Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz is a historical romance set in 1600s Virginia Colony. Selah Hopewell may be unmarried, but she has been charged with managing the Tobacco Brides who have come to James Towne for that exact purpose. Xander Renick is a widower entirely unwilling to remarry even if he is the most eligible bachelor in Virginia.

Though this is a fictional story and names have been changed, much of the history comes from John Rolfe and his second marriage, after Pocahontas’s death. Xander is a tobacco farmer who has served as the mediator between the White men and the Powhatans. Fed up with the arrogant dealings of the leadership in James Towne, he wants to be left in peace, but he cannot ignore the Powhatan’s offer of a peace child exchange to stave off more bloodshed.

Selah’s view of Xander is unflattering to him at first, especially because she counted his first wife a childhood friend. But as Tidewater Bride unfolds, so does the story of what happened to Mattachanna. And it isn’t the Disney version of the story. Selah begins to see Xander in a different light, a perspective that leads to attraction.

When I learned Tidewater Bride delved into some of Pocahontas’s story, I was both fascinated and nervous to see how the author handled it. I am not Native American, but I have enjoyed learning their (true) history ever since I was a child. I’m happy to say Tidewater Bride captivated me and offered a glimpse into Pochahantas’s tragic story such as laid out in this article {spoilers}.

I especially loved Xander’s character. While not perfect by any means, he exhibited many of the skills that I believe make for good, humble, intercultural communication. Because of that, Tidewater Bride would be an excellent discussion book since it illustrates the good and bad of communicating with people from different cultures, as well as much of what early Colonists could have done so much better.

Want to learn more? Here’s my post for First Line Friday featuring Tidewater Bride.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines.

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