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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Until We Reach Home

Bethany House (October 1, 2008)


Lynn Austin


For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. She has published twelve novels. Three of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, and Fire by Night have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, and 2004 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005.

Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

Among her lastest books are A Proper Pursuit and A Woman's Place


Life in Sweden seems like an endless winter for three sisters after their mother's and father's suicide. Ellin feels the weight of responsibility for her sisters' welfare and when it circumstances become unbearable, she writes to her relatives in Chicago, pleading for help.

Joining sixteen million other immigrants who left their homelands for America between 1890 and 1920, Ellin, Kirsten, and Sophia begin the long, difficult journey. Enduring the ocean voyage in steerage and detention on Ellis Island, their story is America's story. And in a journey fraught with hardships, each woman will come to understand her secret longings and the meaning of home.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Until We Reach Home, go HERE

My thoughts:
I had a hard time with this story - a hard time putting it down! I love historical fiction but even
Deena (who doesn't care for it so much) really enjoyed this book, too.

Until We Reach Home is about three sisters from Sweden who decide to move to America in 1897 after their parents die and living conditions become unbearable. As the oldest of the three, Elin is responsible for her sisters' safety and struggles with her role as big sister instead of mothering them. Kirsten is fun-loving and carefree and struggles with being too trusting of men. Sophia is the youngest and is tired of being told what to do but at the same time doesn't know how to take care of herself.

This book is so much more than a historical tale about moving to America. Within the span of a few months we see how each sister grows and changes beyond what any of them could have imagined previously. They have to deal with shame put upon them and mistakes they have made. They figure out who they should and shouldn't trust, how to make it on their own, and whether or not they can count on God.

Along their journey things keep going from bad to worse and their future is getting to be as bleak as their past. The bond between the sisters is strong, yet they all harbor secrets from each other. Their greatest strength is how they stick together no matter what, but will their secrets end up tearing them apart?

I highly recommend Until We Reach Home and can't wait to read more from Lynn Austin! She wrote this story so beautifully and it all flowed so naturally. I have no nit-picky complaints on this one! Loved it!

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