Tracie Peterson is my favorite Christian fiction author, and her latest historical novel, "The Icecutter's Daughter" does not disappoint. Set in Waseca, Minnesota in the winter of 1895-1896, the story focuses on Merrill Krause and Rurik Jorgenson. Merrill lives on a Belgian horse farm with her father and four brothers where they earn a living harvesting ice, logging, and freighting. Rurik moved to Minnesota from Kansas to assist his uncle with his furniture business.
Prior to moving, Rurik and his fiancee dissolve their engagement. Their fathers arranged the match, and while Rurik desires to honor his deceased father's wishes, he can no longer hide that he simply does not love Svea Olsson the way that a husband should love his wife. A chance encounter brings Rurik and Merrill together and over the course of the next several months, they fall in love and begin to make tentative plans. The future is quickly put on hold when Svea and her older brother (and Rurik's best friend), Nils, show up, demanding that Rurik marry Svea. Scandal ensues and time begins to run out as they wait for truth to emerge. Will they ultimately learn to fully trust God in what appears to be a pretty dismal situation?
I found this to be a wonderful story. The characters were rich and well developed. The plot was well thought out and had enough twists and turns to remain engaging the entire length of the novel. The end wraps up nicely with a wonderful subplot of forgiveness and redemption. This is a great first novel in the "Land of Shining Waters" series. I look forward to the next book that Peterson has in store for us!
(I've received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers through the Book Blogger program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson is a great read. It is the first book in the Land of Shining Water series. As the only daughter in her home, Merrill is kept busy taking care of her father and brothers and not much time to prepare to be a bride as most girls her age. God took care of that for her. Merril and Rurik work through the problems of town gossip and hurt and learn to forgive. I hated to have the story end and am so glad that I have the second book in the series ready to be read.
This is another enjoyable book by Tracie Peterson! This book will grab your attention from the beginning. The characters are likable and you will cheer for most of them. The two main characters of Merrill and Rurik are written well especially when they are conversing with each other. I thought they were well developed and I could actually see them be together. I gave this book 5/5 stars. The book held my attention and the story was entertaining. If you enjoy Christian historical fiction books you will enjoy this one! This particular book is book one in the series Land of Shining Water. The other two books are Quarryman's Bride and Miner's Lady.
I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
Great listen by a wonderful author. Tracie Peterson really delivered on this book. A unique storyline. Merrill Krause is a feisty only daughter in a household of German-American men in Minnesota. Rurik is of Swedish descent and Peterson does a lovely job of interweaving that information. Nice character arcs as Merrill faces changes in her life that push her towards giving up her job of being the replacement mother in the household of big bossy men. Meanwhile Rurik, a real sweetheart, is trying to shake off an unwanted engagement that was arranged by their Swedish parents when they were children. His best friend is a scallawag, which the reader will begin to suspect straight away, but Rurik wants to see the best in him. My favorite secondary character was Rurik's uncle, who is seriously ill. Lovely romance, cool (cold!) setting, unique storyline, great narration, beautiful author's voice, excellent craft, all make for a superb listen. This will be in my best of 2013 books.