HONOR, the first book in the Quaker Brides series,
starts in Maryland
where Honor Penworthy lives until the death of her
grandfather. The Society of Friends believes that slavery
is wrong but in 1819 these good people meet trouble if
preach emancipation. Losing her home, her beau, her
family's money and local friends, poor Honor has to leave
the tobacco plantations with her maid Royale.
Honor goes to live in Pittsburgh with Cousin Miriam and
son Samuel, a glassblower who was deafened by fever, and
his little orphaned nephew. Honor quickly starts to learn
the hand signs the family has devised to help
communication. Miriam naturally urges Honor to find a
respectable husband. The
family is intending to sell up and move to Ohio,
a bank collapse, so choices will be few. Honor tells
of an old Quaker saying - "A way will open." She hopes
that it's true.
These are tough times; kidnapping, cholera and violence
abound. The Quakers might be meek but their life is not
suited to faint hearts. Honor finds choices forced upon
and just has to hope that by living up to her ideals she
can make a good, Christian home for herself and the
I was interested to read about the Quaker traditions,
were ahead of their times in many ways. However on First
Day, the former slaves are instructed to sit at the back
the meeting hall. As they do not have ordained ministers,
wedding must be witnessed by all the community. The
glassblowing factory with its furnaces and molten glass
seems like a vision of hell to Honor, while the
paddle steamer is a dramatically exciting way to travel
Ohio, where Samuel intends to set up his own glassworks.
Other people often ignore Samuel because he can't join in
conversations, and he feels unreasonably jealous of men's
attention to Honor because of this factor.
Author Lyn Cote has carefully presented the situation at
period when women had little freedom and
the Underground Railroad operated in secrecy. She
to write about strong women, and her novels have won
as well as being RITA finalists. I'm glad I met her
heroine HONOR, and I'll be watching out for more
romances from Lyn Cote.
When unexpected circumstances leave Honor Penworthy
destitute after the death of her grandfather, she is
to leave her Maryland plantation—and the slaves she hoped
free—and seek refuge with a distant relative. With no
marketable skills, her survival hinges on a marriage
arranged through the Quaker community to local glass
Samuel Cathwell. Samuel is drawn to Honor, but he has
unwilling to open his heart to anyone since scarlet fever
took his hearing as a child.
A move west brings the promise of a fresh start, but
in Honor’s genteel upbringing has prepared her for the
rigors of frontier life with Samuel. Nevertheless, her
tenacity and passion sweep her into important winds of
change, and she becomes increasingly—though
secretly—involved in the Underground Railroad. Samuel
suspects Honor is hiding something, but will uncovering
truth confirm his worst fears or truly bring them
as man and wife?
Set against the backdrop of dramatic and pivotal moments
American history, the Quaker Brides series chronicles the
lives of three brave heroines, fighting to uphold their
principles of freedom while navigating the terrain of
family, and the heart.