I’ve read a lot of books across a lot of time periods, but I think I can safely say that reading this book was a first for me.
God’s Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert is a story about Vikings. Not only that but about a Viking woman who’s a Christian. If there are two words I wouldn’t think to put together it’s “viking” and “Christian.” Because let’s face it, my knowledge of Vikings is purely stereotypical. (I’m thinking of those Capital One credit card commercials, and of course, the football team that is a mortal enemy of my beloved Chicago Bears. But I digress.)
It didn’t matter to me what else the story was about. That the main character was a Christian Viking woman was intriguing enough for me to want to read it. (Disclaimer: I received an electronic advance reader copy of God’s Daughter from the author in exchange for my review.)
And oh, was I glad I did. (And is that not the most gorgeous cover? Wow.)
Written in a beautiful, believable first-person point of view, God’s Daughter is the story of Gudrid, a Viking woman on a voyage to the New World with her husband, Finn, and a crew of Viking men (and a few women). She’s a leader in her own right, a daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America. She’s passionate and also tortured by her own feelings for other men in her life.
I couldn’t look away. I felt like I knew Gudrid and got a real sense of her struggles and vulnerabilities. She was a Viking who lived centuries ago, but her struggles aren’t all that different from women today. We want to take care of the people we love. We want to support our husbands. We want to use our gifts and callings for the good of the community. So relatable.
My only complaint is that I felt it ended a little abruptly. BUT, it’s the first in a series, so there’s hope for more great Viking adventures. (And endings are hard. As a writer, I know this. It was not enough to spoil the book.)
After reading this, I’m so upset that I know next to nothing about the Vikings and this time period. Such a fascinating era of history. (And FYI, Heather self-published this book because apparently Vikings don’t sell. Such a shame. Because this story is unique and well-written. I, for one, crave a story unlike others I’ve read.) The book releases November 1 (not that long!) and if you’re the e-reader type, add this to your to-read list and then remember to go get a copy.
You can learn more about Vikings and keep up on the author’s writing news at her web site.