*But Now I See: Book 1 in the trilogy "To Sing God's Praise"
Amos Nordquist didn’t start out to be a minister, much less one in the American Civil War. Strong, handsome, intelligent and wealthy, he intended to eventually head Nordquist Shipping, the Swedish shipping company begun by his father, Stig Nordquist, decades earlier. A devastating storm at sea, however, destroys two Nordquist ships and all but a few crewmen, one of whom was Amos. Floating in a lifeboat on the North Atlantic, Amos has an epiphany and determines that if he survives, he will “do the Lord’s work,” although at that moment he is unsure of what God might have planned.
Circumstances bring him to America, and But Now I See, the first book in the To Sing God’s Praise Trilogy, begins with Pastor Nordquist, “the big preacher,” in Murray, Idaho, the last major Old West gold strike, where he befriends Angus MacGregor, a burly prospector with a penchant for Scotch and an insatiable interest in all things spiritual. Angus asks how a Swedish pastor winds up in Murray, and the reader hears the story, including the hurricane, the lifeboat, the decision, the seeming betrayal, the Russians, the Einar II arson, the intruder, and coming to America to find an uncle, and serving under Gen. George Custer at Sailor’s Creek and Appomattox.
Following the war, Nordquist heads north with “Fatha Abraham” Cole, a self-educated former slave intent on teaching other former slaves, and the reader gets an education in antebellum slavery. Nordquist settles in Minnesota where he meets his beautiful wife, Anna, and the reader experiences their challenges as they have children, plant churches and schools, and minister in rural hinterlands.
But Now I See does three things: as with all good novels, it entertains, but it also teaches and edifies, making the reader hungry for more, the time well spent.