Book Review: To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling

To Everything a Season
by Lauraine Snelling
Rating: 4/5
Song of Blessing Book 1
Bethany House – Fiction/Historical

The Bjorklund family has a long history of helping to settle the town of Blessing, North Dakota. Dr. Astrid Bjorklund Jeffers runs the newly built hospital with her sister-in-law, Dr. Elizabeth Rogers Bjorkland. Both doctors trained under the best and are set to welcome and teach some nurses-in-training traveling from Chicago.

Miriam Hastings has a large family to support since her mother has a chronic, untreatable illness. She works hard to provide for her family and keep her brothers and sisters in school as long as possible. When she is chosen for an amazing internship under two female doctors in Blessing, she does not think it possible. Who will care for her family? How could she leave everything she knows and loves for a whole year? What if something happens? With a determination to return home after her internship, she leaves her family in good hands and ventures off to Blessing.

Trygve Knutson has spent his life working for his family and the town of Blessing. He knows with all of the immigrants and the nurse trainees arriving, the town is growing. When he meets Miriam, he can’t take his eyes off her. He starts pursuing her with a vengeance, but is his pursuit in vain? Miriam is adamant about returning to Chicago to her family. Can God work through Miriam’s mistrust and sense of betrayal?

I don’t believe I’ve read any of Snelling’s books about the Red River Valley. As someone just starting to read about this world and the Bjorklund family, I was overwhelmed for the first few chapters; I couldn’t even begin to think about reading it for a while. One of the first things a reader sees is the huge family tree with some unfamiliar Norwegian names. After reading the back cover multiple times, I was surprised that the supposed main characters of Trygve and Miriam don’t even meet until halfway through the book. The story seems to center around Astrid the most, which is odd for a reader who is not familiar with the Bjorklund family. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story quite like this.

I enjoyed getting to know the town of Blessing and all of its characters. There were a lot of subplots that seemed to distract from the “main” story, but they were still endearing and fun. The story felt unfocused – the reader is not sure who the story is about, but by the end of the book, I was hooked. I need to read more from Snelling, which is why I rated the book a 4/5.

I recommend this book to those who have already read stories from Red River Valley; I feel they would recognize and appreciate the characters more. If you decide to read the book without any background, you will want to take your time to familiarize yourself with the characters and their relationship to one another.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a review.

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