The Captain’s Bride by Lisa Tawn Bergren is the saga of a group of Norweigans who imigrate from Bergen to the United States. Elsa and Peder Ramsted are newlyweds, heading to the US to begin a shipbuilding company while Peder continues his duties as a ship’s captain. Peder’s friend, Karl Martensen, intends to partner with him in the shipyard venture and is secretly in love with Elsa. Elsa’s sister, Tora, stows away in an act of rebellion after her parents refuse to allow her to emigrate. Kaatje Jansen and husband, Soren, leave Norway with an already tenuous marriage.
There are many twists and turns in the plot, but I found the book slow and plodding, devoid of much drama (other than relationship drama). I had to force myself to keep reading for at least the first third of the book. Eventually the plot became more interesting but there was no resolution to any of the dilemas the characters faced. It was just like real life….stuff happens: some of it is related, some of it is not, some of it is bad, some of it is good…unfinished. Admittedly, the book is the first of a trilogy, so there is need to carry over to the sequel, but the plot line is so unresolved that I feel like I just quit reading in the middle of a (fairly dull, and rather ‘soap opera-ish’) novel.
I am a detail oriented person and I also found some of the details annoying. In one scene, Elsa is in a storm on the ship and she struggles to get the door open against the wind. When she returns to the cabin she struggles to get it closed because of the wind. If the wind was blowing against the door when she left, wouldn’t it blow it closed forcefully (not needing to fight to close it again) when she came back? The phrase “hear, hear” is used a couple of times and at least once it reads “here, here” (incorrect usage, although common…at least be consistent!).
For a book categorized as historical fiction, there was little history and only rather yawn-inducing fiction. The story was set in the 1800s but there were scant details included that would not be deduced by watching most period dramas on TV. Sad to say, but I really didn’t like the book remotely enough to buy two more to find out what happened to the characters. Two stars is a generous rating.
**I was provided with a complementary copy of this book in exchange for a review. The views expressed are solely my own.**