The Icecutter's Daughter, first book in the Land of Shining Water Series, takes place in Minnesota in the winter! That's not the usual setting for a romance novel but Tracie Peterson brings it all together. The story captures the daily lives of our heroine Merrill Krause and her suitor Rurik Jorgenson until his former fiance and her brother show up to complicate their lives. The issues and problems that arise make for a nice paced, very readable book. The descriptions of ice cutting and the use of draft horses was an interesting aspect of the story. I received a free copy from Bethany House for this book review.
Merrill Krause promises her dying mother that she will take care of her father and brothers. As a result, Merrill grows into a hard-working young woman who is uninterested in the typical feminine pursuits of beauty and fashion. Her brothers have scared off any would-be suitors despite her female companion's best attempts to help her attract a husband. Merrill longs for a family of her own, but is resigned to the deathbed promise that she made to her mother.
When Rurik Jorgenson moves to Minnesota to help his ailing Uncle Carl in his furniture-making shop, he immediately falls for Merrill while helping her family harvest the ice. Unfortunately, visitors from his hometown arrive, bringing with them plenty of complications for Rurik and Merrill's budding romance.
The plot involves some twists and turns, secrets, and love triangles, but somehow it was not a page-turner for me. I didn't have any trouble putting the book down and reading a little more later, which I am sure my family appreciated! :) The main characters were likeable with good moral examples. The story was cute and the historical aspect was interesting as well, making it an enjoyable read.
(I received this book as a gift from the publisher, Bethany House, for the purpose of writing a review. The opinions are my own.)
While Tracie Peterson's book, The Icecutter's Daughter, was not overly full of suspense, it was definitely a nice read. Partial to historical fiction, this book does take one back to a time before machinery, and therefor qualifies. You visit a small town in Minnesota, where cultural roots merge, friendships are forged, and people live together in harmony.
There are two main characters in this book, Merrill Krause - a hard working, young woman of German descent, caring for her family after her mother's death, and Rurik Jorgenson - a Swedish wood worker from Kansas, willing to place his own life on hold to help an ailing relative in Minnesota. The paths of these two cross when Rurik volunteers to help Merrill's father in his yearly ice-cutting endeavor. There is an immediate attraction between the two, but it isn't long before friends from Rurik's life in Kansas show up, stirring up a bit of trouble. There are a few twists and turns in the book that will keep you engrossed.
I appreciated the references to hard work and faithfulness in this book. There is also a strong sense of family, supporting and loving one another at all times. The author places an emphasis on one's character, as opposed to merely their outward appearance. In the character of Rurik, you see an honorable man, not willing to expose the sins of his friends. I found the book to be encouraging.
I was given a copy of this book to review for Bethany House Publishers. All opinions in this review are my own.
I enjoyed this first book in the Land of Shining Water series. I learned about all kinds of things while reading this story: ice harvesting, German and Swedish customs, and life in Minnesota during the late 1800's. I found Merrill and Rurik to be compelling and likeable characters. The story moved quickly enough to keep my attention, but there was still plenty of time to watch Merrill and Rurik fall in love and grow together. I'm looking forward to the next story in the series.
With thanks to Bethany House Publishers, via NetGalley, for my review copy.
Tracie Peterson in her new book "The Icecutter's Daughter" Book One in the Land Of Shining Water series published by Bethany House Publishers takes us into the lives of Merrill Krause and Rurik Jorgenson.
From the back cover: As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl-she'd rather work with her father's horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she's been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.
When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiance shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.
Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God-and each other-when scandal threatens their newfound love?
I have to say I enjoy The Land Of Shining Water series by Tracie Peterson because Historical Fiction is what she does best. If you have read my reviews before you know that I like history and "The Icecutter's Daughter" begins in 1895, Minnesota. You can smell the sawdust at Rurik's Uncle's furniture shop and you most certainly can feel the cold. Ms. Peterson warmly shows what life was like back then in an immigrant community (Merrill comes from German stock, Rurik from Swedish). "The Icecutter's Daughter" is a wonderful romance and the history is perfectly accurate giving a picture of simpler, slower times. Ms. Peterson is an amazing writer and she has given us a great story with plenty of believable characters that we root for to win. I liked this book and look forward to the next one in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."