Would you marry a stranger?

One of my new year’s resolutions was to be more adventurous in my reading.  To try different things, and I am so glad I did. The Company Daughters is a book that will remain with you long after you have turned the last page.  It is a story of resilience, of love that knows no boundaries, and a story from history with harsh reminders for all of us.  It is a historical novel with lessons for today.

What would you do if you saw this advert?

Wanted: Company Daughters. Virtuous young ladies to become the brides of industrious settlers in a foreign land. The Company will pay the cost of the lady’s dowry and travel. Returns not permitted, orphans preferred.

Amsterdam, 1620. Jana Beil has learned that life rarely provides moments of joy. Having run away from a violent father, her days are spent searching for work in an effort to stay out of the city brothels, where desperate women trade their bodies for a mouthful of bread. But when Jana is hired as a servant for the wealthy and kind Master Reynst and his beautiful daughter Sontje, Jana’s future begins to look brighter.

But then Master Reynst loses his fortune on a bad investment, and everything changes. The house is sold to creditors, leaving Jana back on the street and Sontje without a future.

With no other choice, Jana and Sontje are forced to sign with the East India Company as Company Daughters: sailing to a colonial Dutch outpost to become the brides of male settlers they know nothing about. With fear in their hearts, the girls begin their journey – but what awaits them on the other side of the world is nothing like what they’ve been promised…

Without giving you spoilers ….

As the reader follows Jana from the Bos (forest) outside Amsterdam where she had her oldest memories through her time as a maid, and then a company daughter we learn to admire a girl, who becomes a woman of strength and compassion through some unbelievable hardships.  It wasn’t an easy life in the 1600s especially if you were not born fortunate, and even then as Sontje discovers, fortune can be fickle.  The two girls become woman during their time on the long voyage and find joy and happiness in whatever way they can.  The harrowing reality of life on board, and the fear of the unknown does nothing to prepare them for their arrival in the Dutch colony in the east.  Husbands await and it isn’t like you are given a choice. 

Based on true history, this is a beautiful and sensual historical novel, perfect for fans of The Girl with the Pearl EarringThe Miniaturist and The Indigo Girl. This is a book that will find its way into the fabric of your memories.  The lessons it holds are true to us all.  After reading it I felt so many emotions.  I was sad, I was joyful, I was optimistic and filled with hope. Thank you Samantha Rajaram for bringing this story to life and sharing it with us.

Author Bio:

The Author
Samantha Rajaram spent most of her childhood in Gillette, Wyoming, where she and her family were the first Indian-Americans to live in the community. As a law student, she focused on social justice and international human rights law with a focus on female sex trafficking. She is now an educator, and currently teaches composition at Chabot College in Hayward, California. She lives in the California Bay Area with her three children. Thank you for reading and please be sure to let me know if you read this book – I really enjoyed it!
Thank you to Bookouture for having me along on this blog tour. Kerry x


There was a huge part of me fighting against turning anything like fifty. It happens though and there is nothing we can do to fight it. Well we can’t fight the chronology of years and minutes ticking by but we can stay fabulous. I try to be fabulous, despite having a few things I am fighting against like RA, Diabetes and Pernicious Anaemia. This blog is simply about me embracing life. Food, make-up, fashion and more. My trials and tribulations. I hope you enjoy!

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