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The Icecutters Daughter

Title:  The Icecutter’s Daughter (The Land of the Shining Waters)
Author:  Tracie Peterson
Pages:  352
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Bethany
                The Icecutter’s Daughter begins a new series for Tracie Peterson entitled “The Land of Shining Water.”  The second book in the series, The Quarryman’s Bride, will be reviewed here in the next few days, while the third book, The Miner’s Lady, is due to be released this September.  The setting for the first book is 1896 in Minnesota.
                Merrill Krause is a 20-year-old female, living with her father and four brothers on a farm.  Their business is raising Belgian horses and cutting ice from the surrounding lakes to ship south to keep the southerners drinks cold.  She dresses in trousers and is a wonderful cook.  She promised to take care of her father and brothers to her mother as she was dying when Merrill was only 10 years old.  Merrill does all the household chores, takes care of the horses and helps harvest the ice.  She has despaired of ever marrying and having her own family, but soon those thoughts will change with the advent of a newcomer to town.  Merrill’s father also realizes she needs to find a husband and start a life of her own.  Help is hired on the farm and Merrill begins a part-time job painting designs on furniture at the local furniture shop.  There she meets Rurik Jorgenson and falls in love with him.  There is one problem though; Rurik is engaged to someone else.  Merrill keeps her feelings to herself.
                Rurik Jorgenson’s uncle has a successful furniture making business, but his health is very poor.  He writes to Rurik to come and help him in his business, so Rurik agrees.  He leaves behind his best friend, who had been counting on Rurik to stay in town and go into business with him.  He also leaves his best friend’s sister, his betrothed behind.  However, before leaving he tries to suggest the two need time apart to be sure they are really right for each other.  His betrothed wants to marry before he leaves, but Rurik refuses.  She then becomes angry and breaks the betrothal before he leaves Kansas for Minnesota.  Rurik feels relief and realizes that is the best thing for both of them.  He arrives in Minnesota, begins working with his uncle and meets Merrill.  He soon falls in love with her, but before he can declare himself, his best friend and former betrothed arrive in Minnesota with no plans to go back to Kansas.  His ex-fiancée refuses to accept that their betrothal is over and creates a scandal of epic proportions in the small town.  Circumstances look grim for Rurik and Merrill as the face potential hurdle after hurdle in their romance.
                I enjoyed the family loyalty aspect of this story.  The protection of Merrill’s brothers toward their sister is something not seen as often today and something I founding endearing in the story.  Merrill and Rurik both had their trust in the Lord put to the test in a situation that quickly got out of hand…something most of us can relate to.  They both have doubts, but in the end, their strong faith taught to them and modeled by their parents stands the test of trials.  This made me remember I must stand firm in my faith and when trouble comes as we are told in Scripture to expect, continue to stand firm.  The plot contains an excellent lesson in telling the truth and the consequences for lying.  A great example of a God-honoring relationship between Merrill and Rurik is also portrayed.  I’m going to keep this for future generations to read about His faithfulness and love for His children.
                My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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