A Harvest of Hope by Lauraine Snelling is the second book in her Song of Blessing series, but it's also the 19th book set by the Red River in Blessing, North Dakota. These books tell the story of this community from its beginning when Ingeborg Bjorklund arrived from Norway with her husband and a few friends. Now Ingeborg is a widow for the second time, her children are grown and married and raising children of their own, and the small settlement is growing into a sizable town. Immigrants are coming from all over the world seeking a better world for their families, and (most of) the people of Blessing are doing all they can to accommodate them.
In the first book of this series, Miriam Hastings came from Chicago to work as a nursing intern in the community’s hospital. Now Trygve Knutson is determined to convince her to stay permanently. But Miriam has plans for her life, plans to return to Chicago to work in the hospital there and to finish raising her five orphaned siblings. She would never have left them if the internship weren’t required for her education, but maybe, just maybe, the God she doesn’t believe in has a plan for Miriam—and her large family, a plan that required Miriam's presence in Blessing.
I’ve read almost all of Snelling’s Red River/Blessing books and loved getting to read this latest update on the community. I like finding out what Ingeborg and the other Bjorklunds are up to in each book, what they are learning about God and community, what new experiments they are trying in order to make life better for all, and how they help each other through whatever trials come along. I also enjoy meeting the new characters that Snelling brings into each book and following their stories. Snellings on-going themes are progress, growth, faith, and community.
Fans of historical Christian fiction who are especially interested in immigration to America, westward expansion, and the technological advancement that went with it will enjoy this book. I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.