I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling
Series: Under Northern Skies #1
Published by Baker Publishing Group on August 1st 2017
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Historical
Beloved Author Lauraine Snelling Launches New Immigrant SeriesWhen Signe, her husband, Rune, and their three boys arrive in Minnesota from Norway to help a relative clear his land of lumber, they dream of owning their own farm and building a life in the New World. But Uncle Einar and Aunt Gird are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone in order to repay the cost of their voyage. At this rate, they will never have land or a life of their own.
Signe tries to trust God but struggles with anger and bitterness. She has left behind the only life she knew, and while it wasn't an easy life, it wasn't as hard as what she now faces. When a new addition to the family arrives, Signe begins to see how God has been watching over them throughout their ordeal. But after all that has happened, can she still believe in the promise of a bright future?
I’m just gonna say it. I really have a few mixed feelings about this book. I loved it, I wanted to love it and I kinda sometimes maybe didn’t get it. Singe and Rune are an interesting couple with a great family and backstory of their immigration. I get that the meat and potatoes of this book is their time in Minnesota but their opening at home and their voyage to their new life felt disjointed and rough. Uncle Einar and his wife Gerd (Gird?) are both just ginormous jerks. It has to be said. They don’t want family to come help them and settle this new land with them. They want warm bodies to do all the things all the time. I was a bit confused with Gerd/Gird as well. Her name is spelled one way in all the synopsis I found but differently in the book itself. Though reading an ARC perhaps it was something that was corrected on final edit?
Let’s briefly talk about Einar and Gerd. They are jerks. Like 98.2% jerks. Mostly jerks. Perhaps a few redeeming qualities. Well her more than him. Never-mind. Back to jerks. But jerks that I think I might like to perhaps better understand how they ended up that way. I can’t imagine that Gerd would have married Einar if he had always been a jerk, and vice versa. I’d almost be interest (OK I’d be really interested) in their backstory. Perhaps a prequel? *hint, hint* OK, enough of the jerks, moving on!
Let’s talk the actual story. There were two speeds, all the work and excessive details or random time jumps. I got absolutely exhausted and bogged down in all the work, all the chores, and all the details of all the stuff. Like all the details. I felt like I was back in one of my Nano novels a few years ago where my word count jumped exponentially just by the details of making a sandwich. This novel could have easily been half the length (or even better more backstory?) without the never ending overwhelming and unnecessary detail. And when there wasn’t all the things there were random leaps forward. One day becomes one month. One moment becomes a week later. I was frequently confused if it was summer or fall. The timeline felt stilted and awkward and hard to follow. Seriously, all the words. One last little thing, I promise. What I wouldn’t give for there to be a glossary of terms and what they actually mean. I sorta kinda caught on with most of them but there were a few words that I never quite grasped the meaning and felt floundered throughout the book.
That all being said, I still really really really liked this book. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series!