Monday, June 3, 2013

The Icecutter's Daughter - A Book Review

From the Back: As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked.  Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl - she'd rather work with her father's horses and assist with the ice harvest.  And though she's been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.  When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill.  But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't itimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity.  The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiancee shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.

Synopsis: Merrill Krause lives with her father and brother in Minnesota.  She's not your typical turn-of-the-century female with her eyes set on marriage.  She works alongside her brothers harvesting ice and taking care of their horses.  However, when Rurik Jorgenson moves to town to help his uncle, Merrill begins to think there might be something to the idea of courtship and marriage.  After learning Merrill is a talented artist, Rurik comes up with a plan to have Merrill join him at his uncle's carpentry business painting pieces he and his men create.  Life is going well until Rurik's former fiancee Svea and her brother Nils show up claiming Svea and Rurik are still engaged and must be married.  Rurik has no romantic feelings for Svea and spends his time trying to re-break off the engagement.  Svea and Nils won't take no for an answer and appear to be harboring secrets of their own.  The story concludes with an ending full of twists and turns.

My Review:  I really like Tracie Peterson's work and this was a good book but it almost had too many twist and subplots for my taste.  Peterson just appeared to be trying to do too much with the book.  There's the romance between Merrill and Rurik, Rurik's former engagement, Uncle Carl's health, Nils' problems, gossip around town, etc..  I just felt like one or two of the story lines could have been left out and the book would have been better.  That being said, this is a sweet romance with a great underlying message about truth and consequences.  It is definitely a Christian fiction novel and that comes through but it doesn't come across as preachy necessarily.  One thing I like about Peterson's writing...the characters make you have a reaction to them and this book was no different.  I couldn't stand Svea from the very beginning (she reminded me of Nellie Olson from Little House on the Prairie) and disliked her even at the end. :-)  This appears to be the beginning of another series from Peterson and I'm eagerly awaiting new books in the series.  You'll definitely want to add this one to a summer reading list.

Score:  4.0 bookmarks out of 5.

Note:  Bethany House Publishers gave me a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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