My daily struggles pale compared to what many women endured in the late 1800s. I stress when my battery is low on my phone, and I don’t have a charger. I fuss over the price of chicken that someone else raised, cleaned, and packaged for me. My frustration is high when GPS alerts me to a delay ahead.
After the Civil War, women had few options to support themselves or their families. Remaining single was not always viable, and many women took a difficult situation and turned it into an adventure. To survive, these spunky women chose to be mail-order or proxy brides to men seeking their fortunes out west.
Unlike most fictional stories, not all women had happily ever afters when they reached their destination, and some endured tremendous hardship and sacrifice. Grief, loss of family and security, and fear for the future all played into women’s decisions to leave their homes and family in search of a better life—or at least a respectable one that would keep them fed and a roof over their heads.
In my contribution to the Proxy Bride Series, sisters Loretta and Annaliese embark on such a journey because it is their only way to survive. These ladies would laugh at what I consider inconveniences. While I’m frustrated when a three-hour flight across the country delays my arrival, it pales compared to the months it took them to cross the same distance. In reality, many women traveled on trains, wagons, and on foot, often without a proper bath for the entire journey. That alone would have been my undoing.
These women were strong—full of grit and determination. They endured an arduous trek west, many without suitable clothing or means. I’m sure some craved the adventure, but I’m guessing many chose to marry a man they had not met to escape their current situation. It was common to base their decision on letters or an agency to provide them with a suitable husband.
When making significant decisions, women in the late 1800s often had to go with what made the most sense, not necessarily what was best. Not all walked into situations better than what they left, and they endured homesickness, extreme changes in geography, abuse, neglect, or worse. For many, it was a gamble they were willing to take to survive.
“A Bride for Harley” takes you on an adventure where you feel a part of the wagon party. You can quickly identify with the characters and their emotions, seeing the west as they did and being a part of the adventure—without the soot, dirt, and smells. You’ll also experience God’s redeeming love. Whether you read “A Bride for Harley” in print, eBook, or on Kindle Unlimited, this story will grip your heart and keep you reading until the last page.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Whether historical or contemporary, you will find Heidi’s Christian Fiction works full of God’s redeeming love.
Everything Heidi writes is purposeful. She believes in bringing a reader into the awareness of who God is to them and how He interacts with them on a personal level. She does this by crafting characters so relatable you feel part of who they are.
Heidi reaches deep into the reader’s heart through masterfully written words and offers ways toward healing by seamlessly applying God’s Word throughout her stories.
Heidi lives with her husband of thirty-one years near Charlotte, NC. When she isn’t writing, you will find her outside playing with her two grandsons, walking, scrapbooking, reading, cooking, traveling, or finding an excuse to have an outing with a girlfriend.
To learn more about Heidi, visit her at https://heidigraymcgill.com/