christians in San Francisco are a minority there but are determined to be there for the salvation of others. I like this book because it portrayed a time of great change and how it affected people during that time. I don’t want to give much away about Olivia and Joseph’s relationship, because this review isn’t about spoilers, but I do want to say how much Olivia’s way to getting closer to Joseph is about forgiving herself and putting more trust in God. Also, Olivia’s ancestors make appearances in the form of personal journals written long ago which I thought was really cool. I mean, just think about thoughts written so long ago being read and having an effect on one of your descendants.

I rate the book 4 out of 5.

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