The Promise of Dawn By Lauraine Snelling

This book was amazing! It is 1909 and immigrants from all over the world were coming to America seeking a better life. Many family members went ahead and made the way for others to come. This was the case for Rune, Signe Carlson and their 3 sons. Their dream was to come to the U.S. from Norway to own land and have their own farm. Their opportunity came when Einar Strand, Rune’s uncle sends a letter to his parents. He has settled in Minnesota. The land he is homesteading is covered in huge pine trees. He needs help logging them and sending them to mills. His wife Gerd is ill and he requests for Rune and his family to move there and help. There is the promise of a home already built and large enough for all of them to live in, a school for children, and the understanding that after their tickets were paid back they would receive their own land. The
Carlson’s had never met the Strands, but they were family right? Norwegian Families were close and caring, right?
The summer voyage is very difficult and uncomfortable and to make matters more challenging, Signe is pregnant with her fourth child. After previous miscarriages she is concerned about losing the baby. The worse is yet to come though. Arriving at Uncle Einar’s is when the nightmare begins. There is not a proper room other than the cold attic for the family to sleep in. The house is filthy and Aunt Gerd is bed fast and declining because of lack of care. Einar is hateful, uncaring and demanding. He has not concern for the young family’s needs or even health. Aunt Gerd is constantly hollering for something and speaks little otherwise. She is also ungrateful for any kindnesses and very uncooperative. The promises go up in smoke and the Carlson’s find themselves as nothing more than slaves with no end in sight.
The author captures the minute details of day to day life in this era and the emotions and struggles of Rune and Signe. I even got tired reading about all the work they did, especially Signe and with expecting a child! I hurt for her missing and needing her loving family. She was so alone.
In addition to being a delightful read, the most powerful part of this book is their Christ like attitudes Carlsons (even their children) in the face of constant cruelty and abuse. What a testimony!!! They kept their words kind, and continued to do their very best work. The patience the family displayed was incredible! Yes they became aggravated and upset but chose to give a soft answer or turn the other cheek. Their children followed their example in word and action with maturity far beyond their years. A strong faith in God and living His Word were their foundation. I admired them so much! I cannot wait for the sequel!
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.


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