Friday, October 9, 2009

Book Review: A Measure of Mercy

Snelling, Lauraine. 2009. A Measure of Mercy. Bethany House. 368 pages.

"Go or stay." Astrid stared at the daisy in her hand and pulled off two petals. Sitting on the back porch, she was supposed to be hulling strawberries. But somehow that didn't work as well when one had life-altering decisions to make. She pulled another petal. "Go." And watched it drift down to the second of the three steps.

The year is 1903. And Astrid Bjorklund has a decision to make. A big one. Should she go to Chicago or stay in Blessing, North Dakota?

If she goes to Chicago, she can further her medical training. She's been working with Dr. Elizabeth (Bjorklund). And she loves it--for the most part--especially when they're able to save a patient. But when they don't, it crushes her. So if she goes, she can train at a medical school for women. But if she goes, she'll be leaving her family--her big family behind. And she loves her family so, so much. Then there's that oh-so-dreamy boy, Joshua Landsverk, who's just returned to town. If she were to stay, something might happen. He might ask her to marry him. True, he hasn't mentioned marriage. But when these two are together, when they talk, when they dance, she feels a connection. But the medical training wouldn't last forever, it would just be half a year or so. So saying yes to Chicago doesn't mean saying no to marriage. What should she do? Or is there another option to consider?

Though this is the first book in the "Home To Blessing" series by Lauraine Snelling. It is not the first book starring this family. This is the fourth series of books about this family, about this settlement. (The other series are: "Red River Of The North" and "Return to Red River" and "Daughters of Blessing.") Does this make a difference? Can this book stand alone? I admit I struggled at the beginning. I struggled to make sense of all the family connections (and the chart did not help me). But. I stuck with it, and by the middle of the book, I was beginning to make connections and enjoy myself. Still, I know that if I had been familiar with the previous books that this one book would have meant more, much more, to me.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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