Tethered is an inspirational portrait of selfless commitment and unrelenting obedience, a call to today’s believers to boldly enter their personal mission field.

– Karen Sargent, author of Waiting for Butterflies

Henrietta, America’s first woman missionary to China, lived just eleven years after sailing for that ancient land, but her name is emblazoned in the history of Baptist women of courage and commitment who will continue to inspire a new millennium.

- Rosalie Hall Hunt, IMB Emeritus Missionary to East and Southeast Asia, speaker, author of: Bless God and Take Courage: The Judson History and Legacy, We’ve a Story to Tell: 125 Years of WMU, and Her Way: The Remarkable Story of Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend.

In Tethered, Brenda H. Cox inspires us with the Christian strength, sensitivity and sacrifice of Henrietta Hall Shuck, first American woman missionary to China. Here is true Christian ministry and church history at its best—the re-telling of a life transformed by the power of the gospel, the losing of one’s life only to find it. At a time when too many regard Christian ministry as an opportunity for self-expression and fulfillment, Dr. Cox reminds us that true Christian ministry is Christ’s mission to transform sinners to live obediently to him for the spreading of his gospel.

- Dr. David P. Smith, pastor of Covenant Fellowship ARP Church and author of B. B. Warfield's Scientifically Constructive Theological Scholarship.

"Tethered"', a must-read , based on the life of Hanrietta Hall Shuck, the first female American missionary to China. Bringing to life the hardships and triumphs facing this young couple as they travel by ship across the globe to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I enjoyed it immensely.
Dottie, Atlanta, GA

This was well written and held my interest throughout! What a determined, hard-working and caring missionary Henrietta Hall Shuck was! I will be sharing information about this book with others!          Dr. Doris Henderson Community Outreach Director of Friendly Avenue Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC

Tethered is a beautifully well written book based on the life of Henrietta Shuck, the first female missionary to China. Henrietta and her husband Lewis faced countless trials and difficulties, joys and sorrows in their short but full life together as they ventured out with the Lord to draw the Chinese bride to their Jesus. The title, Tethered, is a symbol of how she held tightly to her family, her community, the church, and to her Lord. Her tenacious faith is inspiring. Her love and passion to follow the Lord wherever He would lead her and Lewis encourages me to do the same. I highly recommend this book!    Linsday G. Cox

Full disclosure I: Brenda Cox was my favorite teacher in high school. 

Full disclosure II: she’s written a page-turner of a historical novel. 

Tethered is the (true) story of Henrietta Hall Shuck, the first American woman to go to China as a missionary in 1836. She endured alarming hardships in the service of a vision that took her from Richmond to Hong Kong in an era when almost everyone stayed home. 
This is a great read for those who enjoy meticulous historical framing. It’s also a spare and beautiful text. There’s a scene early in the voyage when Henrietta and her fellow travelers encounter a terrible odor that can’t be identified onboard. A few paragraphs later a slave schooner slides past her ship, its human cargo chained and doused with sea water. It’s a memorable vision of a terrible moment. 
The book imbibes the faith of its subjects - new territory for a reader like me - but I was mostly struck by the authentic recounting of a piece of American (and Chinese) history. So while its character may proselytize, the story is ultimately human - and humane.      

Jonas Rolett   Washington, DC

I enjoyed reading this book and felt the title was a perfect way to describe Henrietta's life on so many levels.  I especially liked the endearing way Brenda Cox portrayed Henrietta and Lewis' relationship as their steadfast love for God and the Gospel drew them together and then sent them on a most remarkable journey to spread God's message.  I gained much knowledge of the early missionaries in reading the book and was amazed at Henrietta's unwavering commitment despite her young age and the sacrifices, challenges, sickness and obstacles she faced.  This was an inspiring book of faith that I would highly recommend.

Anne Gallant

on November 6, 2017
Brenda Cox wrote this well-researched piece of historical fiction based on the true story of the first American woman missionary to China, Henrietta Hall Shuck, her husband’s great, great, great grandmother. Henrietta embarked on this journey with her husband, Jehu Lewis Shuck, as a young bride not yet out of her teens beginning with a nine-month sea voyage to reach their first destination Macau, China, a small island off the coast of mainland China, as western women were not yet allowed on the mainland. Henrietta suffered greatly with seasickness during the voyage, only finding relief by leaning way over the ship’s railing bathing in the salty spray from the sea through which they sailed, much to the dismay of the first mate who feared she would be swept overboard and drowned. He solved this problem by fastening a leather tether to the railing through which Henrietta could pull her arm and hold tight to. Later, being gifted the leather tether once the missionary couple settled on dry land, it became a symbol of the important things she tethered her life to: her husband, their mission, and, most important of all, God.
Lewis, in his twenties, and Henrietta, in her teens, followed the call God had placed upon their hearts knowing that they would likely never see home or family again. Written communications with those they left behind could take months or years to arrive at their destination if they were fortunate enough not to end up at the bottom of the sea. Other missionary families with whom they traveled, and those serving in nearby locations became as family, as did the local people whom they served and with whom they served. The hardships the Shucks endured came from many directions: climate, politics, social mores, financial concerns, and even from their own missionary board. In spite of these things, Henrietta Lewis persevered in developing relationships into which they could introduce Christ, educating local children, especially girls whose education was not a priority in the culture, and caring for the orphaned.
The devotion with which Henrietta lived her life is inspirational. The skill with which Branda Cox penned this, her first novel, is delightful. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction, to those who enjoy reading of strong female characters, to those who are interested in church history, and to those who are looking for inspiration or refreshment for their own spiritual walk. I thank Mrs. Cox for providing me with a of Tethered in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for this review.