To Everything A Season is part of the Bjorklund family saga that is covered in five series of stories. All of these are historical fiction with some romance included in many of the tales. The Song of Blessing series is the fifth Bjorklund family series. I like to think of it as a two-in-one series because it wraps up the previous series’ loose ends as well as begins a new series about the Bjorklunds in Blessing, North Dakota. It is able to stand on its own, although I think it would be appreciated best if read along with its predecessors. This book came out in 2014 and the second book in the new series, A Harvest of Hope (Song of Blessing Bk 2) by Lauraine Snelling, has just been released (2015). This book is a springboard for the next book which will be more about Trygve and Miriam.
Here is the breakdown of the Bjorklund Family novels and series:
An Untamed Heart (prequel to the Red River of the North series. October 2013)
Red River of the North series (First Bjorklund family series)
An Untamed Land
A New Day Rising
A Land To Call Home
The Reaper’s Song
Blessing In Disguise
Return To Red River series (Second Bjorklund family series)
A Dream To Follow
Believing The Dream
More Than A Dream
Daughters of Blessing series (Third Bjorklund family series)
(This series has limited print availability but is available in e-book format)
A Promise for Ellie
A Touch of Grace
Home to Blessing series (Fourth Bjorklund family series)
A Measure of Mercy
No Distance Too Far
A Heart for Home
Song of Blessing series (Fifth Bjorklund family series)
To Everything A Season
A Harvest of Hope (Spring, 2015)
The main theme in this book is about community and about the ones who make this community special. Since this is a series that continues the Bjorklund saga, attention is focused on an elderly couple whose legacy includes the community of Blessing, populated by Ingaborg and Haakan’s large family and their friends. There are numerous subplots and threads because the community is growing by leaps and bounds.
One of the unusual things about this thriving North Dakota village is its hospital. There were not many hospitals available in remote areas in the early 1900’s. This one is very new and run by two female doctors, Dr. Ingrid Bjorklund Jeffers and Dr. Elizabeth Bjorklund, the senior Bjorklund’s daughter and daughter-in-law. Dr. Elizabeth was trained in Chicago and returned to open this one in her remote town mostly supported by the Chicago parent hospital. Much of the action in this story centers around the doctors, patients and the burgeoning community.
In one of the subplots, the Chicago hospital has sent three nurses-in-training out to the Blessing hospital for a year of hands-on experience. One of Ingaborg’s nephews, Trygve Knutson, became smitten with one of the nurses, Miriam Hastings. Their relationship blossomed quickly until an event at the hospital contributed to a misunderstanding between them. The books ends with a cliff-hanger and the realization that their story would continue in another book.
One of the things that stands out most to me is how well the author built a community to which I became attached quickly. As I read the story, there were many hints of a back story that sounded intriguing and which engendered a desire to look up all the former books of the series and read them. I also sensed a closure to an era of Bjorklunds that centered around one couple, one family, and the beginning of a new era fitting for a new community filled with young families with new challenges to face. There’s the aura of a passing of the baton. It draws me in, anticipating the new series.
Not only was the baton of heritage being passed on from one generation to the next, but so was the legacy of faith-in-action being handed over from the older generation to the younger. This is aptly illustrated when a gang of bank robbers hit their small bank. When the gang was accosted, the youngest brother, just a child, was injured and left behind by his older brothers. The hospital staff and the community pitched in to help this boy recover. No one condemned him, preached at him, or rejected him. He was accepted and cared for and treated like someone of value–a new experience for him. When he was released from the hospital, he was taken in by the senior Bjorklunds where his physical and emotional healing continued. I think that this storyline too is going to be a perpetual theme continued in the new series.
With great character development, a sense of community to love, a bright future ahead, living and breathing faith that transcends mere words, this is a series and book I highly recommend to you.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Netgalley on behalf of Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”