Tracie Peterson seems to be synonymous with historical Christian fiction, and "The Icecutter's Daughter" offers a pleasant blend of history, faith, and romance. The last Peterson novels that I read were those in the "Yukon Quest" and "Belles of Lowell" series. "The Icecutter's Daughter" did not leave as strong of an impression, but it was a pleasant weekend read. I enjoyed learning about ice harvesting and furniture making in the late 1800s. Peterson constructs an authentic historical scene that exposes readers to less well-known facets of history. Daily responsibilities and challenges for families involved in the furniture and ice industries came to life in the plot. Multiple references to Merrill's delectable strudels, made me wish I could jump into the pages for a sample.
While I enjoyed the setting of "The Icecutter's Daughter," I never felt fully engaged in the plot or the characters. Peterson uses the characters to convey themes of faith, forgiveness, and being true to oneself. The characters are likeable, with the exception of two misguided characters who stir up some trouble and bring some interest to the story line. My emotional connection to Merrill and Ruirk as individuals and as a couple did not fully develop. Some sections relied mainly on conversations between characters, which made the flow choppy at times and ultimately left me detached. I did not find the story to be overly surprising or gripping; it was quick and easy read but did not leave a lasting impression.
"The Icecutter's Daughter" is the first installment in the "Land of Shining Water" series, which will include "The Quarryman's Bride" and "The Miner's Lady." The synopses sound promising, and readers will likely find satisfaction in the historical love stories that define Tracie Peterson's fiction novels.
I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from NetGalley, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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."
Merrill Krause has several very protective brothers that have been known to run off any potential suitors. She is responsible for the care of the household chores and the cooking. She works with the horses which is her favorite thing to do on the farm. You will even find her working shoulder to shoulder with her father and brothers. She jumps right in when it is time to cut, haul and store ice from the lake. Ice-cutting is tough for the brawniest of men. She stays so busy that it is very apparent she is having no luck in finding a suitable husband.
Rurik Jorgenson is new to the community. He is going into business with his uncle's in a carpentry business. He hopes to fit in with the community. With his uncle's health becoming a concern he volunteered to go in his uncle's stead to help his uncle's friend to harvest ice from the lake. This will definitely be a new experience for him, but he was willing to learn. He got a big shock when he discovered one of the icecutter's was actually a beautiful young woman. He got plenty of teasing by her brothers. Rurik would not let them intimidate him when or if he decided to court their sister. But his former fiancee concocts some wild accusations against Rurik which puts his reputation into question.
The author has written a story of family bonds, love and loyalty to one another. Then there is the deception that threatens to destroy a young man's future. I loved the dedication these characters had to their family through such selfless acts. My favorite character was Rurik's uncle he was a very giving, wise and trusting man, with a strong belief in prayer and God's will for one's life.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House/Baker Publishing for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my honest opinion.
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.