Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.
Peder Victorious by O.E. Rolvaag
1982 Bison Books (first published in 1929)
Finished in May 1997
Rating: 3/5 (Good)
Peder Victorious, the sequel to Rölvaag's massive Giants in the Earth, continues the saga of the Norwegian settlers in the Dakotas. Here again, years later, are all the sturdy pioneers of the earlier novel, Rölvaag's "vikings of the prairie"—Per Hansa's Beret and their children, Syvert Tönseten and Kjersti, and Sörine. The great struggle against the land itself has been won. Now there is to be a second struggle, a struggle to adapt, to become Americans.The development of the Spring Creek settlement in these years is manifested in the rebellious growing up of Peder Victorious. Peder is a beautiful and moving novel of youth and youth's self-discovery. It is the story, too, of Beret's pain and dismay at the Americanization of her children, what Rölvaag described as the true tragedy of the immigrants, who made their children part of a world to which they themselves could never belong.Out of the inevitable conflict between the first-generation American and his still Norwegian mother, Rölvaag built a powerful novel of personal growth, guilt, and victory.
My Original Notes (1997):
Good, but not great. Certainly not as good as Giants in the Earth. The novel ran hot and cold for me. Some parts didn't hold my interest at all (too much religion?) and others did so much that I couldn't put it down. Interesting sections involving the loss of native language (Beret vs. children and the church)
My Current Thoughts:
I still plan to someday reread Giants in the Earth, but sadly this follow-up holds no interest to me.