The Promise of Dawn #1
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The Promise of Dawn #1

Bethany House / 2017 / Paperback

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Rune lives in Norway with his pregnant wife Signe and their three boys. He receives a letter from his aunt and uncle inviting he and his family to come live with them in Minnesota and promises them land of their own. They take english speaking classes and make the voyage leaving behind the only life they know. They are demanding expecting them work hard and repay the cost of their voyage. Life becomes difficult and the couple is now afraid they will never have the life they are dreaming of. They must find a way to keep their faith to make their own future.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764218964
ISBN-13: 9780764218965
Series: Under Northern Skies

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Publisher's Description

Beloved Author Lauraine Snelling Launches New Immigrant Series

When Signe, her husband, Rune, and their three boys arrive in Minnesota from Norway to help a relative clear his land of lumber, they dream of owning their own farm and building a life in the New World. But Uncle Einar and Aunt Gird are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone in order to repay the cost of their voyage. At this rate, they will never have land or a life of their own.

Signe tries to trust God but struggles with anger and bitterness. She has left behind the only life she knew, and while it wasn't an easy life, it wasn't as hard as what she now faces. When a new addition to the family arrives, Signe begins to see how God has been watching over them throughout their ordeal. But after all that has happened, can she still believe in the promise of a bright future?

Author Bio

Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of more than 70 books, fiction and nonfiction, for adults and young adults. Her books have sold more than 2 million copies. Besides writing books and articles, she teaches at writers' conferences across the country. She and her husband make their home in Tehachapi, California.
Learn more at www.laurainesnelling.com.

Product Reviews

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4.1 out Of 5
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  1. gccbookworm
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    American Saga
    September 7, 2017
    gccbookworm
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Lauraine Snelling introduces the reader to Rune and Signe Carlson in book one, "The Promise of Dawn," of the series Under Northern Skies. Rune's uncle Einar Strand lives in American and sends a letter to the family in Norway asking for help. Rune and his wife decide to accept the chance of going to American, helping a family member, and starting a new life for them and their family of three boys and unborn child with land Uncle Einar promises as compensation once their passage to America is paid off. What they don't expect is the harshness and demanding nature of Uncle Einar and Aunt Gerd or how deplorable the living conditions are in the house. Using kindness and persistence, Signe begins to chip away at Gerd's demeanor. But the cost to Rune and Signe maybe more than they bargained for in Minnesota. I received this complementary copy from Bethany House to review and give my honest opinion.
  2. Mockingbird
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    The Promise of Dawn
    September 7, 2017
    Mockingbird
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    I haven't read a Lauraine Snelling book for years, but I have really enjoyed them in the past, so I was excited when the opportunity arose to review her newest release,The Promise of Dawn,the first book in Snelling's new Under Northern Skies series. The backcover blurb interested me, especially because boy-meets-girl romance didn't appear to central to the storyline - Rather, it appeared to be more a family story of real life, which I often love. :-)

    While the beginning of this novel felt a little slow to me as it skimmed and summarized Signe and Rune's immigration to America, the story picked up its pace about 40 pages into it, and I found myself deeply involved in the vividly-portrayed struggles of Signe, Rune, and their boys as they attempted to carve a new life for themselves in a land of opportunity. The story has a Little-House-on-the-Prairie feeling to it - I love Little House! :-) - and I really enjoyed following the characters' little moment-by-moment difficulties and solutions.

    Now, for the bit that put a bad taste in my mouth for me... I understand that life on a farm is not just hayrides in October. :-) Death is a very real part of it.But a very sad part of it. :-( A part of it toward which we should not callous ourselves or our children. And unfortunately,The Promise of Dawn sometimes does encourage an insensitive and ugly attitude toward living creatures that God has made for His joy. This is so unfortunate that this was included and even highlighted at times... In all honesty, this insensitivity and grim pleasure in suffering caused to other creatures ruined the novel for me. :-( Which made me sad as a reader because I *loved* so much where the book was heading - I wanted to find out what happened with Signe, Rune, the uncle, the ailing aunt, the boys... (*spoiler*) But my mind kept coming back to what Signe forced her boys to do to the baby mice - She tells her children to throw the live baby mice to the cats. (Completely unnecessary, as she has no problem killing the mother mouse quickly with a broom, so why not kill the babies just as quickly?) Later, this attitude toward them is "justified" when it is explained that, when Signe tried to rescue a mouse as a child, it bit her in fright and so, out of revenge, she locked that mouse in a grain barrel with a cat. Awful and nasty, obviously, but an attitude that Christ will set us free from if we will let Him.

    Again, it is not the killing of the mice that really bothered me - obviously, if your house is infested, you have to get rid of the mice in the most humane way possible. My problem was with the calloused attitude Signe had toward the mice and which she encouraged in her children, as well as her not being merciful (in an otherwise fairly merciful character) in the way in which she killed them. No one should *torture* something to death. Period. And that is what would have happened to those baby mice. (See Proverbs 12:10 for a Biblical passage on kindness vs. cruelty to animals.)

    I dislike saying so much about this aspect because a lot of the rest of the story really did fascinate me, especially up until that happened with the mice, but after that, it was difficult for me to enjoy it, as I felt a strong dislike for Signe as a character. The other Snelling books that I have read I have really enjoyed and never noticed this insensitivity in them. This one just was not my cup of tea for the reason I noted above.

    I received a copy of this novel from Bethany House Publishers. All thoughts are my own.
  3. LeAnne
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great book
    September 6, 2017
    LeAnne
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I loved reading Lauraine Snelling's new book, The Promise of Dawn. I really liked how this story took place with a new side of the family. I loved the family in her former series. But since I never got the chance to read all of her former books, I always felt like I was missing part of the adventure. But with this new series it is starting out with someone new. So I am getting to be there for the beginning of their life's story.

    Signe and her family went through a lot to come to America. Even though they were not afraid to work hard, their new home was not what they were expecting. This book had lots of historical details on how things used to be done. And it gave me a great look at what life was like back then. This book does not have a fast plot, but I enjoyed the speed of the story. The plot was really interesting and it had some big surprises along the way. I would highly recommend this book to all

    Lauraine Snelling fans!







    I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. The opinions are my own.
  4. Janet
    Belton, TX
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Another Timeless Role Model
    September 4, 2017
    Janet
    Belton, TX
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    I really love that Lauraine Snelling has started a new series in a new place with new characters - who know the old characters and may encounter them someday. That's just too much fun! The Promise of Dawn is the story of how Rune and Signe Carlson immigrate from Norway to America with their three sons and one more child on the way. They don't follow the rest of the family to Blessing, though. Another branch of the family needs help with their logging business in Minnesota.

    One of Snelling's greatest strengths, along with taking her readers right into whatever historical setting she chooses, is creating strong female characters who overcome whatever obstacles they face in order to create safe and nurturing homes and communities for their families. Her books inspire me to want to do the same. And though this is a historical novel, the themes of family, friendship, community, hard work, and trust in God are timeless. Like Ingeborg Bjorklund, Signe Carlson will be a mentor to everyone she meets - and to the readers who meet her through this new series.

    I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy, so I could tell you about this book. I recommend it along with all of Snelling's previous works.
  5. Cheryl
    Prospect,KY
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Promise of a better life
    September 3, 2017
    Cheryl
    Prospect,KY
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Hoping for a better life and landin America, Rune Carlsonand his wife Signe packed all they could carry to take their family to Minnesota when Rune's uncle, Einar, sends a letter asking for help on his land, specifically cutting down the giant trees so that he can sell the lumber and clear the land. Both Rune and Signe know they will probably never see their family in Norway again once they board the ship and, to make it even more difficult for Signe to leave family, she suspects she is pregnant.

    Upon arriving in Minnesota, it is clear there is more work than even the seven of them can do. For starters, Einar's wife is ill, demanding, and doesn't treat anyone very kindly. The house is an absolute mess and Signe is expected to be maid, cook, nurse, mother and wife. Einar expects far too much of the inexperienced Rune and his sons. As strong and gracious Signe continues to care for the family, one of the family members slowly but surely begins to change but the other continues to be almost impossible to live with, whether it be out of desperation or is simply a part of their character.

    The Promise of Dawn is the first installment in Lauraine Snelling's "Under Northern Skies" series. I have read few book regarding immigrants so I am thankful for the opportunity and read and review such a book. How difficult it was for the Carlson family to come to America and speak so little English but how I admired their willingness to ask others to help them learn rather than arriving not being able to communicate at all. As eluded to above, it was also interesting to see the treatment they endured by their own family who made them somewhat servants in their own home. The expectations were so very high. Granted, their family had paid their voyage over and they were expected to repay through work but to be treated so unkindly, not even having a bed or place to lay their head. Was if the uncle and aunt's fear of losing their own land that made them desperate enough to treat others so? I am uncertain.

    I did find this novel a bit more difficult than some to totally get into though. I was probably about a third through it before I felt like I didn't want to put it down. The book seems well researched and the author does a good job painting a picture in the reader's mind of the setting. I could easily "see" the home and land, down to the barn and outhouse. As the main character, Signe's days just seemed so mundane...get up, cook breakfast, clean, take care of Aunt Gerd, cook, clean, go to bed only to have the routine repeat itself day after day. I think I would say I like the book but didn't love it. I gained some new understandings and empathy for immigrants, historically speaking, but perhaps 375 pages was a bit long. I would be interested to see what the author has planned for the rest of the series.

    I did receive this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and was in no way obligated to write a positive one.
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