Historical Fiction

God’s Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert


God’s Daughter (Vikings of the New World Saga #1)

WoodHaven Press | October 29th 2013 | Historical | 326 Pages

One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America.
In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a voyage to North America.
But even as Gudrid faces down murderous crewmen, raging sickness, and hostile natives, she realizes her greatest enemy is herself–and the secrets she hides might just tear her marriage apart.
Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God’s Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir–daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America.
This novel is based heavily on the Icelandic Sagas and is written from a Christian worldview.

My Thoughts

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.    
1 Peter 2:12

Heather Day Gilbert’s research and execution of this tale provided an astounding and often unsettling glimpse into Viking life. By tackling a period of time I knew very little aboutGilbert inspired me to do a little discovery of my own. For anyone looking for a historical novel which reads like an ancient saga or may be interested in the roles of women throughout history, this is the book for you. 

I took an instant liking to Gudrid, whose viewpoint the story is exclusively relayed. Along with her roles as wife and new mother, she is a peacekeeper among the women and is also trained in the arts of midwifery and healing. She lives in a man’s world— born into a culture which prides itself on conquest and where men ardently strive to establish their own legacies. As the daughter of a Viking chieftain and wife of expedition leader Thorfinn “Finn” Karlsefni, Gudrid’s station affords her some authority (as compared to other women), but very little peace. Fears of every kind plague her in the new land, far from her native Greenland. Her perseverance through all manner of hardship as well as her uncompromising faith in God, while living amid a people who worship Thor, are commendable.

You may we wondering about the graphic nature of the book. I will say that with the limited knowledge I held about Vikings, I had planned to encounter scenes with bloodshed (it was a given). The book also contains all manner of midwifery, including the circumstances that would lend women the need of a midwife. In some instances, Viking culture/mentality stands in stark contrast to today’s social and moral laws. (Other reviewers have mentioned the television show Vikings. Having seen only one episode, I can tell you this novel doesn’t come close in graphic or sexual content.)

One of my goals for 2016 is to “Step out of my comfort zone and try a few new or new-to-me authors.” I can say with certainty God’s Daughter will not disappoint the adventurous reader!

Forest Child (Vikings of the New World Saga #2) is set to release in 2016.


I received this book free from the author in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

HEATHER DAY GILBERT writes novels that capture life in all its messy, bittersweet, hope-filled glory. Born and raised in the West Virginia mountains, generational story-telling runs in her blood. Heather is a graduate of Bob Jones University and is married to her college sweetheart. Having recently returned to her roots, she and her husband are raising their three children in the same home in which Heather grew up.


5 thoughts on “God’s Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert

  1. Thanks so much for reading/reviewing, Amanda! Yes, my book is not like the TV show Vikings, which tends to emphasize the violent/pagan aspects of the Vikings and make the Christians look wishy-washy, in my opinion. I thought it was important to portray how a real Christian Viking woman acted, because even when she didn’t have the Bible with her to read as guide, she would have had the Holy Spirit. Thanks for your thorough review!


    1. Heather,

      As I read, I kept thinking about the support I have by being in a community of believers (church). She was isolated in more ways than one.
      I found your portrayal of Gudrid to be remarkably human (with her conflicted heart) and endearing. I chose to begin my review with the verse from 1 Peter because I thought it captured her struggle.

      Thank you for the privilege of reviewing your work.


      Liked by 1 person

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