Tracie Peterson is my favorite Christian fiction author, and her latest historical novel, "The Icecutter's Daughter" does not disappoint. Set in Waseca, Minnesota in the winter of 1895-1896, the story focuses on Merrill Krause and Rurik Jorgenson. Merrill lives on a Belgian horse farm with her father and four brothers where they earn a living harvesting ice, logging, and freighting. Rurik moved to Minnesota from Kansas to assist his uncle with his furniture business.
Prior to moving, Rurik and his fiancee dissolve their engagement. Their fathers arranged the match, and while Rurik desires to honor his deceased father's wishes, he can no longer hide that he simply does not love Svea Olsson the way that a husband should love his wife. A chance encounter brings Rurik and Merrill together and over the course of the next several months, they fall in love and begin to make tentative plans. The future is quickly put on hold when Svea and her older brother (and Rurik's best friend), Nils, show up, demanding that Rurik marry Svea. Scandal ensues and time begins to run out as they wait for truth to emerge. Will they ultimately learn to fully trust God in what appears to be a pretty dismal situation?
I found this to be a wonderful story. The characters were rich and well developed. The plot was well thought out and had enough twists and turns to remain engaging the entire length of the novel. The end wraps up nicely with a wonderful subplot of forgiveness and redemption. This is a great first novel in the "Land of Shining Waters" series. I look forward to the next book that Peterson has in store for us!
(I’ve received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers through the Book Blogger program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
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