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Review---"Until We Reach Home"

"Until We Reach Home" by Lynn Austin

I have read several Christian fiction books on immigration. The main character is usually from Ireland, or England, and they immigrate to America, or Australia. It was a welcome break to meet these 3 sisters from Sweden: Elin, Kirsten and Sofia.
The time period is the late 1800's. The 3 sisters are living in the home and farm they had lived at with their parents and older brother in rural Sweden. Their parents die and their brother leaves home and is not heard from again. An aunt and uncle and their children move into the beloved home with the sisters.
From the beginning of the book Elin the eldest of the sisters is intent in moving away and finding a better life for her and her sisters. She sets her sights on Chicago, where another uncle and his family live.
I loved this book for several reasons such as, the descriptive writing of the travel that the girls endured. From their train rides, to their traveling by ship, the reader is swept up with them. The reader is carried away by the smells, sounds, storms at sea, the food they ate, and the meager sleeping quarters. The writer shares with the reader what it must have been like to travel as an immigrant before modern conveniences.
I also loved this book because of the personalities of each of the sisters. Each had their own unique individual personality traits. Elin felt responsible for her younger sisters, she fussed over them, worried about them; but yet she took her responsibilities seriously because of her depth of love for them. Kirsten the middle sister is head strong, independent, adventurous, argumentative, and outgoing. Sophia being the youngest is sheltered, sweet and good natured.
I also loved this book in that each of the sisters have their own stories in the book. The author writes about the 3 sisters being together in this adventure, yet each of them also have individual life situations that are explored.
I did feel that towards the end of the book the author wrapped up the book to quickly. I believe that the book could have been followed by a great sequel, following further into each of the sisters choices in what they decided to do further in their lives.

"Until We Reach Home" is a Christy Book Award winner for 2009.

Comments

Becky said…
I love this book! Have you read any of her other books? I'm curious (if you have) which would be your favorite.