Mercer Girls by Libbie Hawker is a fictionalized story about a little known events of our history. In 1864, Asa Mercer traveled to the East Coast, recruiting single women to come to the Washington Territory. The story focuses on three woman: Josephine Carey, Doreen “Dovey” Mason and Sophronia Brandt. All three woman have their secrets and reasons for joining Mr. Mercer on the trip to Washington.
The story opens in March 1864, the city of Lowell, Massachusetts has been hit hard by the Civil War. Josephine Carey is on a race against time to see Mr. Mercer. She is determined to join the group of women. Dovey Mason joins the group as a runaway from home. Her father is forcing her to marry in order to restore the family’s wealth. Josephine first meets Dovey, she knows there is something more than the young girl is saying but doesn’t pry. Instead, she takes her under her wing. Sophronia joins the group as a missionary to bring God to the lawless town of Seattle. The women set off to New York City where they board a ship which will sail to Panama. From Panama, they will sail again to San Francisco before continuing on to Seattle. Once they arrive in Seattle, the women settle into their new lives with new jobs and possibly new beaus. But the lives they left behind seem to follow them and threaten to undo the new lives they have built.
I loved Mercer Girls as it is a great story with drama and adventure. It is a piece of history that I knew nothing about and I loved to read about the pioneering women who left all they knew for an unknown life in a new territory. I also enjoyed the chapter on the author’s notes and remarks about the book. Ms. Hawker wrote that many descendants of the Mercer Girls still live in Seattle and protect their memories and legacy very closely. I feel that Ms. Hawker gave the Mercer girls a worthy story of their brave resolve to find new and better lives. If I were in their position, I don’t know if I would have the some bravery and courage to head into the unknown like they did. Then again, maybe I would. I highly recommend Mercer Girls.
is available in paperback for $14.95
free with KindleUnilimited
and on Audiobook for $14.99