The Promise of Dawn, by Lauraine Snelling, is true historical fiction. She places the reader squarely in the life of a family struggling to make it as immigrants in America at the turn of the last century. Signe, her husband, Rune, and their three sons arrive in Minnesota to live with distant relatives who are harsh people. The amount of work they had to do makes me feel very lazy! This story illustrates the hardships, and also the work ethic, of pioneers. I think people who enjoyed Laura Ingalls Wilder books as children would feel connected to the characters and lifestyle in this grown-up story. This story delves deeply into how attitude can make such a difference in any situation. There are strong elements of forgiveness and charity throughout the book. The very beginning of the story was a bit hard to get into, especially since it was first told from the viewpoint of Rune's mom, but Signe is the main character, so when it switched to more about her, it was easy to get into it. Also, I was very unfamiliar with the Norwegian names and foods, so I had to get my head around some of those as well. I was familiar with steerage passage on steamships around this time, and I was pleased with the author's accurate and engaging description of their passage over the ocean.
I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
I was given this book for the purpose of writing a review by the publisher, Bethany House, but all opinions are my own.