The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling is the first book in her new Under Northern Skies series. It is April in 1909 when Signe Carlson and her husband, Rune receive a letter from Einar and Gerd Strand who live near Blackduck, Minnesota. The Strand’s need assistance on their farm and will pay the Carlson’s passage in exchange for work (they sign a contract). Signe, Rune and their three boys set off on the long journey to Minnesota. They arrive at the farm and the greeting is not what they expected. The farmhouse is a mess, there is no place for them to sleep, Gerd is sick (and rude), and Einar is demanding. Signe spends her days whipping the farmhouse into shape, cooking, and taking care of Gerd’s needs. Einar has Rune and Knute (their eldest child) out early every morning felling trees to clear the property and earn money. Signe knows life in Norway was hard, but they had family, friends, a home, and soft beds. Her trust in God is faltering. She struggles to understand why her family must endure such hardship. Then Signe falls from the ladder to the loft (where they sleep) late in her pregnancy causing her to go into labor. Signe loses a great deal of blood and is very weak after giving birth to a little girl. Things cannot go on as they have been for the Carlson’s. Is there a chance for a better future for the Signe and her family? Pick up The Promise of Dawn to see what happens (I do not want to spoil the story for you). The Promise of Dawn is a well-crafted novel. It is one of those books that you start reading and do not want to put down (I stayed up very late—even for me). After I finished the book, I continued to think about it. The Promise of Dawn has rich, well-developed characters and a rugged, yet beautiful setting. Ms. Snelling’s vivid descriptions brought the book alive for me (the author has a special knack). I could picture the scenes in my head (could even imagine the smell of the stinky outhouse). I am rating The Promise of Dawn 5 out of 5 stars (I loved it). The Promise of Dawn is an emotional story (love, humor, heartbreak, anger, joy and much more). The plight of the Carlson’s will tug at your heart. I thought the book to be well-written, have a nice pace and flow, and to be very realistic. So much happens in The Promise of Dawn (I only gave a brief overview). The Christian element was handled beautifully. We see how Signe struggles with trusting God and keeping her faith. God has a plan, but Signe must be patient. There are good life lessons in The Promise of Dawn. I appreciated the mentions of Ingeborg from Red River of the North series (she is such a wonderful character). I look forward to reading the next installment in Under Northern Skies series.