Sunday, May 27, 2018

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

Nilda Carlson has been trying to save enough money to go to America for months, so when a letter arrives, with an offer to pay her passage, she jumps at the chance. Her younger brother Ivar accompanies her, and they are thrilled to join older 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.

Kindle, 336 pages
Published April 3rd 2018
 by Bethany House Publishers
*** 1/2

A Breath of Hope is book 2 in the Under Northern Skies Series. In book one we are introduced to Rune and Signe and I highly recommend reading The Promise of Dawn first. To see what this young family went through getting to America and the welcome their received, it will all make sense in this book to know the history.

The author did a great job of her character building with Einar, he is one cranky and nasty person. I was looking forward to figuring out what made him tick and why. The other characters are also well developed, flawed and likable.

The historical aspect was also presented in a manner that felt authentic and made me glad to be born when I was.  It's a tough job running a farm and logging with a young family where everything is done by hand.  Family and friends need to stick together and when that doesn't happen it can be very lonely and discouraging.  The Carlson's relied on their faith to sustain them through this period. The author knows the time period and it shows in her writing.

 I was engaged in this story, looking forward to some closure and waiting for parts of the storyline to open up - which wasn’t always the case, looking forward to book 3.

Thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advanced copy in exchange for honest review.

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