Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Review: Rich and Diverse Fiction

Bethany House provided a complimentary copy of Tracie Peterson's The Icecutter's Daughter in exchange for an honest review.
     Tracie Peterson really needs no introduction. However, I was absolutely amazed to find out she has penned over 90 books. What makes that so extraordinary is that not one of her books I have read has disappointed. The Icecutter's Daughter is no exception.
     The reader will find the historical context rich and diverse. Set in the late 1800s in Minnesota the German Krause family makes a living with use of their prized, Belgian horses. In Winter the Krause family relies on cutting ice off the lake to provide wages. Miss Merrill Krause, a young lady who is approaching spinsterhood in that day and age, finally meets a man that piques her interest, though her allegiance for the last 10 years has been to be the lady of the family as her mother died years before. In reality though her duties among her male-dominated environment haven't allowed her to give her loneliness much thought. Primping and pampering are far from her vocabulary.
      Enter Swedish Rurik Jorgenson from Kansas. He was betrothed to a family friend, Svea Olsson, long ago. He travels to Minnesota to assist his furniture-making uncle, Carl, as his health is failing. The time away bodes well as he realizes his heart does not belong to Svea. He quickly falls for Miss Krause. It is when Svea and her brother follow Rurik that problems ensue that may well mean the heartbreak of many.
     Peterson always does an incredible job of developing the characters. Their personalities and maturation all come through as the story progresses. The antagonists of the book are just disagreeable enough that they made me shake my head in dismay a few times. The story lines are never far-fetched and seem reasonable, though perhaps at times a bit unlikely. The Icecutter's Daughter is a story I will not forget for sometime. After investing time to read a book of 300-plus pages the story embeds into the heart.
      The main lesson learned from this volume was that grace really can be extended to the most distasteful of people in and through God's love. Even Merrill had a hard time extending grace to Svea when her schemes were complicating her plans. It was through the wise advice of others that led her to show Christian love and charity despite what her emotions were otherwise advising her to do.
      The Icecutter's Daughter is a great read. It will capture your attention and heart. The foreign names at first may throw you for a loop, but after that it will be smooth sailing. I hope that if you are a Christian, historical fiction fan this will be a book to pick up. Of course, Peterson fans will enjoy this one immensely.

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