Sweet Pea – Read a romance that has a significant departure.
Until We Reach Home Lynn Austin
Scared Sofia wants only for things to stay the same. While life on their farm in Sweden is hard, it is also familiar. She may have lost her parents, but she can still visit Mama’s grave. And Uncle Sven has been very affectionate lately. . . .
Kirsten wants only to be happy. After her parents died, her uncle and aunt came and drove their brother from his own farm. Now it seems that a local boy will marry her and give her the home her heart longs for — and then she learns the truth of his intentions.
Elin wants only a place where she and her sisters are safe. She promised her Mama she would take care of them but Uncle Sven has made it impossible to take care of herself, much less others. When she sees him paying special attention to Sofia she knows its time for them to go. But their only other relative lives thousands of miles away.
Uncle Lars sends tickets for the girls to join him in America but the journey is treacherous and full of many problems. Will the new country be a truly new beginning for them or just a continuation of the trouble they faced at home?
I loved the way the author loaded this novel with shades of gray. It was refreshing to read a tale where, like real life, relatives don’t just reach out and solve your problems but sometimes add to them. I loved how each girl was scarred by her past experiences – Elin, un-trusting after those she should have been able to depend on betrayed her. Kirsten made bitter by betrayal. And scared Sofia frightened so much by the unknown until she meets the One Who Knows All Things.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this was how each girl encountered God after years of church, especially Sofia. The scenes where she and Ludwig use scripture to bridge their language barrier could have been cloying but is instead sweet and touching. I loved that Sofia carries that encounter with God into her new life, letting Him turn her fear to faith.
My only quibble is that I felt the girls should have gone to Wisconsin. Sofia could have left a message for Ludwig somehow and I think it would have been a better story if they had taken that route. Other than that, this is a good story with interesting characters and while the suffering might have been a bit excessive, the solution was lovely.
The Floral Challenge – six down,eleven to go.
Cocktail Challenge – complete!
Letter Q Challenge – complete!