Sunday, April 21, 2013

Review of "The Icecutter's Daughter"

Rating: 3 Stars
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Review: Tracie Peterson seems to be synonymous with historical Christian fiction, and "The Icecutter's Daughter" offers a pleasant blend of history, faith, and romance. The last Peterson novels that I read were  those in the "Yukon Quest" and "Belles of Lowell" series. "The Icecutter's Daughter" did not leave as strong of an impression, but it was a pleasant weekend read.  I enjoyed learning about ice harvesting and furniture making in the late 1800s.  Peterson constructs an authentic historical scene that exposes readers to less well-known facets of history. Daily responsibilities and challenges for families involved in the furniture and ice industries came to life in the plot. Multiple references to Merrill's delectable strudels, made me wish I could jump into the pages for a sample.   
While I enjoyed the setting of "The Icecutter's Daughter," I never felt fully engaged in the plot or the characters.  Peterson uses the characters to convey themes of faith, forgiveness, and being true to oneself. The characters are likeable, with the exception of two misguided characters who stir up some trouble and bring some interest to the story line.  My emotional connection to Merrill and Ruirk as individuals and as a couple did not fully develop.  Some sections relied mainly on conversations between characters, which made the flow choppy at times and ultimately left me detached. I did not find the story to be overly surprising or gripping; it was quick and easy read but did not leave a lasting impression.  
"The Icecutter's Daughter" is the first installment in the "Land of Shining Water" series, which will include "The Quarryman's Bride" and "The Miner's Lady." The synopses sound promising, and readers will likely find satisfaction in the historical love stories that define Tracie Peterson's fiction novels.
I received a complimentary e-copy of this novel from NetGalley, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Summary from Bethany House: 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 intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiance shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.
Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God--and each other--when scandal threatens their newfound love?

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