The Red River series is just about my favorite series of all time. I love the Norwegian/American work ethic - where they built a wonderful town from NOTHING, and the warm touches of romance. I have definite favorite characters, (Ingeborg and Haakan, Grace and Jonathan, Thorliff and Elizabeth, Rev. Solberg, and others),and some that don't grab me, (Sophie, Joshua Landsverk,and a very few others) I looked forward SO much to receiving this book. I preordered it, and when it came, everything else was set aside and I read it immediately.
The book was FLAT. It skipped around and the story wasn't developed, nor were the characters developed, like Snelling's other books. At times, I wondered if Lauraine Snelling really wrote it. Not much narrative.... just mostly surface dialogue. Couldn't stand Joshua Landsverk, and was glad that Astrid sent him packing - although it was obvious all through the book that he would end up with Miss Christopherson. OBVIOUS! It became hard to care about any situation, because there was so little written about so MUCH that could have been important stories in themselves, that just didn't happen. (the Indian epidemic, the Indian agent's wife, the new hospital, Astrid's romance, the Bjorkland family's cares etc. So MANY characters and so little about most of them.
Mr Jeffers seemed like a fine man, but we would have liked to have known him better, and maybe gotten a glimpse of his love for Astrid, and hers for him. Dr. Red Hawk made and appearance, but he seemed to be a very interesting character that I would like to have heard more of. Lots of loose ends! (The Indian agent's selfish immature wife for example .... Whatever happened to her? Those Indian nurses were peripheral and unnecessary to the book, although very necessary to the reservation.)
I MISSED HAAKAN.... my all time favorite character in Snelling's books. Haakan was there, but missing in the story for the most part. He is the man that all women hope to find. He and Ingeborg hardly interacted at all.
He was such a fringe character in this book. Most of the folks came off as caricatures - not the real people that I have come to expect from Lauraine's books. I read it all the way through, but felt really let down.
It was almost as if the author was thinking...."I just have to get this series finished, and be done with it".
I may stand alone on this one, but you can't love Snelling's books like I do, and not feel a bit robbed. Guess I will just haul out my RRN series and start over - I need a Bjorklund fix!