A Breath of Hope (Under Northern Skies Series #2)

A Breath of Hope (Under Northern Skies Series #2)

by Lauraine Snelling

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Overview

A Breath of Hope (Under Northern Skies Series #2) by Lauraine Snelling

Nilda Carlson has been trying to save enough money to go to America for months, so when a letter from Einar and Gerd Strand arrives, offering to pay her ticket, she jumps at the chance. Her younger brother Ivar accompanies her, and they can't wait to join their brother Rune and his family in the northern forests of Minnesota.

Signe and Rune Carlson are thrilled to welcome Nilda and Ivar to America, but life on the farm remains a struggle. Though Gerd has softened and grown to love the Carlson family, Einar is still harsh and unforgiving, obsessed solely with felling as many trees as possible. Rune is trying to build a new home for his wife and children, but Einar refuses to help and forbids anyone from the nearby community from stepping foot on his land. What dark secret must lie in his past to have caused him to isolate himself--and anyone living under his roof--in this way? When a tragedy lays the truth bare, the Carlsons and Strands will have to come together like never before and become a true family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764230615
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Series: Under Northern Skies Series , #2
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 816,269
Product dimensions: 5.75(w) x 8.75(h) x (d)

About the Author

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 4 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.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Nilda Carlson stared at the money in her hand. This was a week's pay. Her last week's pay. "I will never, ever be able to save enough money to buy a ticket to Amerika."

"Ah, Nilda," her mor, Gunlaug, said softly. "Never is a long time. Somehow we will find a way."

Nilda stared out the window at the snow drifting down, the flakes float-dancing, since the wind had given up. Would spring ever come? Each year, winter seemed to take up residence for longer spells. She knew she was being unreasonable. She'd been admonished for that before.

"Spring always comes. Our Lord ordained it so. And He has heard your cries. He promised He would always listen and answer."

How many times had she heard that? But hearing and deep-down believing were two entirely different things. As were hearing and answering. Did she believe God heard? Ja, she had to answer ja. But she had already learned that sometimes the answer was yes, sometimes no, and sometimes the hardest to deal with, wait.

"I know how hard you worked."

"But, Mor," Nilda insisted, "the shop is closed. True, Mrs. Rott is too sick and feeble now to keep the store open, and that is a shame, but still, I have no more work." She thought a moment. "Perhaps the Nygaards are hiring. I'm sure I would dislike working for them. No one likes working for them. But the money ..." Two of her older brothers had stuck it out until something better came along, and now it seemed to be her turn.

"Ja, I know." Gunlaug threw the shuttle on the loom, where she was weaving another rug. When finished with one, she always restrung for the next. Slamming the batten vigorously, she forced each strand tightly into place to make the rugs last longer. "This one is for you, you know."

"You will have that done long before I can buy a ticket, that is for certain."

"Then you will have the first layer in the bottom of the trunk Far and Johann are making for you."

Nilda tightened her fists in the folds of her wool skirt, fabric her mor had woven in years past.

Mor eyed her. "I have learned that weaving is a good way to work off despair. Throwing the shuttle and slamming the batten in place are good for one's soul — and letting loose your feelings."

"As is kneading bread. It is nearly time for that." A smile tickled the corners of Nilda's lips, but she clamped her teeth against it. "Mor, you make it hard to stay angry."

"Takk, I guess." Eyebrows arched, she looked at her daughter with a nod. "And the bread is much lighter for the extra kneading, like a rug is tighter for the extra slamming."

"My one day at home, and I'm wasting it fussing like this."

"Why don't you write Onkel Einar a letter and see if he is interested in bringing over another family member to help him?" "That is a good idea. I will do that as soon as I knead the bread back down. When you are a shopkeeper, your work just disappears out the door. At least with baking bread, you have something to show for it when you are finished."

For a while, at least. She shook her head at the thought and returned to the kitchen, the slam of the shuttle accompanying her. The fragrance of yeast raising the bread dough permeated the room. Both of these everyday tasks would be needed in Amerika too. After setting the bowl of dough on the stove's warming shelf, she added more wood and fetched paper and pencil. They were out of ink, and she did not want to spend time making more.

By the time she finished the letter, the dough was crowning the bowl again, ready to form into loaves. "Shall we have some of this fried for dinner?" she asked her mor.

"Ja, that will be a nice treat. Make enough for Ivar for when he comes home from school. He can mail the letter for you in the morning."

"I will take it in myself after the bread is finished. Do you need anything from the store?"

"Need or want?"

Nilda nodded. How true. Every winter they ran up a bill at the store and paid it off as soon as spring work brought in more cash. Winters were always sparse.

* * *

A couple days later, Ivar burst through the kitchen door just as dusk was bluing the snowbanks. "Mor, letters from Amerika!"

"In here," Gunlaug called from her loom. "Sweep off your boots."

"I did. Is Nilda home yet?"

"Nei, but soon." She smiled at her youngest as he, minus his coat, stopped beside her at the loom. "You'll want some wood in that stove. It's cold in here." She took the letters. "Takk. One is from Onkel Einar."

Ivar grinned. "I saw that. Wouldn't it be funny if he is asking for more helpers and Nilda just mailed him a letter? If Nilda goes to Amerika, I will really miss her."

"Ja, I will too." Gunlaug blew out a deep sigh.

"I will take you there someday, Mor. I will. At least for a visit."

"Takk, my son, but ..."

"I will take Far too, if he will go."

She patted his hand. "You keep dreaming that." Nodding and almost smiling, she threw the shuttle again and slammed the batten with extra force. "I better hurry and finish this so I can make one for Rune's new house."

"If Nilda goes, it would be good to send another loom along with her. And a feather bed for Rune and Signe. At least they are no longer sleeping on pallets on the floor." He paused and turned his head slightly to the side so he was not looking directly at his mor. "Onkel Einar is not a very nice man, is he." He was not asking a question.

"I'm afraid not, but he has not struck anyone — at least as far as we know." Gunlaug stared out the frost-painted window. The frond patterns near the top were winter's curtains. The intricate design feathered on the glass always made her wish she could weave such a pattern into her rugs.

Ivar asked, "Did Nilda get the job at the Nygaards'?"

"Ja, I think so. She went there this morning and promised to return if she did not get work. We were thinking to clean the kitchen."

Darkness fell, bringing all the family home but for Nilda. Gunlaug set the table and stirred the beans and smoked mutton she'd baked all day. Guilt at wasting wood moved her to use the oven when the cookstove was helping to heat the house. The round stove in the other room was only lit on the coldest days or when she was at the loom, which was most of the time. Even so, she wore gloves with no fingers, a sweater, and a shawl.

The letters in the center of the table were pleading to be read, propped up against the sugar bowl.

"You could go ahead and read to us," Thor said with a slight raising of his eyebrows. "She might have had to spend the night for some reason."

"Nilda would find a way to let us know." Ivar propped his elbows on the table. "Wouldn't she, Mor?"

The knock of skis sliding into the rack outside made him jump to his feet and run to throw open the door.

"Hurry up, we have letters from Amerika, and Mor won't read them until you are here."

Coming through the door, Nilda scowled at no one in particular and everything in general. She unwrapped her scarf.

"Your supper is in the warming oven." Gunlaug could tell something was bothering Nilda, but she wisely kept her own counsel. "As soon as you are seated and eating, I will read."

Nilda had been known to eat standing up by the fire when in a hurry.

Gunlaug began:

"Dear Thor and Gunlaug,

"I hope all is well with you in Norway. As we get busier here, Gerd and I agree that we need more help, especially since Rune and Signe will be moving into their own house this summer. They told me that your daughter Nilda would like to emigrate to Amerika, so if she still desires to come ..."

Nilda screeched so loudly they must have heard her clear to Valders and threw her hands in the air. "I get to go to Amerika! I really do!"

Gunlaug rolled her eyes at her husband and returned to the letter. "If we could have a chance to hear, I will continue." She paused, looking over the top of the paper at Nilda, who bounced once more in her chair and nodded. "Now where was I? Oh, here. 'I will purchase a ticket for her with the agreement that she will help us here on the farm to reimburse me for the ticket. If you have any other family members who would appreciate starting a new life in Amerika, have them write to me, and we will see what we can work out.'"

"What about Ivar? You said you wanted to go." Nilda flashed her younger brother a face-splitting grin.

He nodded solemnly. "But I do not want to be beholden to Einar. From what Rune and Signe have said, he is a tyrant. I want to be able to leave him and go work for a real logging company. Not that I would, but still...."

"Surely he can't be that bad," Nilda said, staring at her brother, who had always been the careful one.

"Well, we really do not want Nilda traveling alone. So many horror stories I have heard." Thor stared at his daughter. "Something to think about."

Nilda huffed out a sigh, her head slightly wagging.

"May I continue?" Gunlaug glanced from her daughter to her husband. The last thing she wanted was anger at the dinner table.

"Ja, go ahead." Thor still looked upset.

"'The winter has been especially hard this year, but we continue to fell trees as much as the weather allows.'"

"You think Rune exaggerated the size of the trees?" Ivar asked.

"Rune is not one to exaggerate." Never had Gunlaug had so many interruptions reading a letter. "I think they have not been telling us how bad it has been for them there." She found her place again. "'Spring will be here one of these days, and travel by ship will be much easier then. If you can plan to leave in mid-May, that would work well. I look forward to hearing from you. Einar and Gerd Strand.'" Gunlaug laid the letter down to be reread later.

"I could use another cup of coffee." Thor raised his cup.

Nilda leaped to her feet. After pouring coffee for all who wanted some, she paused. "Do we have anything to celebrate with?"

"Fresh bread with butter and jam. I thought about making a custard but was too busy weaving." Gunlaug looked around at her nodding family. "Perhaps tomorrow we can make snow candy. We have syrup."

Nilda fixed everyone a slice of bread and jam. "Are the hens still laying?"

"Not much. Another reason not to make custard."

"Mid-May." Nilda set the half slices of bread on a plate to serve. "We need to start lists of what can go with us." She paused and stared at Ivar. "I have some money saved that we could put toward a ticket for you. Do you have anything saved?"

"I do," Johann volunteered. "You can have that. Mor, can you ask Tante Gretta?"

Gunlaug nodded. "I will write a letter to them tomorrow. Somehow we will collect enough for Ivar's ticket. I know we will."

"But what if we can't in time?" Nilda sighed again. "I have a dream. Onkel Einar offers to pay for my dream. Now I must wait until Ivar can come too. Wait. Wait. Wait. I will never be able to get to Amerika."

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "A Breath of Hope"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Lauraine Snelling.
Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Breath of Hope (Under Northern Skies Book #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Susanosb 12 days ago
Lauraine Snelling, known for her beloved “Red River Series” and many other books, has a new series, “Under Northern Skies.” A Breath of Hope, Book2 in the series, continues the story of Rune and Signe’s family and cantankerous Uncle Einar and his wife Gerd, who paid their fare from Norway to America. Rune’s younger sister Nilda and their younger brother, Ivar, immigrate to America and join the family in the northern forests of Minnesota. The entire family’s faith is strengthened through the hardships they face and the difficult circumstances and people they need to deal with. And a long hidden family secret finally comes to light. I fell in love with these characters in Book 1, as I have in Lauraine’s other books, and I anxiously look forward to subsequent books in the “Under North Skies Series.”
Leonas_Lines 7 months ago
Review of "A Breath of Hope" by Lauraine Snelling "Under Northern Skies" Series--Book 2 " A Breath of Hope" is what Signe Carlson is feeling as Spring comes to Minnesota and with it news that her sister-in-law and brother-in-law are being invited by Uncle Einar and Gerd to come from Norway to live and work on the farm. This is a dream come true for Nilda Carlson and her brother, Ivar who have been working hard to save enough money to make the trip and also for Signe and Rune who can use the extra help with their heavy workload put on them by Uncle Einar. Einar is still overbearing and rude, even though Signe, Rune, and the boys try their hardest to please him, but Gerd has softened in her attitude and is becoming healthier, much to Signe's delight. Rune is trying his best to build his own home to house his family but Uncle Einar is not helpful at all and so demanding upon his time that it is difficult. Will Uncle Einar ever change? They all wonder that daily. Signe has been praying for him but finds her faith and hope is beginning to weaken as she sees no results. Rune is at the point of exasperation and his patience is wearing thin. What will it take to change Einar? Will he ever think of them as family instead of just slaves? Was he always this heartless? What happened to him to cause him to be so hateful? The Carlsons try to keep moving forward in faith, hope and love as a family even though Einar's bad spirit dampens every occasion when he is present. Hopefully, with the arrival of Nilda and Ivar, the work will get easier and the family will have more time to enjoy life and each other, and hopefully get their new home built so they don't need to live under Einar's roof any longer. This book two shows us what can happen to a person when they hold onto the past and let themselves become buried in anger, bitterness and greed. It also shows us that the only one that can change a person is God, and that we can only pray for them, as we treat them with kindness and try to love them as God does, hoping that they will come to repentance and seek God's help. (I received this book from Bethany House Publishers but was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.) --Leona J. Atkinson
Moonpie72 7 months ago
This is one of those book series that you wish the author could write faster; like maybe a book every few months! I read the Promise of Dawn and could not wait for this book to come out! You can read it as a standalone but you will want to read the first one so you won’t miss anything! After a great many struggles, Rune and his family are still working for his cantankerous (and that’s putting it nicely) Uncle Einar, and finishing building their new home. With them moving soon, Uncle Eniar will need more help. He offers to pay Nilda, Rune’s sister, passage to America. She is beyond ecstatic! Her family insists her brother Ivar come with her, but he choose to earn money for his own trip. America the land of promise to so many immigrants! Just as with her brother and his family she has no clue of what she will be facing in the way of her uncle’s mean and hateful ways. He does not care for his family just his land and obsession of logging the vast trees. Just as in the previous book the author has a talent for vividly painting not only the characters experiences and daily life, but also their thoughts and emotions. I felt as if I was right there seeing and being a part of everything, but also stepping inside of each character and perceiving the situations thorough their eyes. Once again I was greatly inspired by the family’s deep faith in God and how they lived it. Uncle Einar reminds me of people that are so embittered and mean spirited that nothing seems break through their hard shell. God is the only one that can. Seeing the Carlson’s love, patience and forgiveness is overwhelming. You can’t help but wonder how they do it after being consistently mistreated. A lesson for all to learn. I was once more shocked at the extremely hard work and challenge simply to exist in this era. I am afraid I might have given up. Another amazing book in this series! I cannot wait to read the next one! I received this book from Bethany Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
Moonpie72 7 months ago
This is one of those book series that you wish the author could write faster; like maybe a book every few months! I read the Promise of Dawn and could not wait for this book to come out! You can read it as a standalone but you will want to read the first one so you won’t miss anything! After a great many struggles, Rune and his family are still working for his cantankerous (and that’s putting it nicely) Uncle Einar, and finishing building their new home. With them moving soon, Uncle Eniar will need more help. He offers to pay Nilda, Rune’s sister, passage to America. She is beyond ecstatic! Her family insists her brother Ivar come with her, but he choose to earn money for his own trip. America the land of promise to so many immigrants! Just as with her brother and his family she has no clue of what she will be facing in the way of her uncle’s mean and hateful ways. He does not care for his family just his land and obsession of logging the vast trees. Just as in the previous book the author has a talent for vividly painting not only the characters experiences and daily life, but also their thoughts and emotions. I felt as if I was right there seeing and being a part of everything, but also stepping inside of each character and perceiving the situations thorough their eyes. Once again I was greatly inspired by the family’s deep faith in God and how they lived it. Uncle Einar reminds me of people that are so embittered and mean spirited that nothing seems break through their hard shell. God is the only one that can. Seeing the Carlson’s love, patience and forgiveness is overwhelming. You can’t help but wonder how they do it after being consistently mistreated. A lesson for all to learn. I was once more shocked at the extremely hard work and challenge simply to exist in this era. I am afraid I might have given up. Another amazing book in this series! I cannot wait to read the next one! I received this book from Bethany Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
Nicnac63 8 months ago
I believe this is the first book I’ve read by Lauraine Snelling. I enjoyed her writing style and delved into the story rather quickly. The pacing slowed quite a bit after the first third or half of the book, but the story still kept my interest. I love the spiritual foundation of this story, and enjoyed the characters (most of them, anyway) but I wasn’t fully engrossed, like I’d hoped. Still, I liked for Nilda and cared how the story ended. Although A Breath of Hope didn’t fully capture me, I still hope to read more in this series and more by this author. I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House.
Anonymous 9 months ago
3.5 stars. A Breath of Hope was... interesting. There were a couple of historical inaccuracies that stood out for me, and it was slightly empty being the second book of the series. To read an in depth review, go here: http://geoturtle.com/boe-and-a-book-review/ Things I Liked: The Characters. The Settings. The Language. Things I Didn't Like So Much: The Plot. The Plot was almost non-exsistant. I felt like this was a bridge book for sure. Like the Carlson's needed to move forward in life, but some things had to move forward. For one, Onkel Einar needed to die, and Gerd needed to get a lot better, which happened in this book, and Nilda and Ivar needed to come to America. There wasn't really a story to this book. This was the reason that it's only 3 stars. Onkel Einar. Obviously. That was the goal, to make him unlikable, but I still didn't like him. Also, there was mention during a sermon that "God needed rest, so then what about us?" This didn't effect my star rating, but I still wanted to mention that God didn't need rest. He rested on the 7th day to represent completion and give us an example.  Baby Kristin was baptized. This also didn't effect my rating, but I don't agree with this ritual, so just thought I'd mention it.
gccbookworm2 10 months ago
"A Breath of Hope" continues the Carlson family saga in Minnesota. In this second installment, the reader finds Nilda Carlson wanting to come to America and Uncle Einar has agreed to send her the funds in return for working for him on the farm. But, before she can leave the family works to save enough money for her brother, Ivar, to accompany her on the trip to America. Meanwhile, Rune and Signe continue to help Uncle Einar and Aunt Gerd on the farm. Uncle Einar does not let anything stop him from working even after suffering a fall. Nevertheless, his ambition and independent nature maybe his downfall. I found this second book in the series to be more interesting to read than the first. I look forward to the next book to see what happens with the Carlson family. I received a complimentary copy of his book from Bethany House Publishers and was under no obligation to post a review.
LisetteRue 10 months ago
While the Carlson family still reside with Einar and Gerd Strand, Signe and Rune have their own acreage on which to build a place of their own. Einar remains as difficult and ornery as ever. But the long winter has turned to the spring of 1910, and Signe and her family have found comfort and camaraderie in the neighborhood. Rune and his sons, when not helping Einar, labor on their piece of land to ready it for building a house. Einar, obsessed with his own interests, never helps. Signe takes heart, as two of Rune’s siblings are traveling to them. Nilda Carlson (also Signe’s best friend) and her younger brother, Ivar, are set to help on the Strand farm. Nilda knew it’d be demanding work, but it’s made even more so with Einar the way he is. When a tragedy strikes, will the reason for Einar’s extreme anger toward the community come to light? How I enjoyed this story! As with the first story in the “Under Northern Skies” series, I was impressed with the realism of this novel. The characters are all supremely hard workers; their toil is almost tangible as I picture Snelling’s words in my mind. Einar continues to frustrate me, only because I cannot imagine having such lumps of coal in my heart. I read this winsome story at a brisk pace. Because of the age we live in, I am astounded by all of the hard work this family puts in to make a house a home and a farm their own. Through it all, there is a deep connection of faith, which makes love for one another all the stronger. -- Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are expressly my own.
vics49548 11 months ago
Well, she did it again! Author Lauraine Snelling does an incredible job with Book 2 in this series. We meet up with Rune and Signe, Einar and Gerd, and many other familiar faces. We also get to know some secondary characters better. Well described, you’ll feel as if they’re family. And the descriptions of Minnesota, the farm, and the town are done so well that you’ll be planning a trip to visit there. Most importantly, Snelling portrays God’s forgiveness in an unforgettable manner, as well as a picture of Jesus laying down His life for us; we see that’s what Rune and Signe have done. The towns people and neighbors are warm and welcoming, as well as very compassionate. Hope and faith are woven throughout. I highly recommend this book! I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
FHlady 12 months ago
Snelling is known for bringing local history to life, strong spiritual content, and wonderful characters. In this book, she brings back the Carlson family who came to America from Norway to join their Aunt Gerd and Uncle Einar. Now Rune's sister Nilda and brother Ivar are both headed to America to join them. The local history of the north woods of Minnesota come alive in this book. Her descriptions of Ivan and Nilda's voyage to America made me feel as though I was right in the ship with them. Signe and Rune displayed the elements of a strong marriage in their caring for one another, their children, and their faith. Aunt Gerd was a true sweetheart and Signe was so supportive of her as she recovered from her ill health. Uncle Einar was a grumpy, unhappy old man who never did change throughout the book. It made me sad that he was missing out on so much by the way he treated everyone. Nilda and Iver were a great addition to the family and both pitched right in helping where they were needed. Baby Kirstin added such sweetness throughout the story. I don't know if there will be more stories of the Carlson family, but I certainly hope so.
joyful334209 12 months ago
A Breath Of Hope Is a rockin Christian tale - another by great story teller Lorraine Snelling. She really knows how to get you to feel the pain of the people as they tried to settle a new place. They fight animals, each other, the elements, Faith, and others. Then on the other side they embrace the elements, each other, friends, Others and Faith. Nilda and Ivar Come over to help their brother who has been hardened - changed and doesn't embrace them - but the town does. So what happens? Well you have to see what wins out - the elements, animals, others, each other or Faith. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreviewers.blogspot.com
Pattistep More than 1 year ago
This is a well-written, intriguing story of family relationships, working to achieve your dreams, and learning to forgive. Even though the setting of this book is not my favorite, I still was drawn into the story and was quite interested to seen how things worked out. I would look forward to reading a sequel to this story. I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review. This is my honest opinion about this book.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
A Breath of Hope by Lauraine Snelling is the second novel in Under Northern Skies series. Nilda Carlson, Rune’s sister, wants to leave Norway and go to America. She is thrilled when a letter arrives from Einar Strand in America offering to pay for her passage. Nilda’s parents, though, will not allow her to travel alone. Ivar, her brother, will accompany her but he does not want to be beholden to Einar for his passage. Nilda must wait while the family earns enough money to pay for Ivar’s passage. Nilda and Ivar finally arrive in Benson’s Corner, Minnesota and are happy to be reunited with Rune and Signe. They are unprepared for Einar’s rudeness (he is bitter and mean) and determination to clear the trees from his property. Gerd is recovering nicely from her illness, and she enjoys spending time with little Kirstin. When Rune is not clearing trees for Einar, he and his sons are busy digging the cellar for the families’ new home. The Carlson’s have enjoyed getting to know the people of Benson’s Corner. They were unsure of how people would treat them because of Einar. Einar has alienated every person in the small town, but the Carlson’s have not been able to get the full story behind his misdeeds. An accident lays up one of the men and the others will have to continue without him. Pick up a copy of A Breath of Hope and read this heartwarming family saga to discover what happens next. I thought A Breath of Hope was well-written and an engaging novel. I opened the book and was immediately drawn into the story. A Breath of Hope held my attention until I read the very last word (I rarely find books like this). The book has well-developed characters that I wish were my neighbors and friends (except Einar). We get to see how immigrants struggled to start their farms. They had to work to earn money food and the supplies needed to build their home. The trees had to be felled to plant crops and erect their homes and barns. They would have to fight the land and animals to survive. One bad crop and they could be ruined. It was important to have family and friends that they could rely on for help as well as comfort, friendship, and fellowship. This is all represented in A Breath of Hope. Lauraine Snelling has a conversational writing style that makes the story easy to read and savor. Christian values are represented in the book. Turning the other cheek, prayer, faith, following the path God has laid out for an individual and forgiveness are some of the Christian themes in A Breath of Hope. Forgiving someone can be very difficult especially when they continue to wrong you. It is one thing to say you forgive an individual and another to forgive them in your heart. A Breath of Hope is not a standalone novel. You need to read The Promise of Dawn before embarking on A Breath of Hope. I am rating A Breath of Hope 5 out of 5 stars (I loved it). I am looking forward to finding out what happens next with the Carlson family. My only complaint is that I now must wait a year for another installment in Under Northern Skies series.