Astrid Bjorklund knows she wants to be a doctor, and she has all the love and support she could want from her close nit family, including her sister in law who is already an accomplished physician in their growing town. The plan is set, Astrid will attend medical school in Chicago and then return to Blessing, North Dakota to open a new hospital with Elizabeth. But when a particularly difficult case goes wrong, Astrid begins to question whether she is cut out for the medical world. When a guest speaker comes to their church service, Astrid feels herself compelled toward a future she never expected. How can she consider going to Africa when she can't even imagine going to Chicago?Snelling's novel starts out at a quick pace and keeps the reader interested. The story is centered on Astrid, but includes the usual characters from Blessing that I'm sure readers of the books have come to know. Unfortunately, it felt like as a reader I was only getting the surface of each character. This could be a result of not having read any other books from the same group. As for the overall plot, it is only book one and so nothing can be summed up completely. There are some satisfying conclusions, but a lot left open. It is possible to get through the novel without having read any other books from Snelling's Red River Valley. However, I did feel bogged down and confused at times. The family tree at the front of the book was helpful, but stories, occurrences, and relationships were often referred to without explanation. Overall, this new installment to the Red River Valley stories is a good start to what will be an exciting new direction for the new generation of Bjorklund girls. The story is interesting and the characters are entertaining. *book provided to the reviewer by Bethany House Publishing
This gentle, moving tale about the Bjorklund family, the town of Blessing and Astrid Bjorklund captivated me right from the beginning. Once I started reading I couldn't wait to get back to the story. I'm so glad that I have book two on hand because I've got to find out what doctor Astrid Bjorklund decides to do with her gift of healing. Will she go to Africa or return to Blessing and Joshua Landsverk?
The story is set in North Dakota in the early 1900s. Astrid Bjorkland is studying medicine under her sister-in-law Dr. Elizabeth Bjorkland. Elizabeth wants her to further her studies in a medical school in Chicago. Astrid is scared to leaving her small and safe town of Blessings. This becomes an increasing hard decision when Joshua, a man she once knew returns to town, and they have feelings for each other. Astrid reluctantly leaves for Chicago. She is very unsure of the direction that God has for her life. A missionary from Africa tries to persuade her to go Africa where medical training is so desperately needed. When she doesnt hear from Joshua except for one letter and is told by her sister that is has left town, she decides to go to Africa. The book leaves us with her heading to Africa but does she really go? Is she making the right decision or just being influenced by what other people think? I received a copy of this book free from BethanyHouse.
What an interesting book! We begin the book in the town of Blessing, where we join eighteen year old Astrid Bjorklund on her quest to become a doctor and serve in her little town in North Dakota. Astrid is reluctant to go to Chicago to further her studies. She loves her community and doesn't want to leave her friends and family so far behind. Astrid's decision is further confused by the arrival of a missionary to Africa who speaks to their church about the desperate need for doctors there. And then to further complicate matters, handsome Joshua Landsverk has returned to Blessing. Where does her future lie? What direction will Astrid chose? You will have to read to find out! I have never had the pleasure of reading a Lauraine Snelling book before. I am so glad I did! This story, the first part of the new "Home to Blessing" series is definitely worth a read. As the series shows, we are going back to a place that the author has already created, to characters that are well developed. I was a bit lost at first, but curiosity encouraged me to read the first book in the Red River of the North series, and now I am really hooked! The author has created characters that are so vibrant and real! I await the next book in the Home to Blessing series with great anticipation.I would like to thank Bethany House for the opportunity to review their books and for the free copy I received.
My mother grabbed this up as soon as it arrived and has been reading it every day since. I am sure she will begin book #2 as soon as she completes this one. Must be good. I will share it with my daughters, too!