UNTIL WE REACH HOME
Austin's most worthy new historical centers on the immigrant experience. The characters grow spiritually, and readers will appreciate everything they had to get through to become the people they are at the end of the book.
The three Carlson sisters, Elin, Kirsten and Sofia, are leaving their beloved Sweden for Chicago, though not by choice. When they arrive in America, they are forced to spend a long period of time on Ellis Island. Elin and Kirsten are both sick in the hospital, not knowing Sophia's fate. When they finally arrive in Chicago and discover that it's not any better for them, they need to decide if they should stick it out or go back to Sweden and forget about having a piece of the American pie. (Bethany House, Oct., 400 pp., $13.99)