Jonah Ashton is determined to finish medical school before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. Despite accusations of wrongdoing that threatens his career, when he learns his father plans to join a group of families who are sailing away from America to form a new settlement, he travels to Virginia to say goodbye. However, an accident forces Jonah to accompany them to serve as the ship’s physician. He boards the Providence with the plan to escort his family to their new settlement in South America and then return to Pennsylvania to clear his name. What he doesn’t count on is getting lost at sea… and Marian Foster.
When the settlers finally reach land, Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart?
I chose to read this book because I liked the sound of the plot. I’ve not heard of the author previously so I’ve no expectations other than hoping it’s a good read!
I read Aboard Providence on an e-reader, and it opens with a “Ship’s Passenger List.” I found this cast of characters a bit daunting since each family had several children. How would I keep everyone straight? I tend to refer back to lists such as this when I’m reading a paper copy, but I find it a little more difficult to do with an electronic download. Thankfully, the main relationships are clearly identified and I didn’t worry about everyone else.
The plot is an interesting one. It’s primarily a dramatic romance, with most of the action on board the ship. I had difficulty understanding how the group came to be lost at sea: a broken compass is often mentioned but there’s nothing to explain what happened. I also had another quibble: Jonah based his decisions on what his parents wanted, not by praying and wanting God to speak to him. Speaking of which, here was another Jonah stuck going where he didn’t want to go. At least he wasn’t swallowed by a big fish, but he is told by the ship’s captain, “Even your name should have warned you against taking to the sea.” Overall, however, this is an entertaining novel about being willing to accept change and learning to be content regardless of your circumstances.
After finishing this novel, I discovered that Aboard Providence is the prequel to a contemporary trilogy set in the group’s final destination. I’ve not read the Uncharted series, and hadn’t heard of it before, but I don’t think it mattered.
Thank you to Celebrate Lit and CrossRiver Media for my complimentary copy of Aboard Providence.
This review is part of a Celebrate Lit blog tour
Do you plan to read Aboard Providence? Have you read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: CrossRiver Media
Publication Date: 14 October 2016
Page Count: 230