Leslie Howard writes stories about the history and people of British Columbia, a truly unique part of the world with stunning landscape and a complicated past.
Meet The Author
Leslie divides her time between Vancouver, British Columbia and a small heirloom cider apple farm in the beautiful Naramata Bench area of the Okanagan Valley, a stone’s throw from where she grew up.
The Celestial Wife
A young fundamentalist Mormon girl facing a forced marriage escapes her strict, polygamist community and comes of age in the tumultuous 1960s in this captivating novel inspired by shockingly true events.
1964. Fifteen-year-old Daisy Shoemaker dreams of life beyond her small, isolated fundamentalist Mormon community of Redemption on the Canada—US border—despite Bishop Thorsen’s warning that the outside world is full of sin. According to the Principle, the only way to enter the celestial kingdom is through plural marriage. While the boys are taught to work in the lucrative sawmill that supports their enclave, Daisy and her best friend, Brighten, are instructed to keep sweet and wait for Placement—the day the bishop will choose a husband for them. But Daisy wants to be more than a sister-wife and a mother. So when she is placed with a man forty years her senior, she makes the daring decision to flee Redemption.
Tomorrow we would dock in Victoria on the northwest coast of North America, about as far away from my home as I could imagine. Like pebbles tossed upon the beach, we would scatter, trying to make our way as best as we could. Most of us would marry; some would not.
England, 1862. Charlotte is somewhat of a wallflower. Shy and bookish, she knows her duty is to marry, but with no dowry, she has little choice in the matter. She can’t continue to live off the generosity of her sister Harriet and her wealthy brother-in-law, Charles, whose political aspirations dictate that she make an advantageous match.
Leslie Howard is a welcome new voice with a confident sense of story, place, and destiny in this engaging coming-of-age story.
Inspired by the history of the British “brideships,” this captivating historical debut tells the story of one woman’s coming of age and search of independence
A beautifully told, meticulously researched story of the little known bride ships and the courageous women on board those shabby crafts who risked everything for freedom then fought to get what they deserved. Debut author Leslie Howard brings history to life by masterfully navigating the social demands of the time, the perilous journey into the unknown, the politics, hazards, and often tragic results of colonization, and the minds and hearts of those bridging both.
A welcome insight into the neglected history of the marriageable women sent from England to the colonies. The protagonist, Charlotte, is a true heroine. A spellbinding read. Wonderfully suspenseful, right to the satisfying ending.
An enthralling story of a woman who leaves class-stratified, nineteenth century London society for the distant west coast of Canada, where our protagonist, Charlotte, hopes to find a husband, but through Howard’s incredible research, we experience numerous aspects of the new world. Charlotte’s concern for justice gives the story a refreshing, revisionist feel. A thoroughly enjoyable read.