Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Review: "To Everything a Season"

To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling is the first book in the Song of Blessing series. But it’s the 18th book in the Blessing saga which rotates around Ingeborg Bjorklund, her family, her community, and her solid relationship with Christ. This installment is especially tender—one readers who’ve followed Ingeborg's story won’t want to miss.

As in many of the other books and series set in Blessing, North Dakota, this series focuses on a member of the family who is coming of age, making decisions that will impact the course of his life. Ingeborg’s nephew Trygve Knutson is that focal point. Tired of traveling to manage a crew that digs wells for farmers in nearby and not-so-nearby communities, Trygve believes he’s needed in Blessing, available to serve his family and community. Uncle Hjelmer, who sets up the well-drilling jobs, isn’t happy about Trygve’s choice, but Trygve is determined to make this change in his life.

New characters to the town are Miriam Hastings (a student nurse from Chicago sent to train in Blessing to learn how nursing is done differently in a small-town setting), Manny McCrary (a troubled 12-year-old with a broken leg and a defensive attitude), and Father Thomas Devlin (a mysterious Anglican priest seeking work in the field of carpentry).

I haven’t yet read Snelling’s Home to Blessing series (Astrid’s story), but I didn’t feel lost as I plunged into Song of Blessing. Snelling tells just enough to keep readers who haven’t read the earlier books up to speed without revealing critical details from the previous stories. I don’t yet know how Astrid got from high school to happily-married doctor, but I can read her adventure later without feeling I spoiled anything for myself by reading this book first. Therefore I can recommend this book to readers new to the town of Blessing as well as to long-time fans. Anyone with an interest in American history in the early 1900’s, westward expansion, immigration, and Christian fiction will appreciate this book.

Bethany House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

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