Plot: There was a lot going on this book, but not too much to be overwhelming. First, there is the immigration to America that is experienced by all of the characters in the book, then you have the stories that unfold for each, once they arrive. None of the stories are complete however at the end of the book, but such is life, I suppose. I assume that the stories carry on into the next two books in the series.
Characters: I really enjoyed the depth of the characters in this book. The entire story line really is based on the history that each character has in Bergen, and how they develop as they continue their lives in America. Each character is so different from each other, yet they flow so fluidly together to tell the story that they really all share.
Themes: I would consider the main theme of this book to be "starting over". Each of the characters longs for a new life in America and they are all starting over from something. Elsa and Peder, for example, are newly wed and beginning their new life together; Kaatje seeks a fresh start with her husband and the arrival of their child, and Tora seeks a new adventure in America.
Emotion: This book was very fast paced. While the emotion wasn't deep-seated, I did find myself engaged in the story. The more I read, the more I wanted to know what was going to happen to each of the characters, and how they were going to be affected by the next tragedy or joy that they faced.
Overall: I found the book to be slow at first, but as I continued through, I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the way that while each character had their own story and experiences, they were all so intricately weaved together. I also found the story to be very unpredictable, which kept me engaged, almost every time I made an assumption about what would happen next, I was wrong. While part of me wishes the stories would have come to a nice little conclusion, I am anticipating reading the next books in the series to find out what happens next.
---I received this book for free from the publisher for this review.---