Friday, September 02, 2022


By Caroline Clemmons

Over the past couple of decades, I've written quite a few books about mail order brides, and read many more written by other authors. I can't help it, I love reading about women who take the chance and become a mail order bride. I've wondered if I would have been desperate enough to become one. 

Chris Enss has written an eye-opening book titled HEARTS WEST. In it she relates true stories of women who risked becoming a mail order bride to a stranger. Some ended up happily married. Others had difficult things happen, which included ending up in a brothel. 

I've heard non-readers or those who don't read romance make snarky remarks about the number of mail order bride books. There really were, and still are, mail order brides. The Civil War (stupid name for a war) caused the death of more men than both World War I and World War II combined. Many homes in the east were destroyed. Many young men came home to discover they had no home and no family left. Women raised to be genteel ladies suddenly had to fend for themselves or depend on relatives. 

So, what would you do? Would you risk becoming a mail order bride? Obviously, we can't answer that question since we aren't faced with the same circumstances. We can speculate, though, and consider the alternatives. 

Would you live with a relative as the "poor relation" who was likely no more than an unpaid servant? Would you become a "companion" to an older woman, again a servant but with a nicer name. Or, determined to have your own family, would you risk becoming a mail order bride? I think I might be adventurous enough to find a matchmaker. 

That's what Heidi Roth did in GENTRY AND THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE. The first two times, she was rejected for being too tall and too outspoken. Some men want a woman who is biddable and willing to go along with whatever he says, to think what he tells her to think. Heidi did not fit that description. She was a lovely, intelligent woman who often expressed her honest opinion. The matchmaker in her small town in Bavaria arranged for her to come to Texas to marry a man who'd been born in their town, but who had left for America when  he was a teen.

Heidi's hometown in Bavaria

After three months of  travel on small ships and then on stagecoaches, she must have wondered if her journey would ever end. Finally, she reached the stagecoach station where she was to meet her groom. When the man who met her gave a different name than she expected, she was suspicious. With good reason, because she learned her groom had died four days earlier. What will she do? What would you do?

If you haven't read this book, here's the link: 

It's available in e-book, print, and is available is free in Kindle Unlimited.

Stay Safe and keep reading!

No comments: