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Unto a Good Land: Emmigrant Novels Bk. 2 (Emigrant Novels) Paperback – 1 Dec 1995

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press,U.S.; New edition edition (1 Dec. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873513207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873513203
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 158,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an epic work by its Swedish author. Translated from Swedish into English, this beautifully written book of historical fiction was first published in 1954 and met with excellent reviews at the time. It is the second part of a four part opus, the first of which is "The Emigrants". This book, "Unto a Good Land", is followed by two additional books, "The Settlers" and "Last Letter From Home".
In the first volume, "The Emigrants", the author detailed the emigration of a Swedish family to the New World, grounding it in the reasons for the exodus of so many Swedes from their mother country in the middle of the 19th century. The focus of the first book in this four part opus is on the family, relatives, and friends of Karl Oscar Nilsson, a peasant farmer who unceasingly worked his farm, only to find that, no matter what he did, he could not progress and would continue to live on the cusp of total poverty. The focus of the first book is on their life in Sweden. Gathering up his family and friends of the family, the Nilsson family decides to take the monumental step of making a fresh start by emigrating to the new world, specifically the United States of America.
The second volume, "Unto a Good Land", focuses on the arrival of the Nilsson family and friends in the United States of America. It details their journey from New York, a journey that was to take them across the Midwest by rail, steamer, and foot, to arrive in the wilds of what would one day be the State of Minnesota. It is in this wilderness that the Nilsson family and friends would homestead and struggle to make a new home. The author regales the reader with the travails this hardy group of settlers would encounter in their efforts to create by the sweat of their brow a new home in the wilderness.
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Format: Paperback
Karl Oskar Nilsson, his family, and a collection of other emigrants from Sweden now find themselves in New York harbor, ready to find their promised land in Minnesota. Traveling by steam train, riverboat, canal barge, and finally on foot, they reach Taylors Falls, Minnesota. Setting up as homesteaders, each family can claim 160 acres, and Karl Oskar is determined to pick the primest land. However, it is too late to plant crops, Karl Oskar has too little money to buy livestock, and winter is coming on fast. This is the story of the emigrants' first year in America.
This book is the second in the Emigrants quadrilogy, and this book is every bit as wonderful as the first. The characters seem as alive to me reading this book, as if I was reading their own diaries. Vilhelm Moberg is considered one of Sweden's great authors, and it is easy to see why.
As an aside, besides merely showing someone I would consider similar to my own Swedish ancestors, this book has made me understand more about life. I find myself haunted by the scene in which Karl Oskar walks twelve miles to purchase a 100-pound sack of flour so that his family can eat and survive the winter. Carrying the sack home on his back, he becomes lost in the forest, and nearly dies of exposure. But, realizing that he metaphorically carries his children in that sack, he continues on and when he finally finds his home, he delivers the flour to his wife without one word of complaint.
So, this is a wonderful book, a fitting sequel to The Emigrants. I highly recommend both books to you.
[For those of you with young children, I would like to recommend the Kirsten books in the American Girls series. Written for young readers (primarily girls), it tells the story of a Swedish family that immigrates to Minnesota in 1854.]
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Format: Paperback
In many ways this and the other "emigrant" novels of Moberg could have been written about my great great parents, who left Sweden in 1854 and 1855 and settled in what became Chisago County, Minnesota. Moberg was careful in his research, and though his characters are fictional, the sorts of people they were, the places the came from, and the things they did are all based on the real experiences of real human beings in real landscapes, against a background of real historical events. Much better than anything "made up", the novels provide a penetrating and accurate view of life along the frontier between 1850 and 1890, particularly for Swedish emigrants -- but the experiences of getting to the New World and settling in must have been shared by many other peoples from Europe as well.
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an epic work by its Swedish author. Translated from Swedish into English, this beautifully written book of historical fiction was first published in 1954 and met with excellent reviews at the time. It is the second part of a four part opus, the first of which is "The Emigrants". This book, "Unto a Good Land", is followed by two additional books, "The Settlers" and "Last Letter From Home".
In the first volume, "The Emigrants", the author detailed the emigration of a Swedish family to the New World, grounding it in the reasons for the exodus of so many Swedes from their mother country in the middle of the 19th century. The focus of the first book in this four part opus is on the family, relatives, and friends of Karl Oscar Nilsson, a peasant farmer who unceasingly worked his farm, only to find that, no matter what he did, he could not progress and would continue to live on the cusp of total poverty. The focus of the first book is on their life in Sweden. Gathering up his family and friends of the family, the Nilsson family decides to take the monumental step of making a fresh start by emigrating to the new world, specifically the United States of America.
The second volume, "Unto a Good Land", focuses on the arrival of the Nilsson family and friends in the United States of America. It details their journey from New York, a journey that was to take them across the Midwest by rail, steamer, and foot, to arrive in the wilds of what would one day be the State of Minnesota. It is in this wilderness that the Nilsson family and friends would homestead and struggle to make a new home. The author regales the reader with the travails this hardy group of settlers would encounter in their efforts to create by the sweat of their brow a new home in the wilderness.
Read more ›
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