The Icecutter's Daughter is the first book in Tracie Peterson's new series Land of the Shining Water. I found it to be a wonderful mix of adventure and romance. I was quickly drawn into the story on the first page, as Merrill is helping one of their Belgian mares through a difficult birth. Merrill was described as a "handsome women" and not the typical heroine but Rurik was still drawn to her and soon sees her inner beauty. I also enjoyed learning about the process of ice cutting in 1885 Minnesota, which was something I had never heard of.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and look forward to reading the other books in this series.
I received this book from Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for my honest review.
Merrill Krause lived in Minnesota and dedicated her life to caring for her father and six brothers since her mother died when she was only eleven years old. Not only did she do the usual womanly duties, she also helped with the animals and with the icecutting, the family business. Needless to say she didn't get the pampering without spoiling that her mother wanted her to have.
Rurik Jorgenson lived in Kansas with his brother on the family farm. When he was young his father agreed to commit Rurik to an arranged marriage with Svea Olsson but when Rurik tells her that he's leaving for Minnesota to help his Uncle Carl, Svea gets mad and calls the engagement off.
Rurik has always like building furniture since his farfar Jorgenson and Uncle Carl taught him when he was little. Carl has always helped the Krause's with the icecutting but since he's sick he volunteer's Rurik to go in his place. Merrill and Rurik find they are harboring feelings for each other but have not voiced them to anyone, not even each other. When Svea and her brother Nils, Rurik's best friend from childhood, show up unexpectedly in Minnesota the trouble starts for Rurik and soon ruins his reputation. Svea and Nils are very insistent Rurik follow through with the marriage even though she called it off when he left town. Something is not right here!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end and had another LATE night trying to get to the end. Tracie does her usual good job of pulling you right into the story. I hurriedly started the second book, "The Quarryman's Bride" and already I would like to knock someone silly in that book.
Enjoyed reading about Murriells big family. The ice cutters were interesting as I never heard of anyone going out and cutting ice to sell. It never occured that this actually takes place but it makes sense. A good love story, it proves what you have on the inside is just as important as how you look on the outside.
The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson is a wonderful story and a great addition to the list of other great stories by Tracie. Merrill Krause is almost twenty-one years old and has been taking care of her father and four brothers for ten years since her mother died. Her mother's dying request was that she would look after the men of the family. She works right beside the men doing whatever job needs to be done on the farm and dresses in trousers and other men's clothing. In fact, she is better at working with the Belgian horses than the men. Merrill has done an excellent job but in the process she has become what many consider a very unladylike woman, and many just cannot get past her wearing of men's trousers to see the outstanding woman that she has become. Rurik Jorgenson comes to visit his uncle and help in his furniture building business and enjoys the work. Town, and people so much that he decides to make his visit permanent. He is immediately drawn to Merrill but she cannot accept the fact that such a handsome man would be interested in her. Add Svea,the sister of Rurik's best friend, into the mix and the story get more interesting and suspenseful page by page.
Tracie did an excellent job with the characters making them come to life on the pages of the book and also making the reader either love them or greatly dislike them. The scenes were so well written that I was right there in the middle of all the action that was taking place. There were numerous surprises in the plot and it also had a great deal of suspense. It was evident that the author did a good deal of research before writing the book and all the history that she included made the book not only enjoyable but increased knowledge of the area and what was happening at the time. I had often wondered where people in the late nineteenth century obtained ice. As with all her books, Tracie kept God prominent in the lives of most of the characters and throughout the book one saw the love and forgiveness of God portrayed.
I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes a great story. And if you are already a Tracie Peterson fan then you will definitely want to read this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House at Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.