Romantic pair well-suited, but hero's behavior baffled me
August 20, 2016
Debbie from ChristFocus
"The Icecutter's Daughter" is a Christian romance set in 1896 in Minnesota. The hero and heroine meet, respect each other, and are interested in getting to know each other better when a misunderstanding pushes them apart. Once that misunderstanding is cleared up, they declare their love yet still hardly know each other. While they do seem well-suited for each other, I'd have liked more scenes showing the romantic duo getting to know each other.
My main problem was actually in how little I understood the villains. It was clear from the start that the hero's best friend and fiancee were completely self-centered and very manipulative. When they showed up later, it was no secret that they intended to cause him trouble (so much so that I could accurately predict what did happen). My first question was how this disgusting fellow ever became our hero's _best_ friend when the hero didn't have trouble making friends with nice people. My second was why the hero seemed surprised and baffled by their behavior when he knew their character.
Finally, it makes no sense that the hero didn't tell the heroine in private that he wasn't engaged BEFORE he started showing his interest in her. He had to realize this would look dishonorable as long as she and her family believed he was betrothed to another.
There were some details about ice-cutting, but not enough to clearly visualize how it was done. The focus seemed more on the changing technology that would soon replace jobs like ice-cutting and raising draft horses. The Christian theme was to trust God to bring the truth to light even when things look like that won't happen. There was no sex or bad language.
What I liked: I loved Tracie Petersons The Icecutters Daughter! This book is not only a great fiction novel, but it gives a great plan of salvation. It shows that Christians arent perfect but are constantly striving to be more. Plus, The Icecutters Daughter gives a great picture of how life was in the late 1800s. It was so interesting and showed different occupations that Id not considered previously.
What I didnt like: I really didnt Svea or Nils! Im mot sure when Ive ever not liked a Christian character so intensely! Its a bit nerve-wracking!
Tracie Peterson is my favorite Christian fiction author, and her latest historical novel, "The Icecutter's Daughter" does not disappoint. Set in Waseca, Minnesota in the winter of 1895-1896, the story focuses on Merrill Krause and Rurik Jorgenson. Merrill lives on a Belgian horse farm with her father and four brothers where they earn a living harvesting ice, logging, and freighting. Rurik moved to Minnesota from Kansas to assist his uncle with his furniture business.
Prior to moving, Rurik and his fiancee dissolve their engagement. Their fathers arranged the match, and while Rurik desires to honor his deceased father's wishes, he can no longer hide that he simply does not love Svea Olsson the way that a husband should love his wife. A chance encounter brings Rurik and Merrill together and over the course of the next several months, they fall in love and begin to make tentative plans. The future is quickly put on hold when Svea and her older brother (and Rurik's best friend), Nils, show up, demanding that Rurik marry Svea. Scandal ensues and time begins to run out as they wait for truth to emerge. Will they ultimately learn to fully trust God in what appears to be a pretty dismal situation?
I found this to be a wonderful story. The characters were rich and well developed. The plot was well thought out and had enough twists and turns to remain engaging the entire length of the novel. The end wraps up nicely with a wonderful subplot of forgiveness and redemption. This is a great first novel in the "Land of Shining Waters" series. I look forward to the next book that Peterson has in store for us!
(I've received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers through the Book Blogger program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)