Title: The Bachelor Farmers by Brenda Sorrels
Publisher: Brenda Sorrels
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 176 pages
Review Copy Obtained from Author
Set in northern Minnesota in the winter of 1919, The Bachelor Farmers tells a story of two Norwegian brothers who learn the meaning of love from a most unlikely source.
Hans and Jon, the youngest of four immigrant brothers, have just inherited land from their recently deceased father and set out to develop it, thus perpetuating the family dream of success in America. When Jon learns that the husband of Mahal, a beautiful Ojibwa woman, has been injured on their property and cannot work, he hires her to be their personal cook.
Under the eye of his disapproving brother, Jon finds himself falling in love, but when a terrible blizzard blows into town without warning, the three of them must deal with the consequences and make decisions that will untimately reshape their lives in profound and unimaginable ways.
The Bachelor Farmers takes us into a world where true meaning and healing are found in the complexity of human relationships and in the choices that are made in the face of adversity.
What people have said about The Bachelor Farmers:
“Sorrels’ could be described as a fundamental minimalist with descriptions of characters, scenes,and dialogue but her laconic way works because the story is strong and pulls the reader in, by the middle of the book making it hard to put down. This is a sweet read, a well written read, and a comfort to go to bed with, providing one doesn’t have to get up early the next morning.”~Paulette, amazon review
“Although each of the main characters is flawed in uniquely human ways, the author treats each of her characters with enormous empathy and warmth – in my opinion, the mark of a true burgeoning talent. I definitely recommend snuggling up with The Bachelor Farmers on a cold winter’s night, or anytime you want to escape to a more romantic time and place.” ~nyc2086, amazon reviewer
The Bachelor Farmers by Brenda Sorrels is a fast-paced novel about the challenges facing the Gustafson family following their immigration to Minnesota from their native Norway.
Following their father’s death in the flu outbreak of 1918, the Gustafson family holdings are distributed between the four brothers. Bjorn and Emil are married with families so their inheritances are split evenly and separately between them. Younger brothers Hans and Jon jointly inherit the family homestead and the surrounding land. They perfectly complement one as they expand their holdings and enter into new and prosperous business ventures. But their close bond is threatened when Jon impulsively brings the beautiful Ojibwa woman, Mahal, home to cook for the two men.
The conflict and tension between Jon and Hans ebbs and flows throughout the story. They reach an uneasy truce about Mahal living with them and life settles into a familiar routine. The blizzard is a turning point for the three of them and it is a testament to Hans and Jon’s close relationship that they are able to put their suspicions and battered feelings behind them and live peacefully together in the years following the storm.
The Bachelor Farmers is rich in historical details and Ms. Sorrels paints a vivid portrait of the sometimes harsh living conditions in Minnesota. Her descriptive writing style captures the beauty of the land and brings the surrounding lumber camps and towns vibrantly to live. The scenes surrounding the blizzard are beautifully written and so realistic that the readers feel as if they are in the midst of the storm with the characters.
The Bachelor Farmers is written in third person from the three key players’ perspectives. The shifts in viewpoint are clear and the story flows seamlessly from one character to another. Ms. Sorrels does not downplay the prejudices nor the importance attached to a person’s reputation during the time period.
The Bachelor Farmers is a wonderful historical romance with an engaging plot and appealing characters. It is a unique novel that is full of unforeseen twists and turns. Brenda Sorrels brings the novel to a shocking conclusion that will stay with the reader long after the story has ended.
A delightful debut novel that fans of historical romances are sure to enjoy.
About Brenda Sorrels…
I grew up in Fargo, N.D., then headed east to Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. Most of my life has been spent living in Connecticut, but in 2000 I married my college boyfriend, Barry Sorrels, and moved to Dallas where two lovely step-daughters and a new life awaited me.
Although I’ve been writing for years, it was returning north for summers, during those lazy country afternoons, when I began to get serious. After numerous workshops and writing courses, I developed a series of short stories, ironically, all set in the Midwest. Working with my college roommate, Margaret Doud, as my editor, in time I expanded one of these stories into The Bachelor Farmers – my first novel.
I haven’t stopped since, and I’m happy to report that I’m well on my way with another book. The Way Back ‘Round, will be coming out in the fall of 2012. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of my latest book and let me know what you think. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you a little better.
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