Friday, July 19, 2013

Giants in the Earth - O. E. Rolvaag

I love going to estate sales.  I always peruse the books and found this gem and its sequel at a recent sale.
It is the story of Norwegians coming to America in the late 1800's and homesteading in the Dakota Territory.
The main character is Beret, a religious, guilt-laden, depressed woman who despairs at building a life in the prairies.  Her husband, Per Hansa, is the opposite, optimistic and enthusiastic about pioneering in the new world.  The hardships and wonders in early America are vividly painted.  The struggles to make a living and establish supportive communities, start churches and resolve differences in culture and beliefs are woven through the story of their lives.

The author was from Norway and wrote the original story in Norwegian and the English translation was made available in 1927.  It is considered a classic telling of the immigrants that built America.

And it's the story of  relationships between a husband and wife, friends, brothers and neighbors.  I enjoyed reading something written so long ago and finding it relevant and inspiring today.

Published: 1924 (in Norwegian)  Read: July 2013   Genre: Historical fiction


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