In Minnesota in 1911, Nilda Carlson is torn between society life in the city of Blackduck and spending time with her family back home on the farm. Her employer, Mrs. Schoenleber, gives her more and more responsibility and experience, including recommending new opportunities for her philanthropy. Still new to America herself, Nilda focuses on the area's immigrant community, but she'll have to fight to get her ideas accepted by the locals and donors alike.
In the meantime, one of her greatest joys is her weekly piano lesson with the handsome schoolteacher, Fritz. But just as Nilda is beginning to realize she has feelings for him, a stylish, affluent young woman moves to Blackduck and monopolizes Fritz's attention. With her humble background, how can Nilda hope to compete with such a sophisticated beauty?
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Fourth book in series
A Song of Joy is the fourth novel in Under Northern Skies series. I recommend reading this series in order, though, the author does summarize what happened in the previous books. I thought A Song of Joy was well-written and it proceeds at a gentle pace. I would have liked a little peppier pace because I did feel the story dragged in places. We get to see what daily life is like for Nilda and for her family on the farm. While A Song of Joy focuses on Nilda, I like that we get to catch-up with the family. They are busy cutting trees, planting crops, taking care of the animals, and the numerous other daily chores on a farm. There are such wonderful, developed characters in the book, and I like the references to Ingeborg Bjorklund which has me looking forward to reading A Blessing to Cherish. The author captured the time period with the clothing, events, books and the new technology. Electricity, motorcars, and the typewriter are some of the new inventions mentioned in the book. Nilda also learns shorthand to help her take notes at the quarterly company meetings. I enjoyed watching Nilda grow over the course of the series and the ending left me happy. This is a clean Christian novel. We get to see how God plays into the lives of our characters. They pray for guidance to make the right decisions and have faith that God will lead them in the right direction. They are compassionate people who want to share their blessings. A Song of Joy is a heartwarming novel with rich characters.