Book Review: The Cumberland Bride

22 Oct

Love and Adventure Are Discovered on the Wilderness Road

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?

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.


My Impressions:

The Daughters of The Mayflower saga continues with the western expansion of the young American nation in The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear. The latest book following various branches of a founding family traces the journey of Katarina (Kate) Gruener along the Wilderness Road, through the Cumberland Gap, and into the wilds of Kentucky. Fans of historical romance will love the adventure and danger that awaits Kate and her family.

While the romance between main characters Kate and scout Thomas Bledsoe is sweet and satisfying, I was most intrigued with the historical details that the author includes in The Cumberland Bride. I have such limited knowledge of this era in American history, that the entire journey of the settlers was fresh and intriguing to me. The author does a great job of capturing the treacherous trail, the privations of wilderness travel, and the real dangers that the settlers faced in their quest for a new life. She also presents the other side — the frustration of native peoples who faced encroachment of their lands. The clash of cultures and interests detailed was eye-opening. A faith thread runs throughout the novel. Faith in God’s provision and goodness is contrasted with loss and hardships His people face. I loved the message that God is always present even when we don’t feel His presence.

The Cumberland Bride is the 5th book in the series, but is easily read as a standalone. If you are a fan of the historical novels of Laura Frantz or Lori Benton, you definitely need to check this one out.


Audience: older teens and adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

One Response to “Book Review: The Cumberland Bride”


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