Book Review: "A Measure of Mercy" by Lauraine Snelling

Eighteen-year-old Astrid Bjorklund has always dreamed of becoming a doctor. She had intended to study medicine in Chicago or Grand Forks, but when a disaster wiped out a major portion of her family's income, Astrid stayed home instead, receiving hands-on training from Dr. Elizabeth.

Joshua Landsverk left Blessing two years ago, but he's never forgotten Astrid. Returning to town, he seeks to court her. Astrid is attracted to him, and when the opportunity unexpectedly opens for her to go to Chicago for medical training, she finds it difficult to leave. Love blossoms through their letters, but upon arriving back home, she makes a heartbreaking discovery. Will she have to give up love to pursue her dream?

I was totally excited as always to return to the wonderful characters from Blessing, North Dakota. This time we finally get to read Astrid's story, one I have been waiting for a long time. The story has everything that I've grown to love about characters in this community and introduces more of the outside world and their settings. This time around we are also introduced to the plight of the missionary world which Astrid struggles with a desire to go and become a missionary there.

Something I have noticed seems to be a trend these days in historical fiction is the rise of women doctors out on the prairie in the 1800s. Before Dr. Quinn came on TV, I could have sworn that it was an anomaly to see or read about it in popular culture. Now it's all the rage to have that outspoken, brave female take on the man's world. Astrid is one of these women who learns from her sister in law the ways of the medical field. There are several scenes in the book that are not for the faint of heart. I would not recommend eating during the scenes where Astrid is in medical school. One particular scene made me gag during my lunch. It's not very graphic but it is not something you want to read while eating.

To be honest, at least from this book, I wasn't a big fan of Joshua. Just the way he viewed some things didn't really gel with me especially how he viewed Native Americans.. I am actually kind of hoping that he and Astrid DON'T end up together by the final book in this series. In fact I think it would be more interesting if Astrid ends up with Red Hawk. I wouldn't count this out happening either because Snelling totally pulled a switch a roo on me in a previous series that I didn't see coming. Overall I was very excited for this book. It has everything I enjoy in a Snelling series and I'm just looking forward to the next one to continue the story.

A Measure of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling is published by Bethany House (2009)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. This looks like a book my mother-in-law might enjoy.

  2. Anonymous11:02 AM

    I think I would like this book since you mention Dr.Quinn in your review. :)



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