I really enjoyed this book about three sisters from Sweden, who came to America after suffering through the emotional pain of losing their mother through sickness, and their father through depression and suicide. Elin, the oldest sister, was being sexually abused by her uncle who had taken over the farm, and in order to protect her sisters from him, insisted that they leave everything and travel to America.
Lynn Austin's beautifully researched novel follows the sisters through every step of their journey. She describes the conditions affecting immigrants traveling in the steerage section of the White Star Line ship so clearly, that I felt like I was traveling right along with the girls, feeling their weariness and praying for them to stay safe in appalling conditions.
Until We Reach Home is a book about staying the course, finding and renewing faith, and through the process, receiving comfort and hope.
This book was personal to me because my great grandparents came to America from Sweden. In August of 2001 my husband and I visited Ellis Island, where the sisters were detained. I saw where my relatives waited to be admitted to our incredible country. Lynn Austin has an amazing gift for bringing places to life, and I could picture Sofia sitting on a bench, waiting to hear what their fate would be. I imagined not speaking English and relying solely on the kindness of the interpreters who were overworked, but served diligently.
This is one book that I promise will touch you. If you are at a stalled place in your personal journey, this story of love, hope, comfort, and finding a real home will encourage you.