The Cumberland Bride
By Shannon McNear
About the Book:
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 live out her own story of adventure like he did during the War for Independence and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, 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 story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?
From what I understand, this is Ms. McNear’s debut novel and I give her a big thumbs up and a job well done. I was immediately absorbed into the story and enjoyed it from cover to cover. I love how this story brings to life a time in history that’s seldom written about- the move through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky.
As I currently live in the state, I was even more fascinated by the historical aspects. The countryside was so well described, you will feel like you’re climbing the mountain along with these pioneers.
Kate is the kind of girl who always seems to find herself in trouble and she finds plenty of it in this story, from writing down a part of her family’s history that can ostracize them from the rest of the travelers to distracting the scout, leading to their capture by angry Indians.
Thomas is a man who struggles to come to grips with his past and open his heart to the future. He has secrets of his own and Kate is persistent in her efforts to get him to tell her. Kate, also, tries to dodge an unwanted suitor while pursuing a man who doesn’t want her attentions.
I enjoyed learning about the Shawnee lifestyle and feeling their frustrations as the settlers moved into their territories. This book will take you on a fascinating journey and it’s a great addition to the Daughters of the Mayflower series.
I loved the imagery, the plot, and the theme of courage when facing trials. It seems that this is a reoccurring theme throughout these stories of our forefathers. I can’t wait for the next book in this series, as well as more books by this incredible new author.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author:
Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. A Midwestern farm girl who lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for more than two decades before being transplanted to North Dakota, she’s a military wife, mother of 8, and a member of ACFW and RWA. When not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies.