When I was offered a chance to read Streams of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling, the third book in the Song of Blessing series, I remembered how much I enjoyed the Norwegian speech and names, and went for it.
The publisher describes the book this way:
Anji Baard Moen, recently widowed in Norway, returns to North Dakota with her children. She quickly settles back into life in the familiar surroundings of Blessing, teaching in the high school and writing articles for the Blessing Gazette. In the midst of an unexpected crisis, Anji is thrust into a role she never imagined. And almost without her even being aware, an old friendship begins to show signs of developing into something more.
Meanwhile, Thomas Devlin, a minister without a post, has arrived in town. Devlin supports himself as a journeyman carpenter, and with the town growing rapidly, he has no shortage of opportunities. Establishing himself in a new community has its challenges, but as the newcomer gets to know the young widow whose house he's been working on, he thinks he may have found yet another reason to stay....
My thoughts:First off, it was wonderful to pick back up with the stories of the folks who were the main characters earlier in the series. It took a chapter or two for me to pick back up on who is who, and to sort out all of the old-fashioned names.
What I had forgotten, though, was that Miriam, the main female character in the last book, had just lost her mother, and reading about that right after my mom died had been hard. Miriam is now a about where I am. It's been awhile since her mother died, and she's picking up her life, yet still missing her.
I'm glad that wasn't the main story.
The main story involved a young widow. And a diphtheria epidemic.
Doesn't that sound upbeat and cheerful?
It actually is a wonderful book, and I'm glad I read it. Reading about these strong immigrants and how they deal with the various difficulties they encounter, well, it makes me stop and think about where I really do place my trust and about what does really matter.
Although this is #3 in a series, this book definitely can stand alone. I don't remember Anji being a part of the earlier books at all, although Thomas certainly is.
Disclosure: Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.