Trygve Knutson is devoted to his family and his community. With his job on the construction crew, he is helping to build a future for the North Dakota town of Blessing. Though he loves his home, he sometimes dreams of other horizons–especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.
Miriam is in Blessing to get practical training to become an accredited nurse. She’s been promised a position in the Chicago women’s hospital that will enable her to support her siblings and her ailing mother. Although eager to return to her family, Miriam is surprised to find how much she enjoys the small town of Blessing. And her growing attachment to Trygve soon has her questioning a future she always considered set in stone.
When a family emergency calls Miriam home sooner than planned, will she find a way to return? If not, will it mean losing Trygve–and her chance at love–for good?
This is the first book that I read from Lauraine Snelling. From seeing where the story started and the timeline of characters that was shared at the introduction, I can tell that she is a series author or has writes books in series, possibly on many of the characters in this book.
Some good things about this book is the way she can paint a vivid story around a character. She is excellent in developing their personalities in such a way that makes the reader automatically feel like they know the character inside and out and can predict how they are going to behave or what they are going to do in certain situations. Lauraine can do this in just one instant, with the reader not having to have read or been given an extensive background a character.
The same goes for the environment as well. Lauraine’s illustration of Blessing from the physical environment to the community was excellent—I could picture what it would be like living in the town. Although I feel that the main characters’ story, based on the blurb, was not presented until the last 3rd of the story, my interest in reading the story, learning about the people and the many situations that went on in Blessing was always there. I basically could read about Blessing forever.
Some disappointing things about this book, though I do not want to say they were all negatives, is that I felt the blurb in the back of the book did not represent what the book was really about. If anything, I would say that the book was a collection of personal stories from different characters, with the main characters being:
• Haakan and Ingeborg
• Mariam and Trygve
• Astrid and Elizabeth
The story immediately begins with Haakan, Ingeborg, Astrid and Elizabeth, with Manny soon joining, and their stories are woven throughout the book. The biggest events that happen in the story relate more to the other characters and not Trygve and Mariam. I would say that Trygve and Mariam’s story is more of an introduction of things to come in future books. So with this said, the book ends with a sort of cliff hanger with the question posed at the end of the blurb still remaining to be answered which may disappoint readers who were assuming the question would be answered in the story.
After reading this book, I was left with mixed feelings. I felt the story did not end or was incomplete in regards to Mariam and Trygve, although the other characters’ stories for the most part found closure. A part of me, also felt that the development of Mariam and Trygve’s relationship was rushed—having just met and spending time together in brief moments, within a month when Mariam has to leave, the question of love is presented. I think if the blurb had been written to include the characters, who play major roles in this book, and Mariam and Trygve’s story was not emphasize so much, since their story came later in the book and ended in a cliff hanger, I would have had a clearer recommendation.
So with this said, I would only recommend this book for those who enjoy reading a collection of personal stories and who do not mind cliff hangers and potentially having to read additional books (such as in a series) to complete the main story.
2.5 out of 5 stars (book was an interested read and well written, but the blurb did not match the overall book and it ended in an unexpected cliff hanger.)
***This book was given to me by Bethany House for an honest review.***