"A Promise for Ellie (Daughters of Blessing)" by Lauraine Snelling

Posted on Mon 11 May 2009 in ClubReading

Reviewer: spratt

Andrew Bjorklund and Ellie Wold have known they would wed since grade school. Two years before Ellie graduated, her family moved to a different community. Her father made the decision to further his furniture manufacturing business. It was only an hour away by train, but it may as well have been a thousand miles. Andrew and Ellie had to content themselves with staying in touch by letter. Finally, Ellie would graduate in May, and they planned to marry in June.

Andrew's father asks them to wait for three or four months. He doesn't have a reason other than he feels God is directing him to ask them to wait. Ellie is disappointed but has no real problem with it. She knows Andrew's father is a wise man, and trusts his judgment. Andrew, though, is angry about it and doesn't understand why Ellie is so willing to wait. He spends the summer being grumpy and angry about everything and with everyone.

Ellie moves back to her hometown to work for a friend in her general store during the summer. They do not see each other often because Andrew is working day and night with the farm and building their new house and barn.

We get the idea that Andrew and Ellie think they are the only ones to ever experience difficulties and conflicts. The author does an excellent job of weaving lessons learned into the conversation and private thoughts of the extended families--the parents and grandparents and older siblings. They do their best to guide the two young people--amazingly without pushing or lecturing. They have learned to trust God--and each other--and they realize the young people have to learn those lessons for themselves.

The story takes place in South Dakota at the turn of the century--1900. The author does a good job of showing what life was like there for the second generation Norwegian families.

The only negative is that I kept waiting for the plot of the story to be evident. About 10 pages from the end of the book I finally decided the author intended merely to open a window into the lives of two young people as they walk through the last few months before their wedding. I wish I had realized that sooner. I would have enjoyed the book more.