Bethany House (October 1, 2008)
Lynn Austin has won a well deserved ranking among my favorites which is even harder to do being a historical author because I read so many of them. This is only the third of her books I’ve had the pleasure of reading but it only cements her spot on that elite list. I couldn’t wait to get to this book amongst my reading piles and am not regretting a bit responding to that elusive call we booklovers experience from certain books or authors in the infamous TBR.
Elin, Kirsten and Sofia are forced to escape their Nordic homeland of Sweden after the death of their parents and abandonment of their brother. Although an uncle and his family move to the Carlson family farm which should have become the property and responsibility of their brother, Nils, this uncle has his own agenda for the farm and the girls. When Elin realizes that she isn’t the only one he has designs on she determines the only way to protect her sisters and free herself from his grasp is to journey across the oceans to America. Along with this journey to “freedom” and safety, or so they suppose, they also take other life journeys along the way in this novel. The end of their literal journey to America is not what they have envisioned and dreamt over the weeks of traveling but their figurative journeys to a “new home” and the true meaning of the things they thought they left behind or lost in leaving their homeland might more than make up for the trials in getting there. As usual Lynn Austin plucks the heartstrings of readers with her vivid prose and characters that leap to life for the reader. As an avid reader of historical fiction it is so rare to find both an engrossing story with such believable characters as the Carlson sisters and the rich historical details I have come to crave and know this author will deliver. These alone will continue to rank this author amongst my favorites and her skill at crafting a narrative that tugs at a reader’s emotions guarantees my loyalty for future projects as well.
Will America welcome the girls as a new home or will they regret the sacrifices they’ve made to escape one troubled life only to find another possibly worse at the end of the journey? Can those who have had their hearts broken save the others from similar heartache and find love again for themselves or will they all have to fend for themselves and each other in this unfamiliar land? Is God as distant as they seem to think or will they find the faith their mother tried to model once again? Grab a copy of this latest adventure from one of my favorite writers in my favorite genre to find out yourself. (ISBN#9780764204951, 432pp, $13.99)
Use the bookcover for more info or to purchase a copy for yourself. Look for other reviews on the CFBA tour for this book yesterday through Wed.