"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" - Ecclesiastes 3:1
I believe it is to this verse that the title to this novel, To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling derived from. I love everything about this verse, and Ms. Snelling does a great job in giving us a story that relates to it. She showed us life and what life entails. I love how the stories played out throughout this book. The relationships between every character, as well as the relationship between each of them and God. Having a strong character to pull everyone together is key, and we find that in Ingeborg Strand, the matriarch of the Bjorklund clan. Who is Ingeborg, especially when there's no mentioned of her in the synopsis on the back cover? Well, you'll have to read to find out. And trust me, you won't be disappointed in this character.
However, you might be if you purchase this book solely based on the back description. Why? Well, we'll have to see what is written.
From Ms. Snelling's website, the description of To Everything a Season:
Trygve Knutson is devoted to his family and his community. With his job on the construction crew, he is helping to build a future for the North Dakota town of Blessing. Though he loves his home, he sometimes dreams of other horizons--especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.
Miriam is in Blessing to get practical training to become an accredited nurse. She's been promised a position in the Chicago women's hospital that will enable her to support her siblings and her ailing mother. Although eager to return to her family, Miriam is surprised to find how much she enjoys the small town of Blessing. And her growing attachment to Trygve soon has her questioning a future she always considered set in stone.
When a family emergency calls Miriam home sooner than planned, will she find a way to return? If not, will it mean losing Trygve--and her chance at love--for good?
After reading the description, one would surmised that Trygve and Miriam will be the main characters of the book. True, they do play a part, and Trygve appears early on in the novel, but Miriam aren't even mentioned until Chapter 16. I rephrase that, she is mentioned briefly, by name only, but her character does not show up until half-way through the novel. I find that surprising, especially if the synopsis focused on them. And without giving too much away, a little spoiler alert: (highlight if you want to see it) The last paragraph with the questions, it is not resolved at the end of the book.
This is book 1 of the Song of Blessing series. I've read a good number of series, and I understand the nature of it. The author has more to say, or there's more characters to develop on, shifting the focus to another pair or continuing the ancestry line...etc. There are various ways to go about it, but one thing is always true. There are closure to the openings and the closing of each book in the series. I feel like Ms. Snelling wrote the whole story, with many many pages, going through the series of characters from the Bjorkland family line in one shot. And then she randomly picked a group of pages, without giving care to where it starts or ends, bound it and call it a book. Given that this is supposedly book 1, I was lost at first. There seems to be more to the stories or to each of the characters. For some, there's some background info, but many others, there aren't, and it would lead the readers to believe that there's another book Ms. Snelling had written that focused on those characters, (ultimately wanting you to read it). When I read the first page of the book, that lists books written by Ms. Snelling, I know I was right. I've never read a book by Lauraine Snelling, and to be thrown into a story, that already sounds like there's a back story, it threw me off or more like it turned me off a bit. From the looks of it, there are already about 20 books dedicated to the Bjorkland line, and I'm not sure if I want to purchase or borrow from the library every book of the series. Not to mentioned, it also looks like there will be more to this series that I need to get in order to find out what happened to some of the characters I like in To Everything a Season. Ms. Snelling also seems to be paving way for a new series from this series, focused one particular character that is not part of the Bjorkland line. I'm interested, but I'm not sure if I want to dive or invest so much time and money into a 'never ending' series.
This is a faith-based novel and with these types of novels, I look for depth, to get something out of it and to view life or a verse, perhaps from a different perspective. As a Christian novel, Ms. Snelling gave us plenty to think about and I do find it successful as such. Ms. Snelling is a great novelist and this book is a great piece. I do like the story, the plot and the characters. It is the format of the series as a whole that I don't seem to gravitate towards. To me a book is a book. It needs to have a beginning and and end that I don't need to look elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, I love trilogies, but there's closure and enough of background to understand the start and beginning. In To Everything a Season, it's a series and this ain't the first book. If you like Ms. Snelling's works, go for it. This is a great addition to the characters you already love. However, if you've never read her books, and don't plan on spending 20+ books of time to follow through the series, skip to the next book. Otherwise, you might end up like me, contemplating on if you should or not.
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House for an honest review.