Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Until We Reach Home

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

Until We Reach Home

Bethany House (October 1, 2008) by Lynn Austin

Angie's Take: This is another book that has enough story to it to make a movie. It has great motivation for 3 young sisters to leave Sweden and travel across the ocean to America with lots of adventure along the way. I'm interested because, uh huh, I'm Swedish American. I know, you look at the photo on the side, of me, and I'm not blonde. Oh well, neither are a ton of native Swedes. So just set that aside :-D I did however give birth to four of my six kids. Two of which are blue-eyed and all of them were toe-heads like I was for a very, very short time, lol.

I think Lynn does a great job of showing us so many characters. Each chapter changes to another sister's point of view and experience along the journey. We want to cheer Kirsten on to finding the love of her life, Elin to leading her sisters and her own healing, and Sophia to overcome her timidity.

And I, I want to connect to my Swedish roots and am thrilled that Lynn wrote a book so I can play there in my imagination. My great-grandparents emigrated from Sweden, however, before Ellis Island opened. None of my family ever did go through there but they did settle in Minnesota. It had quite the draw for Scandinavian folk.


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, Elin, 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.

Get your copy here.
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