George has a hard time dealing with his farm and his four children after the death of his wife. When the ladies at his church raise money for a mail order bride for him, he doesn’t argue with them. He needs a caretaker for his family. Millie has a short time to find her own way in the world before she is kicked out of the orphanage where she was raised. George’s letter about his requirements for a bride fit in all ways but one. Will her lie keep them apart even after they’re married?
Millie is an orphan whose turning 18. She’s going to be thrown out of the orphanage so she is given a stack of letters from men looking for a mail-order bride.
George Stevens is a widower with four children. He’s been relying on the ladies of the church for meals since his wife’s death. So busybody, Agnes Sims takes it upon herself to host a bake sell and use the earnings to buy George a mail-order bride.
Umm, welllllll, umm, this book had potential. The author could have done so many amazingly wonderful things with the widower-reluctantly-receives-mail-order-bride plotline, but, sadly, the book fell short of my expectations.
Millie is young—she has just turned 18—but in the 1800’s 18 year-old’s didn’t act as childish and naïve as she does throughout the novel. When she picks George’s letter, she has this outlandish and fairytaleish way of thinking.
She had George pictured in her mind. He would be tall with blond hair and blue eyes. He would take one look at her and know he’d made the best decision of his life by sending for her. He’d hire someone else to farm, so they could spend all their day together, going on long walks and gazing into each other’s eyes.
Sure he will…Needless to say her fairytale was short lived when she arrived at the wedding after having been scrubbed within an inch of her life only to see her groom standing at the alter clad in dirty work clothes.
George didn’t want a wife. He wasn’t ready to move on so soon after the death of his wife but he needed someone to mother his children, clean his pigsty of a house, and cook.
I was expecting him to be a little gruff or standoffish—that I would have loved—but he was so much worse than that. He was verbally abusive. He was constantly scolding Millie like she was his child rather than his wife. I really wanted to wallop him with a cast iron skillet.
Granted Millie a younger wife than what he wanted, but the poor woman cleaned, cooked, and tended his children and he still had the nerve to tell her he didn’t think she would make a good wife or mother because of her age.
If I was Millie, I would have hitched a ride on the next stagecoach or, for that matter, even the Pony Express would have been better than staying and actually developing feelings for a man like that.
The plot itself was lackluster. Rather than focusing on Millie’s growing (and somewhat disturbing) relationship with George, the plot focused on Millie cleaning and cooking as well as her growing faith.
It also suffered from a bad case of repetition. Every time Millie cooked something, she would say the recipe came from cook at the orphanage, yeah, you said it once, the book wasn’t that long, we can remember. It also needed to be smoothed out and edited. The baby in the book had several name switches. First, she was Grace, then she was Hope, then she was Grace again. Then the eldest sister, Patience, was called Grace.
Overall, I felt as though I was reading a rough draft of a story that didn’t meet it’s potential.
Title: Mail Order
Homespun Book 1
Homespun Book 1
Author: Katie Crabapple
Release Date: Sep 23, 2013
How I Read It: Purchased via Amazon