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THE PROMISE OF DAWN
Under Northern Skies
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Beloved Author Lauraine Snelling Launches New Immigrant Series
When 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?
Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of over seventy books, with sales of more than 2 million copies.
She also writes for a wide range of magazines, and helps others reach their writing dreams by teaching at writers’ conferences across the country.
Lauraine and her husband, Wayne, have two grown sons, and live in the Tehachapi Mountains with a watchdog Basset named Winston.
They love to travel, most especially in their forty-foot motor coach, which they affectionately deem “a work in progress”.
The place we live, America, is a mixture of all different races, beliefs, and ideals. This is a story of struggle and perseverance. Rune and his wife, Signe and family arrive in Minnesota from Norway. They were brought over by relatives Einar and Gerd Strand with the agreement that over time the money would be re-paid. Einar and Gerd need Rune's three sons to help clear the land of the pine trees to send to the mills to be made into lumber. Gerd is ill with heart problems and so family would be a blessing to help on the farm. As the trees are sent to the mills, the stumps must be cleared in order to plant crops. They also hope to get more dairy cows since they only have one now. The Strand homestead needs much more work than Rune had imagined. They find the house to be horrid with it being rat infested and filthy. So with Einar in charge, the family is put to work, more like indentured servants than her family. On top of all of this, Gerd, being bed ridden is a bitter woman who is over demanding. So Einar and the boys have her to contend with also. While t his is going on Rune and the oldest boy Bjorn start logging. BUT as they push hard, a thunder storm causes an accident to occur and Bjorn breaks his arm and can't hear well. This might be the time to throw in the towel and say, no more but Einer pushes the younger boys into the woods to take Bjorn's place. They have no choice but to go since Einer threatens to send them back to Norway. In a way I was shocked to see family treating family this way but in another way, I could see it easily happening. I just had a hard time seeing how Rune and Signe could hold their tongues and have the patience that they showed toward these two slave drivers. Family, I do believe that is a stretch.,
The author gives the reader a historical read that takes you into some of the struggles that people who came to America for a better life, faced. It required people, especially families, to come together and work together for the better of the family. Einer was a selfish man thinking only of himself and Gerd. Gerd was a bitter woman. Instead of using kindness and gentle words to get help, they demanded and threatened. Rune and Signe were nothing more than slaves to Einer and Gerd. Signe was a model of a woman for the times back then and even a woman to look up to for her strength and kindness. She not only worked hard keeping the house and household chores up, took care of the demanding Gerd, but she was trying to keep the child she was carrying safe. She had had several miscarriages before. What a woman!
What will be the outcome? Will the trees get to the mills in time to pay back the passage to America money? If and when that happens will Signe and Rune take their sons and start their own farm? I sure hope so. This isn't just a story of immigrants, or pioneers into this great America. It's a story of people dreaming of a better life, working hard for that dream and persevering through times that were unbearable. but they did it. They tried to hold tight to their faith to bring them through. It makes you think how lucky we are, even if we've born tough struggles. Think what Rune, Signe and their boys took on! A wonderful book. Don't let this one go unread. I'm waiting for the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Book Reviewers and voluntarily decided to review it.
I would give this book 5 STARS.
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