Until we reach home (Bethany House, 2008) is the story of three orphaned sisters who were born in Sweden and immigrate to the US in 1897. The book covers about a six month period starting with the reasons they are leaving, the journey from their home town in Sweden to Chicago, and then adjusting to a new culture which is quite different from what they had been told. The story provides interesting insights into what it feels like to be a refugee in a foreign land. Their hopes and expectations are dashed many times by the lack of resources and misinformation. Through it all the author, Lynn Austin, is able to portray the role of faith in God through difficult times. She shows how God works in situations like those the girls find themselves in, and how He can bring about ultimate blessing when it seems impossible.

I find Lynn Austin to be a very clever author because her story lines are not predictable. She is able to create believable characters in realistic situations and present Christian truths all at the same time.

I particularly like Austin’s opening line to this story which initially I thought was going to be too dramatic but turned out to be perfectly true: Elin Carlson walked into the barn and everything changed.