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White Mountain Brides

By Susan Page Davis


In 1689, twenty-nine residents of Cochecho, New Hampshire were captured by hostile natives. Many were enslaved in Canada for five years. Three young women are among those ransomed and returned to the colony, but will they find a place back in civilization?

In Book 1, Return to Love, the village is plundered and lives torn apart. Sarah Minton is a captive. She keeps her hope alive thinking of Richard Dudley.

Richard will never forget the night Indians raided Cochecho. In the five years since, rarely a day has gone by that he has not missed his brother and mourned the fate of his missing sweetheart. But when a redemption party returns from Canada with Sarah in tow, he finds more changes than he ever imagined.

Sarah enters the village weary and heartsore. Years of not knowing the fate of family and friends only intensifies her grief as she learns the truth. But surely, if Richard is still alive, life will be bearable. After all, the memory of his affection upheld her through her captivity. Will Sarah’s fear and the deep changes within her keep her from learning to love? Can Richard overcome bitterness and prejudice to claim his bride?

A New Joy is Book 2. After she was captured in the 1689 raid, Jane Miller was sold by the Indians to the French, and she was married against her will at age 16 to a French farmer in Quebec. Her husband died four years later.
It’s six months since the widow returned to Cochecho. Rev. and Mrs. Jewett try to find a husband for her, but Jane is not sure she can enter another arranged marriage. Charles Gardner, the young man who helped negotiate the captives’ release, offers for her hand. Charles points out that he, too, is an outcast of sorts. He was captured and spent two years with the Algonquin before returning to New England. He was chosen to negotiate for the other captives because he knew the language and culture, but he is not respected in Cochecho. The upright citizens perceive him as half wild. Jane can’t help feeling drawn to him, and at last agrees to marry him. But the marriage gets a rocky start as the two strong-willed people struggle for harmony. When Indians attack the farmhouse, Jane is determined she will not be captured again.

Book 3, Abiding Peace, tells Christine Hardin’s story. The last of the three unclaimed captives, Christine spent several years in a Quebec convent. None of the Cochecho men steps up to marry her.

After Mrs. Jewett’s death, Christine goes every day to tend the minister’s motherless children and cook meals. The pastor despairs of ever finding a husband for plain Christine. When a widower with several young children offers for Christine’s hand. Rev. Jewett fears the man only wants someone to keep his house and mind his children, and he wants her to have more than that.

Then a stranger confronts Christine and demands that she bring him food and clothing, using threats to force her to comply. Christine fears for her safety and that of the Jewett family. The immediate danger overshadows her longing to find her place in a loving home.

These three books of faith and endurance also appeared in individual paperbacks and ebooks. Return to Love was a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers' Carol Award.


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