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May 7, 2014
The Icecutter's Daughter (Land of Shining Water, #1)The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was so much to like about this story. The characters are engaging and realistic, very easy to like. The setting is unique and interesting. The writing is fresh and clear. And the romance is offset with just enough drama to keep it interesting. So why only four stars and not five? Two reasons.

First – I know it’s Christian fiction – but it’s pretty heavy-handed with the preachiness throughout. I’m a big fan of Christian fiction. I read more Christian than secular fiction because I like a faith element. I can relate to characters whose beliefs I share. But there comes a point where too much focus on the faith becomes a distraction to the story. I skimmed over a couple of sections like that in this book.

Second – one of my pettest of pet peeves is historical inaccuracy. This book has so many wonderfully accurate descriptions of the times, but then, at the end, there is a scene with a bunch of turn-of-the-20th-century German immigrants celebrating… with cider. Really? Okay, you don’t want alcohol in a Christian novel. I get that. Then leave out the drinking and the toasting altogether. But taking beer out of the hands of German immigrants for the sake of a Christian audience who wants to believe they all drank cider… is just wrong. Leave it out completely so as not to offend, but don’t offend the intelligence of history buffs everywhere, or those of us descended from those 20th century German immigrants.

So if those two nit-picky things don’t bother you, gentle reader, then you’re going to love this story. Aside from them, I enjoyed it very much.

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