In November 1860, Jonah Ashton boarded the Providence with a plan to escort his family to their new settlement in South America and then return to medical school in Pennsylvania before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. What he didn’t count on was getting lost at sea and falling in love. When they finally reach land, Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart?
As the book's title would indicate, the vast majority of Aboard Providence does, in fact, take place aboard the Providence. The travelers encounter several difficulties on their trip, including becoming horribly lost at sea. When they finally arrive on land, they are not where they had planned to be ... in fact, I'm entirely unsure of where they ended up. I'm sure if I had read The Uncharted Series, I would have better understanding. (Aboard Providence is a prequel to the Uncharted Series, which is set in the present and is about the settlement the group in Aboard Providence founded.) While the vague nature of their location feels purposeful, I would have appreciated knowing where the settlers ended up.
The final third or so of the novel is set on land—dubbed the Land by the settlers. This portion I found to be far more interesting than the rest of the novel, as the settlers faced adventure and danger. Also in this section, Marian, the girl Jonah falls in love with, makes some fascinating discoveries regarding a tree in the Land. I'd imagine this tree is an integral part of the Uncharted Series—it certainly seems important, though it's not fully explored in Aboard Providence.
While I found myself intrigued by this novel, one aspect fell flat to me, and that was the romance between Marian and Jonah. I'm not sure if it's that the characters weren't fully fleshed out or that they fell in love too quickly without enough explanation, but I had a hard time buying their relationship. I can't go into detail without giving things away, but it felt like their "happily ever after" was mainly due to circumstances beyond their control, rather than a selfless love for one another.
I had no idea Aboard Providence was a prequel; I have a feeling if I had previously read the Uncharted Series, I would have liked this book a lot more. As it was, I found it diverting but not enthralling. 3 stars.
Buy the book.
Enter the giveaway:
In honor of her tour, Keely is giving away The Uncharted Series ebooks! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway!
Follow the blog tour:
October 20: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
October 21: 1994
October 21: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses
October 22: A Greater Yes
October 22: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberation
October 23: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
October 24: cherylbbookblog
October 24: Through the Open Window
October 25: History, Mystery & Faith
October 26: I Hope You Dance
October 26: Mary Hake
October 27: Genesis 5020
October 27: Blossoms and Blessings
October 28: A Readers Brain
October 29: Singing Librarian Books
October 29: Bigreadersite
October 30: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
October 31: Bibliophile Reviews
November 1: Pause for Tales
November 1: Karen’s Krayons
November 2: Proverbial Reads
November 2: Seasons of Opportunities
Guest Post from Keely Brooke Keith
The Uncharted series has a past…
The Uncharted storyline begins in the 21st Century in a hidden land that was settled in the 1860s by Americans. Throughout the Uncharted books, the characters refer to their founders’ history. Soon after the release of The Land Uncharted, readers expressed their desire for more. Why did the founders leave America in 1860? How did they plan the group migration? Where did they believe they were going? How did they establish what is now a fascinating culture?
I, too, was drawn by the founders’ story. When I set out to write it, I enjoyed fleshing out the mystery of how the founders arrived in the Land and what it was like for them, not only for the characters who wanted that adventure, but also those who didn’t. I became swept away on a journey of faith, sacrifice, and God’s unfailing provision.
The result is Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media, 2016).
Join the founders as they embark on their voyage to an uncharted land.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."