Unto a Good Land Author:Vilhelm Moberg, Translated from the Swedish by Gustaf Lannestock 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 additiona... more »l 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. The early struggles of the Nilsson family to succeed in what was an unknown frontier is engagingly chronicled. I have enjoyed the first and second volumes so much that I look forward to continuing their journey with them by reading the remaining two volumes. This is a book that those who love historical fiction will greatly enjoy.« less