Under the Midnight Sun

Ginny moves to Skagway, Alaska after news of the gold rush breaks. She's hoping to make a better life for herself. As her hopes for independence begin to come true, Ginny meets Jack, a young native man, who captures more than her attention.

As a believer, Jack teaches Ginny about the Lord. He hopes she will find a place for God in her life. As Ginny discovers God has a plan for her life, her new found faith is tested. Will Ginny learn to put her trust in the Lord?

Under the Midnight Sun by Karen Cogan is a sweet and fairly fast paced romance about a young woman who takes off for the Alaskan gold rush at the end of the 19th century. The characters are likeable, though I would have liked a little more development. The historical setting and dialogue are well done.

Ginny is young, poor woman, who's had to work since she was thirteen years old in order to help her father make ends meet. After her father's death, she worked for two years to pay off his debts and now finds herself free to pursue a life of her own. When the discovery of gold in Klondike makes the news, Ginny obtains passage on a boat and heads to Skagway, hoping to open a bed and breakfast and make a better life for herself. She wants to be an independent business owner. Ms. Cogan did a fairly good job developing Ginny's character; she's a hard worker, friendly and an honest person. I would have liked to have read a little more about Ginny's background, such as what prepared her to run her bed and breakfast, when and how she learned how to read and I would have liked to have known more about her family's background.

Jack is a young, Tlingit man, who was raised in a Missionary School by white settlers and works as a guide for people going to the gold mine area in the Klondike. When Ginny's boat arrived from San Francisco, he happened to pass by the docks and helped Ginny get her "land legs". While he's drawn to Ginny's beauty and personality, he's determined not to get involved with a non-believer. It's his goal to help Ginny learn about God and his plan for her life. He hoped they would have a future together. Ms. Cogan did a fairly good job developing Jack's character, though I would also have liked to have known more about his background and about his views on the relationship between the natives in his area and the white settlers.

As Ginny works out an arrangement with Pete, the owner of one of the hotels in town, she and Jack spend time together and Jack helps her prepare for life in Alaska. Their romance is sweet and very innocent. While Jack introduces her to the native foods found in the area, salmon, crowberries and akutaq, he also teaches her about God, the bible and what it means to be a believer. Ms. Cogan did a good job developing their romance; it just fit within the story.

As Jack leads Pete and a group of prospective miners to the gold rush, Ginny is left behind. When the hotel is robbed, Ginny's faith is tested. Will Jack be able to help her while he's away? And will Ginny's new faith survive its first test? You'll have to read Under the Midnight Sun to find out. It's an enjoyable short story.

Book Blurb for Under the Midnight Sun

Skagway, Alaska seems the perfect place for Ginny to do more than scrape out a living. Her hopes for independence begin to come true and though she has given hardly a thought to God's place in her life, she meets a young native man who captures her heart. As a believer, he encourages Ginny to place her trust in the Lord. Gradually, she discovers God has a plan for her life and places her trust in him.

Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2011 3.50