Unconditional Recommendation: Sky Hoffman travels across the ocean in search of her twin only to find adventure, friends, family, romance, and God on a bridal train to Minnesota.
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
I picked up this book because I’ve heard good things such as it gets the gospel right—a rare find in the genre of Historical Christian Fiction. I am happy to confirm that the gospel and all the Biblical elements were done very well and with complete accuracy (as far as my own Biblical knowledge goes). In addition, the story was engaging and contained a lot more excitement and plot twists than I was expecting. I thoroughly enjoyable read for anyone who likes this genre!
“You have a twin in America, somewhere in that western land. Find her if you can.” Those are the astounding words of her mother’s final letter and all twenty-year-old Sky Hoffman has left in the world. So she sets out on a journey across an ocean in search of answers. She arrives in America broke, homeless, and trying to escape the unwanted attentions of an Englishman intent on pursuing her. Her only option is to sign a contract to marry a man she’s never met and join up with a wagon train of mail-order brides headed to the north woods of Minnesota. But with Indian raids, a sneaky detective hired to find her and bring her home, and the rigorous schedule of life on the trail, will Sky even make it to her destination? Can she find her family? And who is Russ Newly, the mysterious, handsome man who appears one night from the shadows?
There is quite a cast of characters in this book and the story is told from multiple characters’ point of views. Don’t worry; Hansen did a great job of balancing all the characters so that you never lose your way through the story. The main character, Sky Hoffman, is a generally positive and resourceful woman. She doesn’t whine or grouse. She accepts what is and endeavors to do what she can with what she has without falling into despair or creating needless drama for herself. I really appreciated those qualities of her character—she made the experience of the story that much more enjoyable. I’m impressed with the wide variety of personalities present in the book—they made each scene interesting and life-like with all the personalities working off each other (or conflicting with one another).
This is the crowning achievement of the book! I was amazed at how well the plot was developed and continually surprised to find that nothing happened like I thought it would. Bravo. The plot didn’t fall into any typical patterns. Hansen skillfully wove threads of mystery, suspense, romance, action, and spirituality into an engaging story. I don’t know what else to say lest I ruin it for anyone except that I loved the plot for all its twists, turns, and originality. Well done!
All the personalities and plot threads are tied up by the end of the book. At times the endings were surprising, at times shocking, and at times utterly heartwarming. A happy and satisfactory ending to be sure! I will certainly be checking out other books from this author.
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