Wish it had come out before the rest of the series
Date:November 30, 2013
I'm a big fan of Lauraine Snelling so looked forward to the book that started the whole Red River series. I found myself wishing I had read it before I read all the others but I will definitely start rereading them very soon. I also felt the beginning was a little slow and the ending went a little fast but it's a good read no matter how you look at it.
I feel like I've been to Norway and back. The Seter sounded so beautiful. It was a lot of hard work. Nils loved the mountains and was found and rescued. His time in the Seter let him find true love. But on way to connect with Ingeborg, an accident claimed his life. Ingeborg had a fun loving family until the death of an Uncle. The will caused a split between the two brothers. Also they were grieving over loss of brother. Life's hardships made Ingeborg wonder where God is in all life's situations. Her Mom's cousin passed away in childbirth an also the baby. Her husband wants Ingeborg to be his wife and go with him to America and help care for his 4 year old son. There is no love. But Ingeborg feels God is in it. The titleis so fitting.
You can depend on Lauraine Snelling to serve up wholesome, thought-provoking, informative fiction about Norwegians of yesteryear. Norske blood partly flows in my veins from two generations ago. Perhaps a search to recover those lost pieces of my heritage gives me special appreciation for the era that Lauraine successfully fictionalizes. Her latest book, which came as a review copy from Bethany House, captivated me. As a prequel to her previous “Red River of the North” series, it fills in the background of the sometimes enigmatic matriarch of the series, Ingebord. In a plot reminiscent of Janette Oke’s initial, trendsetting prairie romance, “Love Comes Softly,” Lauraine weaves a story of love lost and love learned. Along the way the reader gets lessons on how salt-of-the-earth people did things in the late 1800s, like make cheese and weave cloth without any of our modern conveniences. As Ingebord told a wealthy visitor from the city, “Here we live with our work” (p. 215). The book’s main conflict is the family’s care of a severely-wounded hiker found near their summer farm high in the mountains. There’s description of the primitive medical regimen, which includes beating pneumonia after a risky setting of his broken leg. In the back of my mind I wondered about bed sores and “nature’s call” (mentioned once, p.209, when he is more mobile) as his convalescence stretched into weeks. I would also have appreciated some sort of glossary explaining the Norwegian words. Though “onkle,” “far” and “mor” (for family relations) aren’t a big problem, readers might like a little more about the “seter” mountain farm, Norwegian foods, and translations of prayers. The book’s ending made me ready for the next one. Ah, another wait. I don’t have a lot of leisure time to read fiction, but Lauraine’s fiction is high on my list of “reads” when I want to be reminded of strong women with strong faith.
An Untamed Heart by Lauraine Snelling is the prequel to the Red River of the North series. I absolutely loved all the books about Ingeborg's family so I was super excited to read it. But I was also kinda leery. Would it be interesting even though I knew the outcome? Would it lack the same flavor as the other books in the series? As soon as I started reading it, all my doubts vanished. Even though the ending was inevitable, there was so many new things I learned about Ingeborg and her family. I enjoyed it so much. As always I am left wondering how in the world she can pull off writing so realistically without leaving you bored or wanting to skip it all. Nothing is ever boring with her stories. I wish I knew her secret! haha What a great story filled with love and heartbreak, sadness and joy, suffering and everlasting love in Jesus no matter the outcome.
Ingeborg Strand is still single at twenty. Her mother keeps pushing her to find someone, but all she really wants to do is become a midwife. As spring comes over the valley, Ingeborg is thrilled because that means one very important thing - she gets to go up the mountain for the summer! Living at the summer house is filled with all the things she loves to do. Plus, it gets her away from her overly critical mother.
Nils Aarvidson is an university student in Oslo. He is expected to follow in his father's footsteps and run the family business. His dad is disappointed in his half-hearted efforts at school and wants him to work with him when school is out. But then Nils gets in an accident leaving him very sick and weak. Once he is better, his father allows him to journey to the mountains, but Nils misjudges the severity of his health and falls off the mountain onto a ledge.
Ingeborg, her siblings, and cousins rescue Nils and restore him back to good health. While there, Ingeborg and Nils fall in love. There future seems bleak since she is a mere farmer's daughter and Nils is a rich business owner, but Nils is sure they can make it work out. Ingeborg's parents are sure Nils will break her heart and try to discourage her from having any hope.
I loved this book. Maybe this story will get even more people to read the Red River books! It's one of my all time favorite series. Please, try this story out. You won't be disappointed.
I was given this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
An Untamed Heart is a pretty good book. I liked the main characters and the setting. Also, reading about life in the 1800s in Norway was interesting. Maybe now I will read the Red River of the North series again. The only problem with this book is that in some parts it dragged a little bit. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical Christian fiction.
An Untamed Heart by Lauraine Snelling is the story of Ingeborg Strand, a young woman who lived with her family on their farm in Norway. Even though the back of the book made it sound to me like the story was going to be about her while she was moving to America, the story was mostly about her life in Norway. Which I think was really nice. Ingeborg loved going to the seter every Summer. It was the family shared farm higher in the mountains they all used in the Summer. Other wise they would not have enough land for grazing all their animals and for growing the hay they need for winter. But when Ingeborg and some others young family members go up to the seter that Summer there is a life changing surprise that none of them could have guess was coming.
It was a really nice story and I loved seeing what life was like back in Norway in 1878. And I loved how they used some words that sounded like they were from Norway in the story! Although it would have been nice if there was a glossary in the front telling you what the words in Norway meant in English. But most were simple to figure out, like Mor for Mother and Onkel for Uncle etc.
The only thing I probable did not like was some parts did not seem to fit in to good or something. But it was not to bad and by the end of the book I had to know what happens next! And when I found out it was the prequel to the Red River Of The North series I got really excited. I think I had seen that series for sale before and thought it looked really interesting. So now that I have read this book I really want to get ahold of the others too!
I received this book free from Bethany House for my honest review. The opinions are my own.
If you’ve never read Lauraine Snelling’s "Red River of the North" series, you’ll want to read the newly released prequel "An Untamed Heart" first. If you have read this series—and the three series that followed it—you will love reading how it all began.
The "Red River of the North" series begins as newly married Ingeborg migrates to America with her new family. "An Untamed Heart" tells readers about Ingeborg’s life in Norway before that big move.
Personally, I loved reading about life in Norway, for both the middle and upper-class, near the end of the 1800’s. Most of the story was set at Ingeborg’s family’s seter. I felt like I was reading "Little House on the Prairie" set in Norway. I also thought that my three boys would have loved to have been able to spend their summers as Ingeborg, her siblings, and her cousins did. Snelling gives her readers a beautiful glimpse into Norwegian culture at this point in time.
She also gives more insight into some of what made Ingeborg into the beautiful person she becomes as her series, and the ones following it, develop. We see her learning unique skills and building a relationship with God. It’s not just about a girl growing up and finding a spouse.
I know I won’t have to recommend this book to existing fans of the "Red River of the North." Like me, they’re probably pretty excited about the book’s release. If you haven’t yet discovered this series, though, I recommend you start with "An Untamed Heart."
Bethany House Publishers sent a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Ingeborg Strand loves the summer when several members of her family spend time at the Strand seter. It is a very busy time for them but they have a lot of fun and the best part is being away from her mother. Ingeborg loves her mother but she is constantly being criticized and feels like her mother doesn't like her. It is so peaceful at the seter, except this year. When a stranger, Nils Aarvidson, is found almost dead by the river, Ingeborg being the oldest has to figure out a way to get him up the hill and to their cabin so she can try to save him. She doesn't plan on falling in love and when he returns to his family in Oslo, Nowray she feels in her heart that she'll never hear or see him again. Then she receives a couple of letters from Nils saying he's coming to visit after Christmas, he hasn't forgotten her after all.
I have read all of Lauraine's books, and there are many, about Ingeborg Bojorklund living in the Dakota Territory as well as two of her other series, I love her books. I enthusiastically picked up this book to read and was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed finding out about Ingeborg's life as a younger woman, how she learned to be such a strong woman and why she would go into her deep dark places in her mind. There will be three more books in this new series and, yes, I'm already anxious for them to be published so I can read them. I don't know any of the titles yet but will be watching for them.
If you have not read any of Lauraine's books I do encourage you to read them. I would not pass any of them up. Thank you Lauraine Snelling
Having previously read and LOVED Lauraine Snelling's Red River and Blessing books, I was SO excited to get this book.
The first half of the book seemed almost choppy and was hard to get into, but the second half was excellent and made up for the first half. Having read all the other books in the series, I really liked having the chance to read the prequel and discover the backstory to Ingeborg's decision to go to America.
I would recommend An Untamed Heart, especially to anyone who enjoys good historical fiction or to anyone who has read the Red River of the North series and the continuing books.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!
The novel, An Untamed Heart, by Lauraine Snelling, is actually the prequel to her previous series Red River of the North.
This story is set in the beautiful mountains of Norway. Ingeborg, the elder daughter of a local farmer, longs to follow in her mother's footsteps as a midwife. However, it seems like she is constantly at odds with her Mor. She's a hard worker, but not the typical farm girl. She has a tendency to favor tasks that are normally attributed to the menfolk. She has no desire for romance or marriage, that and the previous are seemingly irksome to her mother.
She longs to get away for the summer months to the family seter, a little lodging in the mountains, where she joins with extended family to graze their sheep and cows during the summer months, working to make cheese and spin wool. As the eldest, she is put in charge of her younger siblings and cousins, who will work together until the end of the summer to help their family farms.
In an unexpected turn of events, they find a wounded hiker, near death in a ravine. They are able to rescue him and take him back to the seter. Ingeborg's training with medicine and previous experiences enable her to nurse the wounded man from death's door, back into good health. They learn more about this man, Nils, and his life. Ingeborg begins to find she has feelings for him, which he reciprocates. However, their families are from totally different walks of life and it's unlikely that their love will win out against the odds. The story is full of twists, turns, a tragedy, and a possible solution. It definitely leaves you wondering what will come next.
While I struggled not to butcher the names of characters, as well as wondering whether they were male or female initially, the book was good. Lauraine Snelling worked very diligently to develop the characters and backdrop for this book, which I appreciated. It definitely makes me want to visit the local library to find out what happens next.
I received a free copy of this book to review for Bethany House Publishers. All thoughts contained in this review are my own.
In “An Untamed Heart” by Lauraine Snelling we are taken back to 1878 Norway before Ingeborg Bjorklund immigrated to America. The story opens up with twenty year old Ingeborg Strand wondering what her future holds and wondering if she will ever marry. When she and her siblings and cousins to go stay in the mountains for the summer they find an injured hiker, Nils, and nurse him back to health. As the summer goes on Ingeborg and Nils grow closer. She knows that she has fallen in love with but she also knows that since he comes from a wealthy family nothing can ever come of it. As they depart at the end of summer he tells her he loves her and will come visit. When a tragic accident takes his life Ingeborg knows that she will never love again. Then she meets Roald Bjorklund. Roald has recently lost his wife and needs a new wife to help take care of his four year old son in America and he has chosen Ingeborg. She must find it in her heart and trust in God that marrying Roald is the right thing to do.
This was an amazing prequel to the Red River of the North series. I have loved the Blessing, North Dakota books that have followed the Bjorklund family and have wondered what life was life in Norway before they came to America. If you are a fan of the Blessing books you will not be disappointed in this one. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.
Well, to be honest, I had trouble getting into this book. It was very wordy and almost too slow for my reading taste.
The story was good and the idea for the book compelling but I felt like it took a long time to reach the point where the main characters met and began interacting together.
I realize that for those who like a long story, full of detail and descriptions, this would be a great read. Lauraine Snelling is a great author and her books reflect study and heartfelt stories. Don't let my review keep you from reading her work. This book just was difficult for me to connect with and dig in to.