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Heather Day Gilbert’s God’s Daughter

One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America. 

In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a journey to North America. 

But even as Gudrid faces down murderous crewmen, raging sickness, and hostile natives, she realizes her greatest enemy is herself–and the secrets she hides might just tear her marriage apart. 

Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God’s Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir–daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America.

Review

I haven’t really read very many books about the Vikings. And frankly, I know even less about their history, but when I finished this novel I felt like I was an expert.  Ms. Day does a fabulous job of weaving history seamlessly throughout her novel. I learned so much about that time and era. Most importantly (at least to me) Gudrid, the main character, was a woman of her times. She was strong and had her own mind, and yet worked within the rules of her system, in spite of the fact that she lived in a time when women were little more than chairs in a room. 

Gudrid is someone to be admired. She’s outlived a couple of husbands, she lives with Vikings, and she’s one of the few Christians in a pagan society. Let’s not forget that she is, apparently, every Viking man’s dream (and I don’t mean that sarcastically). In regards to the romance, I didn’t know who the author wanted me to root for until closer to the end of the novel. I know she’s married in the beginning and I always root for the husband, but they lived in dangerous times. I wasn’t sure if I should expect his death or what. That said, Gudrid is not a fickle woman who makes silly mistakes. She comes across as real, authentic, relatable, and a very trustworthy narrator. I liked Gudrid. And I was sad when her narration ended.

Spiritually, if you think it’s hard to be a Christian in this world, it must have been so hard for those who lived amongst out and out pagan societies and without a Bible. Gudrid’s faith in God is admirable. She never wavers no matter how hard things gets and she continues to trust in spite of the fact that no one else will believe God with her. The novel also portrays just how loving God is. Why would you want to serve another?

This novel isn’t written in the usual formulaic way. In some ways it’s a bit more gritty than most Christian romance (Vikings….that is all). I couldn’t put it down though, and I eagerly want to read more. Recommended!

Romantic scale: 8 (considering who she ends up with at the end)

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