Measure of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling

>> Saturday, December 5, 2009

This is the very first book I am reviewing for Bethany House. The story takes place in Blessing, North Dakota. It is a fictional town that has come to life through the author's imagination. This is the first in a series but the characters are from Red River of the North books. If you are interested, there is a website for the town of Blessing.

The main character of this book is an eighteen-year-old woman, Astrid Bjorklund. She is training to be a doctor in this 20th century setting. She goes to Chicago, Illinois for continued training and proves to be a very talented physician. I felt the book really came to life when Astrid took care of a little orphan boy named Benny, who lost both his legs to an accident. He was adopted by a young couple in Blessing. Also, Astrid's family took in a little girl left in their barn on a very snowy day, most probably from an Indian reservation.

Here is an excerpt from her interaction with Benny.

"Are you an angel, Miss?"

Astrid sat down on the edge of his bed. No one's ever called me an angel before, but if it makes you feel better..." She let the thought hang and laid the back of her hand along his cheek. Still warm but not more so than before. "Go to sleep now."

He nodded, a smile touching the corners of his mouth and impossibly long eyelashes drifting closed.
I had trouble getting to know these characters.  There were many introduced in a short period of time plus they are Norwegian names, which makes it even harder.  When I hit the half-way mark, I began to be interested.  It makes sense now that I researched the author.  This is a continuation from former books.  It is possible to start with this book, just be aware that it takes a bit to come to know the people.  It is a fantastic community who all help out each other.

It is an enjoyable read and I did learn much about the time period.  It is very interesting time in history.  There are loose ends left in this book which leaves us set up for the next book in the series.

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