Friday, June 6, 2008

A Touch of Grace by Lauraine Snelling

I love taking a trip to Blessing, North Dakota. I have actually never been to North Dakota in person, but Snelling takes me there when I read her Daughters of Blessing books. A Touch of Grace is book 3 in this wonderful series.

Set in the early 1900s, the Blessing books continue the story of the Bjorklund family and their friends. There are 2 previous series (well worth reading!) that tell the story of the Bjorklunds' journey from Norway to the United States and their trials, tribulations and triumphs in establishing their town in North Dakota. These series are the Red River of the North series (which has 6 books) and Return to Red River (which has 3 books). Characters flow from those books to the Daughters of Blessing series.

When I read these books it really is like going to visit friends. A Touch of Grace focuses mainly on 18 year old Grace Knutson. When I started reading about Grace and all she was doing, I thought "Wow! I remember when she was born!" LOL! And I do! Grace is twin sister to Sophie ... 2 very different sisters!

Grace's loves Blessing and sees no reason to ever leave home. Despite her family's concerns, she loves Toby Valders and hopes to marry him one day. But when Toby shares the news of a special woman in his life, Grace realizes he sees her as no more than a friend. Her heart is broken and she decides to leave Blessing for a while and find her own purpose in the world.

Jonathan Gould is a wealthy New Yorker who has spent the summer in Blessing learning the value of hard work and discipline. He invited Grace to come to New York and though she initially declines, her heartbreak pushes her to take him up on his offer.

Both Jonathan and Grace have conflicts in their lives concerning their future. Jonathan has fallen in love with the life of a farmer and decides to walk away from his opulent lifestyle and the society his family values. Grace, while frightened of New York at first, comes to love the people she meets there at school. And much to her surprise, she finds that her heart is able to heal and she is able to love again.

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