1. The Promise of Dawn #1
    The Promise of Dawn #1
    Lauraine Snelling
    Bethany House / 2017 / Trade Paperback
    $9.99 Retail: $15.99 Save 38% ($6.00)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 27 Reviews
4.6 Stars Out Of 5
4.6 out of 5
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Quality:
4.4 out Of 5
(4.4 out of 5)
Value:
4.4 out Of 5
(4.4 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.2 out Of 5
(4.2 out of 5)
93%
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Snelling
    February 19, 2018
    Blessing
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Lauraine has done it again. She tells the stories of immigrants in such a way you feel you are right there experiencing the hopes, fears and hard work and hard times but faith brings them and you through. Leaves me waiting for the next in the series!
  2. PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    INCREDIBLE CHRIST-LIKENESS IN THE FACE OF HARDSHIP!
    November 8, 2017
    Moonpie
    PRYOR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book was amazing! It is 1909 and immigrants from all over the world were coming to America seeking a better life. Many family members went ahead and made the way for others to come. This was the case for Rune, Signe Carlson and their 3 sons. Their dream was to come to the U.S. from Norway to own land and have their own farm. Their opportunity came when Einar Strand, Runes uncle sends a letter to his parents. He has settled in Minnesota. The land he is homesteading is covered in huge pine trees. He needs help logging them and sending them to mills. His wife Gerd is ill and he requests for Rune and his family to move there and help. There is the promise of a home already built and large enough for all of them to live in, a school for children, and the understanding that after their tickets were paid back they would receive their own land. The

    Carlsons had never met the Strands, but they were family right? Norwegian Families were close and caring, right?

    The summer voyage is very difficult and uncomfortable and to make matters more challenging, Signe is pregnant with her fourth child. After previous miscarriages she is concerned about losing the baby. The worse is yet to come though. Arriving at Uncle Einars is when the nightmare begins. There is not a proper room other than the cold attic for the family to sleep in. The house is filthy and Aunt Gerd is bed fast and declining because of lack of care. Einar is hateful, uncaring and demanding. He has not concern for the young familys needs or even health. Aunt Gerd is constantly hollering for something and speaks little otherwise. She is also ungrateful for any kindnesses and very uncooperative. The promises go up in smoke and the Carlsons find themselves as nothing more than slaves with no end in sight.

    The author captures the minute details of day to day life in this era and the emotions and struggles of Rune and Signe. I even got tired reading about all the work they did, especially Signe and with expecting a child! I hurt for her missing and needing her loving family. She was so alone.

    In addition to being a delightful read, the most powerful part of this book is their Christ like attitudes Carlsons (even their children) in the face of constant cruelty and abuse. What a testimony!!! They kept their words kind, and continued to do their very best work. The patience the family displayed was incredible! Yes they became aggravated and upset but chose to give a soft answer or turn the other cheek. Their children followed their example in word and action with maturity far beyond their years. A strong faith in God and living His Word were their foundation. I admired them so much! I cannot wait for the sequel!

    I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

  3. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Perseverance, Family, and Trust
    November 7, 2017
    mjk108
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    "Our someday has already begun. I see promises of dawn every day when the sun touches the tops of the big trees, the smoke rises from the chimney, Kirstin fuses for her morning meal, and the cow bellows that we should hurry."

    -Rune Carlson

    This first novel in the new series Under Northern Skies is set in Benson's Corner, Minnesota in 1909. Signe and Rune Carlson have signed a contract to work for Rune's Uncle Einar and Aunt Gerd in exchange for their fare to America. Thus begins a new life for Rune, Signe, and their three sons. The reality of what they find when they arrive at Uncle Einar's farm is vastly different than they imagined when planning the trip to America.

    Life with Einar, a harsh, work driven man, and Gerd, his ailing, bitter wife, is difficult and unpleasant and the work is never ending for all five of the Carlsons. Some of the characters are so unlikable, while others are filled with hope and perseverance. The book contains an interesting mix of personalities that in some cases never really get explained. The cause of Uncle Einar's bitterness never comes to light in the book.

    The themes of perseverance, personal freedom, family, and trust all play prominent roles in the story. I enjoyed the book, but I had a distinct dislike for Uncle Einar all the way through the book. In some ways, the story was a little sad, but in many other ways, the core of the story was uplifting. Sprinkled with historical detail about life in the early 1900's in rural Minnesota, the story will definitely appeal to readers of historic fiction.

    This ARC copy was received from Bethany House and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
  4. Fullerton, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Exciting faith-strengthening adventures of Norwegian family emigrating to America
    October 20, 2017
    Susan Osborn
    Fullerton, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Lauraine Snelling, known for her beloved Red River Series and many others, has started a brand-new series. The first book is The Promise of Dawn. At the invitation of Runes uncle, who has offered to pay their fare from Norway to America , Rune, Signe, and their three boys board a steamship and begin their long journey to Minnesota. Signe is pregnant, making the passage all the more difficult. They had no idea what lay ahead of them once they reached their destination. Their faith is strengthened through the hardships they face and the difficult circumstances and people they need to deal with. I fell in love with these characters, as I have in Lauraines other books, and I anxiously await Book 2 in the Under North Skies Series.
  5. Phoenix, AZ
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Joy In the Morning
    October 2, 2017
    Jeanie
    Phoenix, AZ
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I absolutely love this stunning new novel! It reminds me of Ecclesiastes 4, how if one falls, the other will lift him up, and the threefold cord is hard to break. That is what I saw in action with Rune and his wife Signe. Even if one loses faith for a time, another is faithful to help that one back to the cord that is secure. I was drawn in from the first page and my only letdown was turning the final page. Each well-rounded character is drawn with care, and descriptions of both Norway and America sing with beauty.

    It was a delight to read about more of the Carlson and Strand family members who leave Norway for the North Central United States. In early 1909, Gunlaug is looking forward to her son Johann's imminent wedding when she receives a letter from their cousin Einar in Minnesota. He asks the impossible. Due to his wife's illness, he needs help felling trees and growing his farm. He would pay the passage for one of her sons and his family to would move across the ocean, help him with the logging and farming to pay for their passage, perhaps giving them a portion of his land to live on and farm.

    Rune, the least strong son, wants to go to work. His wife, Signe, has had much heartache and loss, so separating her from her family is heartbreaking. He still chooses to take Signe and their three sons, knowing they will probably never see their Norwegian family again in this life.

    In Minnesota, they are met with a grumpy man, sleeping on the floor in the parlor as the ladder to the attic room is too precarious, and a bedbound woman who screeches for her needs. The house is laden with dust, filthy laundry, and mice. Each takes on their assigned tasks to give them their all, receiving no thanks or encouragement.

    Signe, becoming pregnant just before they left Norway, must take care of the house and Gerd, Einar's wife. Their sons take care of the livestock, their oldest son working long days felling trees with his father. Rune feels his faulty vision slowly worsening, yet he works as hard, as the rest. Signe scrubs the house from walls to floors to cabinets. They endure Einar's barely controlled fits of anger regularly.

    I have new respect for those who came here in search of a better life! I knew they worked impossibly long, hard hours to survive, but what the Strands endure as they work for Einar and Gerd is unimaginable. They work seven days a week, no time off for church or a Sabbath rest. When one family member is badly injured when working, Einar's anger turns to rage. Letters from home help, but nothing staves off the isolation that Signe suffers with. Each family member draws deep within, drawing strength from God. I like Signe, and might not have been as kind as her! I grew to like Gerd, but couldn't begin to like Einar.

    Plot twists continually change the novel. Some bring peace, some bring further pain. One thing is clear from the prayers of Rune and Signe; they grow in the secure knowledge that the Lord will take care of them, even when threatened with losing lives. The author elicits gentle humor, feeling Einar's rage even as a reader, and awe at the splendor of God's creation. I heartily recommend this fabulous first in the new Under the Northern Skies series, to adults of any age and older teens who enjoy Christian women's historical fiction. This is a not-to-be-missed novel!

    From a grateful heart: I was given this eBook by the publisher through a Goodreads giveaway and here is my honest review.
Displaying items 1-5 of 27
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