Until We Reach Home

Until We Reach Home

4.4 43
by Lynn Austin

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Life in Sweden feels like an endless winter to Elin Carlson after the deaths of her parents. When circumstances become unbearable, she determines to find a safe haven for her sisters.

So begins their journey to America . . . the land of dreams and second chances.

But as hardship becomes their constant companion, Elin, Kirsten, and Sofia question their decision


Life in Sweden feels like an endless winter to Elin Carlson after the deaths of her parents. When circumstances become unbearable, she determines to find a safe haven for her sisters.

So begins their journey to America . . . the land of dreams and second chances.

But as hardship becomes their constant companion, Elin, Kirsten, and Sofia question their decision to immigrate to Chicago. Will their hopes for the future ever be realized?


A Christy Award Winner

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In 1897, the promise of the gold-paved streets of America can heal the broken hearts and lives of orphans Elin, Kirsten and Sofia Carlson, if only they survive the transatlantic trip from Sweden. Family secrets-ranging from the disgrace of suicide to shameful relations-churn like the ocean itself during a two-week crossing, only to haunt the girls after they reach Ellis Island. From the first sighting of Lady Liberty through their travails to reach a newly rebuilt Chicago, the girls discover their strengths, a variety of new acquaintances and, most importantly, each other. And while they quickly experience the immigrant's harsh realities, they also find a way to make a life in their new world. Complete with room for happily-ever-after, this rich tale will not disappoint historical romance fans. Austin, three-time Christy Award winner, scores again with an engrossing tale of loss, determination and hope. (Oct.)

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The Sleepy Reader (readingtoolate.net)
One of the things that makes Lynn Austin one of my favorite authors is her ability to write characters whose lives mirror real life no matter what time period she is writing from. This book takes place in the late 1800s but you still find flawed characters dealing with issues that still plague us.... She also has the ability to present the message of Christ without making it feel forced. It flows with the circumstances in the lives of the characters and like it would in real life. The characters in this story are not happy-go-lucky. They are angry with God for their circumstances and His apparent lack of care for their pain and we are present as they work their way through their grief.... I still enjoyed this one a lot though and I would recommend it to readers of Christian Fiction and Historical Fiction.
Library Journal

After their parents' deaths orphan three Swedish sisters, the oldest girl, Elin, takes it upon herself to write to their relatives in America in hopes that they can help them. Their perilous voyage and detention upon arrival at Ellis Island reflect the similar hardships endured by 16 million other immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. Austin writes meaningful dialog and creates memorable characters who resonate with readers long after they have finished the book. Delightfully rich with historical detail and authenticity, this is a terrific read from an accomplished, three-time Christy Award-winning author (Candle in the Darkness, Hidden Places) and belongs in all collections. Highly recommended.

—Tamara Butler

Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Melissa Meeks
"As usual Lynn Austin plucks the heartstrings of readers with her vivid prose and characters that leap to life for the reader. As an avid reader of historical fiction it is so rare to find both an engrossing story with such believable characters as the Carlson sisters and the rich historical details I have come to crave and know this author will deliver. These alone will continue to rank this author amongst my favorites and her skill at crafting a narrative that tugs at a reader's emotions guarantees my loyalty for future projects as well."--(Melissa Meeks, ChristianBookwormReviews.com)
Penny Goodwin
"Until We Reach Home touched me on many different levels. It is a look into history and the fact that some deep family secrets and scandals are ageless. Erin, Kristen, and Sofia each have their own secrets that will shock each other when they are discovered. But these girls love each other, and are willing to forgive when needed, offer support and guidance where needed. This is a true testament to how a family should be.... a story that shouldn't be missed by any reader of historical fiction. It is sure to touch your soul."--(Penny Goodwin, LoveRomancesandMore.com)
Lindsey Freitas
"Until We Reach Home gave me a new appreciation for the struggles immigrants go through, especially since many women and children have had to brave this journey all alone.... I also loved the sisters' characters and wanted to see how they dealt with their struggles. I was very satisfied by the end and recommend this novel as a good read!"--(Lindsey Freitas, BookLoons.com)
Cindy Crosby
"Four-time Christy Award winner Lynn Austin follows the lives of three sisters as they emigrate from Sweden to America and make a new life there in Until We Reach Home.... Austin is a veteran historical fiction novelist ... and includes solid historical details, from the cramped and unsanitary conditions of a two-week ocean crossing from England to America, to the types of food and clothing typical of the time period. She is careful to incorporate numerous sensory details, including what the girls might see, hear, taste and smell.... Fans of inspirational historical fiction will enjoy Austin's tale of three sisters who find faith, comfort, resiliency and love in a new country."--(Cindy Crosby, FaithfulReader.com)

Meet the Author

Lynn Austin, a former teacher who writes and speaks full time, has won three Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into a Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home near Chicago, Illinois.

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Until We Reach Home 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Readers have come to expect ONLY THE BEST from Lynn Austin and this book is no exception. Her writing immediately puts you "into" the book and you truly feel that you are there. You feel like you know the characters personally -- wow -- how great is all that? One reviewer said she hoped there was a sequel -- and there is certainly lots of material to bounce from -- SO OK LYNN -- lets do it!!
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
Ms. Austin provides rich detail about the time period the characters are living in, but this is done in a way that draws you further in to the setting. This story had so much intrigue, suspense, peril, yearning, hope, and faith in the midst of trials that it truly inspired me. The faith journey was SO believeable. The pain they went through made a lot of sense, and I truly felt for them. My heart grieved right along with them. I found myself thinking about the story all the time until I could steal away and read more. That, to me, is the sign of a fabulous read.

I am a real sucker for romance, which is sprinkled generously throughout the book, too. Plus, the heartache and pain resulting from dysfunctional situations and sin is portrayed realistically. While not edgy in regards to the details, Ms. Austin did a magnificent job of making me care about their pain and showing how deeply they hurt. Yet she balance that by showing how that makes them love more deeply as well.

In my opinion Ms. Austin is one of the best historical fiction authors at putting her characters in impossible situations and showing how God provides a way in the midst of heartache. She shows how God allows it to make His children grow in faith, and that He is always there even if He doesn't always take away the hardship and pain. And He can transform even the hardest of hearts when people love Him and each other like the Scriptures say.

The relationship that Sophia developed with Ludwig was so amazing it took my breath away. I NEVER would've thought to draw out the character's faith and introduce them to true love through sharing God's Word the way the author managed to do. And to use the Bible as a tool to communicate between their languages was brilliant. This tender relationship was beautifully developed and one of my favorite parts of the story. It made my heart sing!

I can't say enough good things about this story. I'm definitely putting this book on my list of favorites for 2008!
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to get this book to read because I love Lynn Austin's writing. Once again, she does not disappoint! Reading about the experiences of the Carlson sisters teaches what real family love and loyalty looks like; it comes with disagreements and squabbles along with displays of affection. It's also interesting to see these young ladies search as individuals to understand, find, and experience God's love.

The characters are flawed; the reader quickly connects with them. They are three orphaned teenage girls with a fierce family bond. Each one has a secret that motivates her. The story moves along as each young lady wrestles with her worries and problems.

The setting is 1897 in Sweden, then Chicago, and finally home. The reader understands life for an immigrant as these young girls land on Ellis Island and struggle to adapt to the strange new land. I give this one a big thumbs up; this is indeed a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well-wriiten with historical references and real characters. Enjoyed very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If U like novels about women immigrants coming to the US, U'll enjoy this also. I have and will continue to follow LynnAustin as I've never been disappointed n her writings. Not sure if this is a book club discussion as it is definately womens romance and not everyone is interested n the topic.
bucko67 More than 1 year ago
My father-in-law came through Ellis Island at the very time these three sisters arrived from Sweden so I was particularly interested in the historical setting. Lynn Austin's characters are so believable and captivating that I rarely want to put one of her books down. She handles adult issues with such sensitivity that even a teenager can enjoy the books without being assulted by sexually explicit language, graphic violence, or inappropriate themes. Austin's Christian witness and use of scripture is consistent in all her books but never in-your-face. The characters all struggle with real-life doubts, fears, and sometimes poor choices. The resolutions are satisfying and always make me want to start another one of her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book! I have loved everything I have read by Lynn Austin. Can't wait till I can afford more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book but wished the author would have written a sequel or finished the plots for each of the sisters as I felt like she left me hanging.  It is great that she leaves you wanting to know more..... but sad that the story never wraps up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! You follow 3 sisters and it feels like you are right there by them. Excellent historical references, characters, and plot. Has some unexpected twists
RC1814 More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Lynn Austin's books, and this book did not disappoint. I was immediately drawn into the struggles of these three sisters immigrating to America, and how God brought them through it all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel provides compelling insight into the experience of Swedish immigrants. particularly on the voyage to the United states. The first weeks here are also described in an interesting manner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful. Got lost in it and never wanted it to end. Great author. Thanks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lynn Austin 's books are my favorites. You will not be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love immigrant stories and this one doesn't disappoint. Lynn Austin is a very talented writer bringing her characters to life and making me want a second book to continue their story. The religion in this book is subtle enough not to be overwhelming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book ! I hope Lynn's other books are just as good. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like historical novels, this book will interest you. Lynn Austin has the gift of placing the reader in the shoes of her characters and you find yourself feeling the emotions and frustrations right along with them. I am not sure how historically accurate the novel is, but I found the content very enlightening and thought provoking on circumstances of coming to America our ancestors had to face, that I had not thought of before. I would definitely recommend this book. It is interesting, compelling, light-hearted and fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. It was easy to be drawn into the thoughts and feelings of the characters. Althought it is fiction, it gave a good (and likely realistic) example of what the thousands of immigrants experienced in their quest to find their dreams in America.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago