Title: The Bridegrooms
Author: Allison Pittman
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: April 13, 2010
Paperback: 352 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
A mother who cannot face her future.
It Only Takes an Instant for Love to Strike
Tragedy hits the Allenhouse family on a hot summer night in Ohio when a mother of four vanished. Eight-year-old Vada virtually grew up overnight and raised her three younger sisters while her father lost himself in his medical practice in the basement of their home.
Now, Vada is a grown woman, still making her home with her father and sisters. Her days are spent serving as an errand girl for Cleveland’s fledgling amateur orchestra; her evenings with Garrison Walker, her devoted, if passionless, beau.
Dizzying change occurs the day the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to town to play the Cleveland Spiders and a line drive wallops the head of a spectator. The fan is whisked to the Allenhouse parlor, and questions swirl about the anonymous, unconscious man.
Suddenly, the subdued house is filled with visitors, from a flirtatious, would-be sports writer to the Bridegrooms’ handsome star hitter to the guilt-ridden ballplayer who should have caught the stray shot. The medical case brings Dr. Allenhouse a frustration and helplessness he hasn’t felt since his wife’s disappearance. Vada’s sisters are giddy at the bevy of possible suitors. And Vada’s life is awakened amid the super-charged atmosphere of romantic opportunity.
The Bridegrooms By Allison Pittman is a beautifully written novel about the Allenhouse sisters and how one week can indeed bring about significant changes. The Allenhouse sisters are an extraordinary group of young ladies, abandoned by their mother when the youngest sister, Lisette, was a baby, and 8-year-old Vada had to grow up quite quickly. As adults, the reader learns, 24-year-old Vada works in a music hall and is courting a lawyer who is also a 3rd chair violinist as she had once dared to dream of being a concert violinist. Hazel, now 21, has blossomed into a fiercely independent woman who has taken out an advertisement for a husband, as she longs to move from Ohio to live in Wyoming. 19-year-old Althea works in a telegraph office and has not uttered a word since the day her father announced their mother was never returning home. Finally, the youngest sister, 17-year-old Lisette is a silly girl who attracts numerous suitors on a daily basis, much to the dismay of her sisters. Their father appears to do the best he can maintaining his medical practise and raising four girls mostly on his own, although he does have the assistance of Molly Kegan, their fiery Irish cook, who keeps the household in check. The Bridegroomsis filled with loveable characters, each with their own strengths and idiosyncrasies, making them quite realistic. The Bridegrooms is a beautifully written novel which focuses primarily on one week in the spring of 1898 which greatly affects each of the family members in ways unexpected, including a mystery, baseball players, reporters, an unconscious patient and a few romantic pursuits for good measure. The Bridegrooms is a delightfully charming and innocent novel that will capture the readers’ attention and easily draws the reader in with well-written characters, a sweet innocence tied into the romantic notions of the sisters as well charming plots, making for a delightful afternoon of reading.
Allison Pittman is the author of Stealing Home, the Crossroads of Grace series, and her nonfiction debut, Saturdays With Stella. A former high-school English teacher, she serves as director of the theater arts group at her church. Allison makes her home in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Learn more about the author at her website.
I received a complimentary copy of The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.