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?
©1996 Lauraine Snelling (P)2015 Tantor
"Prairie stories usually abound in cliches, but Snelling avoids every one of them." (Booklist)
I'm on book 4 of the Red River series and have enjoyed all of them, though the first one was somewhat sad. It amazes me that early settlers survived at all since homesteading was so difficult on the prairie back then. You come to care about the characters as you go through the books, and good things do happen so it is worth sticking with the series. Now I can't wait to see what will happen to the main characters from one book to the next.
I only listen to her because there seems no alternative narrator for this series, and I love the series so I put up with her poor narration.
Lauraine Snelling is an excellent writer, but I feel that Callie Beaulieu doesn't give the story justice. She doesn't do any voices for any characters - one sounding exactly like the the others, and most of the time she speaks with an insistent voice that doesn't reflect the emotion of the character. She neglects to pause in areas that definitely call for a pause, so sometimes I find myself rewinding to catch the gist, since she jumped from one topic/event to another with hardly a breath in-between. You get used to it after awhile, but I think a more talented narrator could have really brought these books to life, and made the listening experience so much more enjoyable.The fact that I've stuck with the series even though disliking the performance of the narrator speaks to the excellence on Lauraine Snelling's ability to spin a tale worth reading.
This is a very good religious bound book but I feel it was unnecessary to be as depressing as it was. A loving story of true dedication but the depression of the story was to strong and shouldn't have been lead in the manner it was. Times get hard but it becomes unrealistic when it's that bad! Not sure if I would read it again!
I borrowed the second in this series from my library. After reading it, I knew I had to own the entire series. I can't say enough about how well the author paints a picture of the back breaking and heart breaking experiences that the Norwegian pioneers experienced as they settled the Midwest, as well as the awesome triumphs and successes. Strongly recommend!
I am of Norwegian decent, living in the Red River Valley. I could get the full picture of what my ancestors went through to settle this area. The story was so awesome it gave me goosebumps!
I really enjoyed this story. I like historical fiction and this was well done. The characters came alive. I liked the wholesomeness and morality.
The illness and devastation it brought. It was very sad. I wish it had been a little different, but strongly recommend the book.
yes, if I only had time!
Intriguing, God is always there weather
we want Him or not. Life on the Prairie is hard.
Yes, a very well written story of the families who endured the early hardships of coming to America.
Repaying the fruit vendor-so true of an independent woman's honor.
Callie does an excellent job of reading-I think Thorick.
Of course, the blizzard & the influenza-you knew it had to come.
The follow through of Inga's anger and determination gives the story reality. I enjoy how Ms.Snelling handles her people's intimate moments; and the inclusion of their faith.
It was a struggle for me to get through this story. I almost returned it but made it through to the end. I would usually go through an audiobook like this within a couple days, 3 or 4 at the most. This one took weeks for me to get through. The whole thing including the characters just seemed very wishy-washy, droll and unexciting. There was not one character that I could fall in love with, or hate, or empathize with. The story was dismal and I probably won't buy from this author again. I will wait for a new Lynn Austin or Karen Kingsbury.
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