The Promise of Dawn

The Promise of Dawn

by Lauraine Snelling

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Overview

The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764218965
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2017
Series: Under Northern Skies Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 114,446
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(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 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.

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The Promise of Dawn 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book captured me from the beginning! Everyone seemed so real. I can't wait until the second book comes out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had a hard time putting this book down. Cant wait for the next book to come out.
lesacap1262 10 months ago
I loved this book! I'm a huge fan of Lauraine Snelling and have read many of her books and lots of her previous series. My favorite genre is historical fiction and Christian fiction, so probably why I am a big fan. This book starts out meeting the Strand/Carlson family, a letter from a cousin inviting Gunalug Strand Carlson's son Rune and his family to Minnesota. Einar and Gerd strand are an older couple in need of help to run their farm and clearing land from the big pines in northern Minnesota. Life is difficult in Norway, jobs, food and land are scarce. So the offer from Einar and Gerd is to pay for the family's passage in exchange for their help on the farm. Gerd is ill and Einar can not keep up with the work and take care of her. So Rune and Signe Carlson and their three sons are on their way to Minnesota. We also learn the Signe is pregnant. The story takes them from Norway, through their journey across the ocean and over land, to their destination! We learn about their dismay when they arrive and are welcomed with hard work and unfriendly relatives. Was this a mistake, will the chores ever end? Will their Uncle Einar and Aunt Gerd ever be kind and loving? Will they ever pay off their debt and own a home and farm of their own? Their fortitude and faith are tested many times over, does God even hear their prayers? What I loved about this book was the faith aspect, small signs that God does hear their prayers. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and how they are forced to change to survive, and how they evolve over time. I also love the historical aspect of rural life in the early 1900's, how life was hard and there was work to be done, but it was also a simpler life where you relied on God and neighbors and your faith. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House through their blogger program, this review is my own.
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
I’m just gonna say it. I really have a few mixed feelings about this book. I loved it, I wanted to love it and I kinda sometimes maybe didn’t get it. Singe and Rune are an interesting couple with a great family and backstory of their immigration. I get that the meat and potatoes of this book is their time in Minnesota but their opening at home and their voyage to their new life felt disjointed and rough. Uncle Einar and his wife Gerd (Gird?) are both just ginormous jerks. It has to be said. They don’t want family to come help them and settle this new land with them. They want warm bodies to do all the things all the time. I was a bit confused with Gerd/Gird as well. Her name is spelled one way in all the synopsis I found but differently in the book itself. Though reading an ARC perhaps it was something that was corrected on final edit? Let’s briefly talk about Einar and Gerd. They are jerks. Like 98.2% jerks. Mostly jerks. Perhaps a few redeeming qualities. Well her more than him. Never-mind. Back to jerks. But jerks that I think I might like to perhaps better understand how they ended up that way. I can’t imagine that Gerd would have married Einar if he had always been a jerk, and vice versa. I’d almost be interest (OK I’d be really interested) in their backstory. Perhaps a prequel? *hint, hint* OK, enough of the jerks, moving on! Let’s talk the actual story. There were two speeds, all the work and excessive details or random time jumps. I got absolutely exhausted and bogged down in all the work, all the chores, and all the details of all the stuff. Like all the details. I felt like I was back in one of my Nano novels a few years ago where my word count jumped exponentially just by the details of making a sandwich. This novel could have easily been half the length (or even better more backstory?) without the never ending overwhelming and unnecessary detail. And when there wasn’t all the things there were random leaps forward. One day becomes one month. One moment becomes a week later. I was frequently confused if it was summer or fall. The timeline felt stilted and awkward and hard to follow. Seriously, all the words. One last little thing, I promise. What I wouldn’t give for there to be a glossary of terms and what they actually mean. I sorta kinda caught on with most of them but there were a few words that I never quite grasped the meaning and felt floundered throughout the book. That all being said, I still really really really liked this book. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series! I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
I’m just gonna say it. I really have a few mixed feelings about this book. I loved it, I wanted to love it and I kinda sometimes maybe didn’t get it. Singe and Rune are an interesting couple with a great family and backstory of their immigration. I get that the meat and potatoes of this book is their time in Minnesota but their opening at home and their voyage to their new life felt disjointed and rough. Uncle Einar and his wife Gerd (Gird?) are both just ginormous jerks. It has to be said. They don’t want family to come help them and settle this new land with them. They want warm bodies to do all the things all the time. I was a bit confused with Gerd/Gird as well. Her name is spelled one way in all the synopsis I found but differently in the book itself. Though reading an ARC perhaps it was something that was corrected on final edit? Let’s briefly talk about Einar and Gerd. They are jerks. Like 98.2% jerks. Mostly jerks. Perhaps a few redeeming qualities. Well her more than him. Never-mind. Back to jerks. But jerks that I think I might like to perhaps better understand how they ended up that way. I can’t imagine that Gerd would have married Einar if he had always been a jerk, and vice versa. I’d almost be interest (OK I’d be really interested) in their backstory. Perhaps a prequel? *hint, hint* OK, enough of the jerks, moving on! Let’s talk the actual story. There were two speeds, all the work and excessive details or random time jumps. I got absolutely exhausted and bogged down in all the work, all the chores, and all the details of all the stuff. Like all the details. I felt like I was back in one of my Nano novels a few years ago where my word count jumped exponentially just by the details of making a sandwich. This novel could have easily been half the length (or even better more backstory?) without the never ending overwhelming and unnecessary detail. And when there wasn’t all the things there were random leaps forward. One day becomes one month. One moment becomes a week later. I was frequently confused if it was summer or fall. The timeline felt stilted and awkward and hard to follow. Seriously, all the words. One last little thing, I promise. What I wouldn’t give for there to be a glossary of terms and what they actually mean. I sorta kinda caught on with most of them but there were a few words that I never quite grasped the meaning and felt floundered throughout the book. That all being said, I still really really really liked this book. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series! I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
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, Rune’s 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 Carlson’s 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 Einar’s 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 family’s 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 Carlson’s 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.
MJK108 More than 1 year ago
“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.
Susanosb More than 1 year ago
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 Rune’s 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 Lauraine’s other books, and I anxiously await Book 2 in the “Under North Skies Series.”
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A touching story of heartache and hope by Lauraine Snelling. Realizing that Norway doesn’t have many opportunities, Rune and Signe Carlson immigrate to Minnesota with their young sons. At the mercy of relatives who paid their way, the Carlsons struggle to adapt to their new life in America. With relentless work and unexpected trials, they hope for a better future but wonder how soon that opportunity will come. I love how author Lauraine Snelling captures so well the emotion and heartache of leaving family and homeland, the unfamiliarity and fear of living in a new country, and the unrelenting discipline of the immigrants who had to work so hard to survive and to hope. Well written and full of tender and poignant emotion, The Promise of Dawn is a promising beginning to Snelling’s Under Northern Skies series. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling for my candid review.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
This book is about work, work, and more work. I would have thought that the descriptions of the never-ending tasks that fell to Signe would have lost my interest, but I was actually fascinated. It was like Little House on the Prairie for adults. The author skillfully and subtly wove in the myriad of emotions Signe felt, including frustration, compassion, exhaustion, loyalty, motherly love, humor, and exasperation. I couldn't help but admire her work ethic and dedication. It made me take a good hard look at myself and my own housekeeping habits! When it seemed that nothing would change in Gird and Einar, the dynamics began to shift ever so slightly and then more quickly, and I loved the direction the story went. There's not much romance, but we do see the love, support, and admiration Rune and Signe have for each other in subtle ways. So many rich themes in this book are subtle, and it was heartwarming to see the patience and efforts of Rune and Signe pay off in the end. I'm looking forward to the next book in the Under Northern Skies series! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
LisetteRue More than 1 year ago
Moving from Norway to Minnesota in 1909 is dauntingly life-changing, but with opportunities scarce in Norway, it seems the most viable option. Still, Signe Carlson hesitates to leave home, especially as she suspects she is pregnant. But Einar has promised them land of their own, something they’d never be able to afford in Norway. Rune and Signe, with their three sons Bjorn, Knute and Leif, are no strangers to hard work, but Uncle Einar and Aunt Gerd are very demanding. Einar, Rune and Bjorn make it a daily task to fell trees, while Signe has the unenviable task of getting a house back in shape after months of neglect with Gerd fallen ill. As Einar’s demands and his expectations put someone she loves in striking distance of grave danger, Signe’s faith wobbles. Rune is there to encourage her faith as he keeps his. Can Signe find the fortitude she needs to help lead her family and protect them in this new land? I have not read many books by Lauraine Snelling, but I was first drawn to this story when I read that the characters emigrate from Norway to Minnesota. It reminded me of American Girl character Kirsten Larson. “The Promise of Dawn” did not disappoint. It is clear that Snelling has put in a great deal of historical research. Reading the story was an immersive experience. It was also emotional, as I’d have strong feelings toward Einar’s treatment of everyone and Gerd’s apparent dissatisfaction of everything. The amount of love Signe and Rune have for their family is astounding, but their lifestyle in Minnesota isn’t just honest hard work. The environment they’re in is toxic, and I’m not talking environmentally. Patience is a virtue oft-displayed by the Carlson family. They also show us what hard work is and what it means to endure. I was wrapped up in this book and look forward to reading the next installments in the ‘Under Northern Skies’ series. -- 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down. Love Larraine's stories from startto finish.
janesquires More than 1 year ago
Signe and Rune Carlson leave Norway for America to work for an Uncle and Aunt. Instead of being treated like family, they are treated less. Gerd, the Aunt is bed fast. Einar and Gerd are very demanding. Signe, pregnant falls down the ladder from the attic and goes into labor. There are miracles as Gern and Einer are treated kind regardless of their hardness. The title involves Run and Signe getting their own home - the dawn. I wept through somje of the story. As all Lauraine's books do, this story lifted me up in Spirit. The battles I was letting get me down, were small compared to those of Signe and Rune. Guarantee you won't be able to lay the book down long.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling is the first book in her new Under Northern Skies series. It is April in 1909 when Signe Carlson and her husband, Rune receive a letter from Einar and Gerd Strand who live near Blackduck, Minnesota. The Strand’s need assistance on their farm and will pay the Carlson’s passage in exchange for work (they sign a contract). Signe, Rune and their three boys set off on the long journey to Minnesota. They arrive at the farm and the greeting is not what they expected. The farmhouse is a mess, there is no place for them to sleep, Gerd is sick (and rude), and Einar is demanding. Signe spends her days whipping the farmhouse into shape, cooking, and taking care of Gerd’s needs. Einar has Rune and Knute (their eldest child) out early every morning felling trees to clear the property and earn money. Signe knows life in Norway was hard, but they had family, friends, a home, and soft beds. Her trust in God is faltering. She struggles to understand why her family must endure such hardship. Then Signe falls from the ladder to the loft (where they sleep) late in her pregnancy causing her to go into labor. Signe loses a great deal of blood and is very weak after giving birth to a little girl. Things cannot go on as they have been for the Carlson’s. Is there a chance for a better future for the Signe and her family? Pick up The Promise of Dawn to see what happens (I do not want to spoil the story for you). The Promise of Dawn is a well-crafted novel. It is one of those books that you start reading and do not want to put down (I stayed up very late—even for me). After I finished the book, I continued to think about it. The Promise of Dawn has rich, well-developed characters and a rugged, yet beautiful setting. Ms. Snelling’s vivid descriptions brought the book alive for me (the author has a special knack). I could picture the scenes in my head (could even imagine the smell of the stinky outhouse). I am rating The Promise of Dawn 5 out of 5 stars (I loved it). The Promise of Dawn is an emotional story (love, humor, heartbreak, anger, joy and much more). The plight of the Carlson’s will tug at your heart. I thought the book to be well-written, have a nice pace and flow, and to be very realistic. So much happens in The Promise of Dawn (I only gave a brief overview). The Christian element was handled beautifully. We see how Signe struggles with trusting God and keeping her faith. God has a plan, but Signe must be patient. There are good life lessons in The Promise of Dawn. I appreciated the mentions of Ingeborg from Red River of the North series (she is such a wonderful character). I look forward to reading the next installment in Under Northern Skies series.
Emme_Faith_Church More than 1 year ago
To start off, I will say that as soon as I started reading this book I realized it was very different from what I normally read. But I liked it a lot! It more focused on a family…not so much a couple’s relationship. What I think about… ~Signe. She’s the main character. A mother of three, once widowed–but now is remarried to a good man. When her husband decides to move to America (from Norway) Signe faces many difficulties especially as she is expecting her fourth child. Throughout the book I love how she steps up and helps out. She’s very patient with Tante Gerd…and that bears fruit. ~Rune. Rune is Signe’s husband. He makes he decision to leave Norway for many reasons. One of the big reasons was that in America they were promised land of their own. That’s a big deal! I like how he works so hard when he arrives in America despite not being used to the work. One thing I didn’t like towards the beginning is that he didn’t stand up to his ‘boss’ when he’s mean and bullying Rune’s family. ~The plot. I’ll be honest. I had a hard time getting into the story at first because it went a little slow. I felt a little bored at first mostly because I didn’t know what was going on. Things got more interesting when they arrived in America (more specifically at their relatives’ farm). ~Their relatives. I like Tante Gerd later in the story, but at first she’s not very likable. As for Onkel Einar… not a fan. He’s mean, and grumpy, not very moral–and a slave driver. Besides his name I don’t really like him. And I didn’t like him any better in the end. It felt like home. This is one thing that I loved about the book. Lauraine describes her details very well. I can smell the sourdough bread baking, I can pretend I’m churning the butter. It just feels like home. Even the wood chopping. Not that I do any of these things at my home. It’s more just that she gives you those details and it feels believable and gives me a happy feeling inside as I’m reading it. In short, this book felt believable because the things that you would expect to happen at a farm—happen. Note: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. As it was an honest review…a positive review wasn’t required. I could’ve said I hated it and not gotten in trouble.
vics49548 More than 1 year ago
I have been reading Author Lauraine Snelling’s immigrant books since the beginning. This book in her newest series is incredible! If you enjoyed her other books you will love this one. It’s a page turner and I found myself saying just one more chapter. I wanted to find out what happened but wasn’t in a rush to end the story. Full of twists and turns, we once again follow a Norwegian family who has immigrated to the United States. This book depicts the work ethic of these people. I couldn’t have done half of what they did. Snelling does a great job of helping the reader to see the conditions they lived in as well as depicting the area in which they settled. The characters are well developed, as is the story line. I’m looking forward to book 2! I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of THE PROMISE OF DAWN by Lauraine Snelling from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. It is the first installment in the “Under Northern Skies” series. I was thrilled to receive a book by Ms. Snelling. I am in love with her series “Dakotah Treasures.” I have read the books many a time over the years. Sadly, I wasn’t a fan of THE PROMISE OF DAWN. It didn’t have the usual elegance of her other novels, although I haven’t read all of her other novels yet. This one seemed a bit rushed and the ending was rather boring, as if she forced herself to write it. The ending definitely picked up and for the last half, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Because of that, I will read book 2. Overall, it is an okay book. If you are a fan of historical fiction, especially historical fiction with a Christian theme, then you will enjoy THE PROMISE OF DAWN. I found it interesting to read about Norwegian immigrants, as usually books about the Old West don’t involve immigrants. Parts of this book reminded me of the Kirsten series from American Girl, although Kirsten was from Sweden.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lauraine Snelling’s new book, “The Promise of Dawn,” the first in the “Under Northern Skies” series, combines some predictable elements. The uncle who invites the Carlson family to immigrate to America from Norway to help with his ill wife and logging business is predictably and consistently the “bad guy” and just barely comes around to see the error of his ways in the last few pages of the book. Like many similar novels, the reader has to put up with an unbelievably-unconvincing amount of ugliness from his character all throughout the book, and then hardly has time to enjoy his about-face before the book closes. Another predictable element in the book is that the reader is able to see clearly what is going to happen next. The family is using a ladder to get up into the loft area to sleep…the stairs have not been built…the wife is heavily pregnant….no imagination is necessary to guess what is going to happen. Now for the frustrating elements in the book. Nine-tenths of the book is an endless recitation of chores. Seriously: kitchen chores, barn chores, garden chores, logging work. Although the explanation of all these tasks is somewhat interesting, very little else happens in most of the book. The point is obviously to make the reader understand how “bad” the “villains” – the aunt and uncle – are. However, surely a little more plot could have been added into the book. I found myself tired after reading chapter after chapter of nothing but work, work, work. By the middle of the book, I felt like saying, “I GET it already; they are working themselves to the bone, like it says on the back cover.” The other frustrating element is that no explanation is ever given for the uncle’s behavior. Numerous times in the book one of the other characters almost asks the aunt or a neighbor why he acts the way he does and what he has done to offend the entire community, but they never do ask. After putting up with his awful behavior through the entire book, the reader wants the satisfaction of an explanation, at least. After saying all this, I have to say that I almost still enjoyed the book anyway. There was some turn-around in the aunt’s behavior and that was rewarding for the reader. The wife’s character was developed enough that one could sympathize with her, but the father’s character was not really developed enough to engage the reader. It is a credit to Snelling that one could find some satisfaction in reading a book that was largely a list of chores. Bethany House (Baker Publishing Group) provided me with a copy of this book for my unbiased review.
amvkv More than 1 year ago
It was an interesting, but frustrating book to read. When Signe and her family immigrate from Norway to the United States to help their aunt and uncle, they did not realize they were signing up to work for an unappreciative, mean couple. I can grasp that people are so rude, but I had a hard time dealing with Signe and especially her husband's passiveness. This is probably the way some people are and especially when we go back a few generations, but I hated it. Even until the end, they would say, "Well , he has not hit anyone." Some hurt is worse than physical. I wish Signe and her husband Rune would have discussed the affect living in this household had on their children and their family life (especially since they did not hear their children laugh anymore.) Shouldn't they have been concerned about that rather than "keeping a promise" after their debt for the tickets was already paid? The focus was on Signe's hard work which was unappreciated until one day Aunt Gird has a change of heart. The change at the end seems to come rather abruptly, and I think the next book in this new series may be better than this book since I hope it gives more attention to the oldest son, Bjorn than to the every day chores of Signe and her disgusting husband. I freely received this book from the publishers and this is my honest opinion of the book.
RobinWillson More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of books. I recall a movie, although not the title, where characters come alive and then freeze where they are when the reader stops reading. Most books are like this, quietly waiting to be picked up again, but Lauraine Snelling’s characters seem to continue to live after the book is put down – and I eagerly look forward to peering through the looking glass again to see what they’ve been up to. Ingeborg’s cousin is still in Norway and has long waited to see her again. Her sister Gird is married and has gone to America, earning land and building a homestead. They need help, sending for her oldest son Rune and his family to join them. Ready and willing to work hard to repay them yet also earn some land and a home for themselves in this land of opportunity, they sail over – but nothing is easy anywhere along the way. They enter a loveless home and Uncle Einar and Aunt Gird expect way too much from them, with little thanks, but Rune and Signe – and their children - have strong values and deliver 110%. Clearing the large trees is a dangerous job and when overworked it becomes more so. Because Uncle Einar is so single minded about getting the trees cleared, Aunt Gird is very ill and the household has gone severely downhill. Plus, for some reason the community does not welcome Rune and his family. Standing firm on strength and kindness, their faith grows stronger through the difficulties and threads its way to the others who surround them. I wish I could give Lauraine’s books 10 stars – I can’t recommend them highly enough. They are get-lost-in-and-fully-enjoy stories where you can clearly picture the characters and settings. As always, I eagerly look forward to the next book in the series! I really like the references to Ingeborg as I know she is living a full life not far from Signe and Rune in her piece of America. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Bethany House Publishers - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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? This is the first of a new series, and I'm really looking forward to the next one! The family moves from Norway to Minnesota and faces many struggles together in this new world. Things are not what they were presented to be, and the family must choose whether to cope or go back home. It takes a lot of perseverance, patience, and faith, but they choose to stay and work through it -- I want to know how the family plays out! In addition to it just being a well-told, well-researched, historical Christian novel, it also has good homesteading information...we can always learn from those who came before us. A good read.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
The Promise of Dawn is a heart tugging, heart involving, heart bleeding and heart wrenching story. It has a family Enar and Gerd (who has a heart sickness) that is sending for family in Norway to come and work for their passage and they will live in their house that they have built for a family (which Einar and Gerd do no have). The family in Norway (Rune and Signe - who is pregnant herself - after a couple of miscarraiges) wrote back that they would be glad to come and help family - GOD would want them to do that for family. So Rune and Signe and their three boys go to America and go to the farm and see the house and almost die - it is not made for a family - it is not a kept house - it is well shall we say - disgusting - here is a hint - rats - that is as far as I will go - that's the house - now if they keep their house like that how do you think they keep their insides like - do you think GOD lives there? do you think happy people live there - they immediately start treating them like slaves - if they do not do they are threatened to do something to them and the boys - the boys have to become slaves to the bed ridden wife - "I WANT" , "I WANT" - those poor children treated like slave children - no on ever - ever should be treated like that children or adult - then one of the big boys got one of their arms hurt and they were threatened again that they would do something serious to them - well guess what happened - I mean they were little boys - What do you think GOD would have done? well let me tell you - nooooooooo you have to read it all to find out - because I don't want to ruin it for you - so much so very very much happens in this book that I want to tell you because I just overflow with so much love for this book I want to share and I can't - you just have to get this book and find out what I mean. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own.