After three long years of scrimping and saving to buy tickets for their passage to America, Roald and Ingeborg Bjorklund, along with their son, Thorliff, finally arrive at the docks of New York City. It was the promise of free land that fed their dream and lured them from their beloved home high above the fjords of Norway in 1880. As they join the throngs of countless immigrants passing through Castle Garden, the Bjorklunds soon discover that nothing is as they had envisioned it. Appalled by the horrid stories of fellow immigrants forced to live in squalid living conditions, they continue their long journey by train as far as Grand Forks. From there a covered wagon takes them into Dakota Territory, where they settle on the banks of the Red River. But there was no way for them to foresee the price they will have to pay to wrest a living from the indomitable land. The virgin prairie refuses to yield its treasure without a struggle. Will they be strong enough to overcome the hardships of that first winter?
"Prairie stories usually abound in cliches, but Snelling avoids every one of them." (Booklist)
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If you can get past the narration...
No. The narrator drove me crazy.
I liked the details of the way life was for new settlers.
She could have pronounced the lead character's name correctly. Ingeborg. She actually had it right a few times at the beginning, then sometimes it was Ingebore, then Ingebord, which she settled on and finished out the book that way. I cringed a few hundred times, and then just tried to ignore it.
When she emerged from the darkness of her grief and decided to live again.
The story was slow, but I still enjoyed it. It was filled with details about the sometimes mundane lives of those that settled this country. Life was hard back then, and I think it's good to remember the hard work and sacrifices our ancestors made to make this country what it is today.