As I have moved to a place where I have never moved before nor know much about, I know it will be good for me to read about the state of Minnesota. The first book I have picked up is The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson.
Like most "romances" it is the story of a young woman, a young man, the trouble that keeps them apart and the overcoming that brings them together - all with the backdrop of snowy, Scandinavian Minnesota. It is a pleasant story, a simple plot with intriguing characters. And while I was happy that Merrill and Rurik find their way together in the end (was there ever any doubt?), I was not entirely pleased that every character had a happy ending. Repentance and forgiveness is what we all desire when trials in our lives hurt us on the deepest levels. But not everyone repents. Not every prodigal returns. And forgiveness is not so easily given.
If you want a pleasant story about people at the turn-of-the-century in Minnesota, this is a good place to start. But now I will move on to something a bit more interesting_
The First Book In The Land Of Shining Waters Serie
April 30, 2013
The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson, set in the late 1890's in Minnesota, is a historical novel that will capture your emotions from the first chapter. Merrill Krause is the only daughter in a house full of men, caring for her family and holding her own as she works beside her father and brothers, with their horses, and in their business as icecutters. Although marrying age, Merrill wonders if suitors will be able to cross the wall of protection her brothers have formed around her.
I have loved Tracie Peterson's writings since The Shannon Saga Series. Her stories come to life due to her extensive research capturing the period and culture of each character. The Icecutter's Daughter is the first book in her new series Land of Shining Waters. The next book in this series, The Quarryman's Bride, will be available this summer, 2013. If you have been seeking a new series, look no further!
Merrill Krause is responsible for her house full of brothers and her father since her mother had died ten years ago. Between that and working for the family horse business, little time is left for Merrill or developing a feminine side, something not quite so acceptable to ignore in the late 1800's, even through she does long for someone in her life besides her brothers and father. But her brothers have scared off any potential suitors through the years.
When Ruruk Jorgenson is called by his Uncle Carl to leave Kansas and come to Minnesota to help with the furniture making business, he leaves behind a "fiance" he's not certain is the woman for him since he loves her like a sister, not the way he hopes to love a wife. When he meets Merrill, he is drawn to her strength and isn't bothered by her brothers or lack of trivial femininity. But Ruruk's past isn't going to be easy to leave behind when his former fiance and brother show up, bringing questions about Rurk's integrity. Merrill thinks she truly knows Ruruk's heart but it may prove to be a challenge to trust.
As always, Tracie Peterson authors a book hard to put down and a delight to read. You will love the characters and, if a historical fiction fan, the time period and setting--not your typical one. I also thoroughly enjoyed Merrill, a pretty tough, nonconforming girl in a time where sitting around visiting and drinking tea was more the norm. There was enough action and suspense to keep you turning the pages and not so many characters that leave you scratching your head wondering where that person came from. While some might say "The Icecutter's Daugher", the first in the Land of Shining Water series, is one of Ms. Peterson's best, that might be difficult for me to say as I haven't read anything by her I didn't thoroughly enjoy and she writes enough differing types of books that you are certain to find one that pleases.
I did receive this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way obligated to write a positive review.
The Icecutter's Daughter is a great start to a new series. It is set in Minnesota just before the turn of the 20th century.
Rurik Jorgenson comes to Minnesota from Kansas to help with his uncle's furniture shop. Within a few days he mets Merrill Krause and the more he gets to know her the more he realizes that this is the woman that God has set aside just for him . But just as he is settling in and deciding a future with Merrill, unexpected trouble comes to town, threatening his future with her.
Merrill has lived in a all male household since her mothers death when she was ten. She has never given a second thought to marriage and a family of her own until Rurik Jorgenson comes to help with the ice harvesting and she knows that her life will never be the same.
I really liked Merrill and Rurik. I thought they worked well together as a couple and that their love for each other came very naturally, it grew over time as any genuine loves does. Merrill was so much fun to read. She had such a great range of emotion as any woman does at times. Rurik was a terrific hero, not in the swooping in at the last minute to rescue the girl sense, but as a strong God-fearing man who relies on the Lord to see to his best interest.
As always the author has written a book full of love, laughter and God. I can always count on a good spiritual battle with her books. It always encourages me.
One thing that I always appreciate about this author is she while she does stay primarily in historical fiction, she doesn't write in just one area. This is one reason that I continue to read her. Her research and character development are always well done.
The only thing that threw me was why the author choose to name her main female character with a name that seems more suited to a male. In the story the mother, after having given birth to six boys, was thrilled to have a girl which she would dress up and pamper, so why would she not give her a more feminine name? It just seemed very odd to me.
Overall though it was a wonderful book full of breathtaking scenery descriptions and characters you won't soon forget.
Merrill Krause has been taking care of her Father and brothers ever since her Mother died ten years before. Living with a bunch of men has left Merrill lacking in some feminine areas but she's not afraid of hard work and she works just as hard as her brothers in helping with the ice harvesting. Merrill has begun to feel lonely and she starts to wonder if this is the life she's destined to or if she'll ever have the chance to marry and have a family of her own. While she's had a few suitors in the past, most of them have been intimidated by her brothers.
Rurik Jorgenson has come to Minnesota to help his ailing uncle with his furniture business. Leaving a broken engagement behind, he's hoping to escape from a piece of his past and be a help to his uncle. When Rurik meets Merrill, he is intrigued from the start and he can't help feeling drawn to her. Even her brothers can't scare him away.
Yet when Rurik's ex-fiancee finds him, he finds himself stuck in the middle of a brewing scandal. Merrill and Rurik must look to God to sort the mess out and ultimately they must learn to put their trust in Him.
I thought this book was really good and I enjoyed it from start to finish. I enjoyed it so much that I read it within 24 hours because I couldn't put it down! I loved the relationship between Merrill and Rurik and how it grew. I liked how the characters were going through different struggles and I liked that we could see how they grew from those struggles. Overall, I liked the message of trust and how the characters needed to base their trust on God. I also enjoyed reading a little bit about how the ice harvesting works. While the book does not revolve around this process, the author does a good job of incorporating the history into the book. I am interested to see what the next books in the series will be like. I will definitely be reading them since I found this a great start to what I assume to be a great series.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated are my own.