Season of Grace (Under Northern Skies)

Written by Lauraine Snelling
Review by Susan McDuffie

1910: Norwegian immigrant Nilda Carson and her brother Ivar are settling into their new life in Minnesota, with their brother Rune and his growing family. They work the farm, raise pigs, sheep, and cows, can food for the long winter ahead, and try to learn English. Things are settling down after the death of Uncle Einar, and life runs on an even keel. Nilda is offered a job, a chance at advancement, by a wealthy businesswoman. Ivar and Nilda even attend a social in the town of Blackduck, but Nilda’s composure is shattered when a man who attempted to assault her in Norway makes an appearance. Dreng says he has turned over a new leaf and wants to make amends. Can she forgive him? Should she?

This is the third in a trilogy, and it would no doubt be a little easier to understand all the characters and relationships if one had read the previous two volumes. Eventually things sorted themselves out and became clear to me. I confess some of the writing, although competent enough, seemed a tad flat to me; despite the accurate and obviously well-researched period details, I yearned for more vivid sensory descriptions to really involve me with the characters. However, the heartwarming portrayal of family life lends appeal, Nilda’s struggle is certainly relatable, and readers who like inspirational novels, sweet reads, and pioneer settings will no doubt enjoy this novel.