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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"Prairie stories usually abound in cliches, but Snelling avoids every one of them." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about An Untamed Land

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Disappointing narration

At the beginning of this audiobook I had to check to see if there was a real person narrating. It improved a little.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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If you can get past the narration...

Would you listen to An Untamed Land again? Why?

No. The narrator drove me crazy.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the details of the way life was for new settlers.

How could the performance have been better?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When she emerged from the darkness of her grief and decided to live again.

Any additional comments?

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.

2 people found this helpful

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Finally, an excellent, thoughtful, well written story!

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!

2 people found this helpful

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clam enjoyment

it was a good book, the story easy to follow. The name were hard to remembet

1 person found this helpful

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Loved this book and the narrator.

Loved it. Excellent. I cant wait to read the next book in the series. Absolutely the best book I have read.

1 person found this helpful

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From Norway to America in 1880s

Two young couples, after saving for a long time in Norway, travel on a ship to America to settle in the Dakota Territory. (Roald and Ingeborg Bjorklund and Carl and Karen Bjorklund) The first two thirds of the book was interesting to me, telling of their hardships, the birth of Carl and Karen’s baby aboard the ship, the travel to the land they would settle, the relationship between the two brothers, their wives and the young, Thorliff, Roald’s son from his first marriage. (His wife had died in childbirth.) Where it went off the rails for me was the last portion of the book, where, for, some reason, the author began to tell the story at warp speed, and without warning, overwhelming tragedies began to hit both families. The ending of the book was abrupt, without clear resolutions to any of the issues brought forth. I won’t be continuing the series, and sadly so, because it had a lot of promise.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful series by Lauraine Snelling

Loved the continuing saga, but very disappointed with the nearly monotone presentation by this narrator. Other books by this author have had narrators with much more skill.

3 people found this helpful

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Living History!

I would recommend this book to readers and listeners who love historical fiction books.

The story immediately pulled me back to the 1800s as people arrived to America. How determined they were to leave their countries; how brave they were to come to a land not established.

The chores were continuous and then there would be fun times of neighbors visiting and when harvest time arrived, men helped come in to get the crops prepared to send elsewhere for sale.

This novel kept me glued to my iPhone to listen to it! Many sad deaths occurred at the last. Medicines weren't available back then in 1882-3 as we have them now. People often didn't live past the age of 50.

I will continue with this series! A great book, a Colorado Listener

1 person found this helpful

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A hard life

Joy and heartbreak as Roald and Ingeborg struggle to tame the land The author brings a vivid picture that makes you feel you are there. I cried and smiled as the narrator did a wonderful job of telling this amazing story

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Greatest pioneer series!

I have listened/read this series again & again. I wish Ms Snelling would do a similar series because I can't get enough!

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  • Carol Welsh
  • 12-10-20

Norwegian Settlers in early U.S.

A wondetful insight into early America ...when a Norwegian family makes a land claim and starts farming... only for disaster to strike. Enjoyable.