March 30, 2018

Looking Back - Their Fathers' God

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.

Their Father's God by O.E. Rolvaag
1983 Bison Books (first published in 1931)
Finished in September 1997
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

Susie Doheny, an Irish Catholic, and Peder Holm, a Norwegian Lutheran, fall in love and marry in South Dakota in the 1890s. Soon their marriage is tested by drought, depression, and family bickering. Susie believes they are being tested by their fathers' God. Peder blames Susie for the timidity of her beliefs; Susie fears Peder's pride and skepticism. When political antagonism grows between the Norwegian and Irish immigrant communities, it threatens to split their marriage.

Against a backdrop of hard times, crisscrossed by Populists, antimonopolists, and schemers, Rölvaag brings the struggle of immigrants into the twentieth century. In Giants in the Earth the Holm family strained to wrest a homestead from the land. In Peder Victorious the American-born children searched for a new national identity, often defying the traditions their parents fought to uphold. In Their Fathers' God, Rölvaag's most soul-searching novel, the first-generation americans enter a world of ruthless competition in the midst of scarcity.

My Original Notes (1997):

OK, but not as good as Giants in the Earth. Rolvaag spent the entire book showing his readers how the conflict of an interfaith marriage can lead to destruction of that marriage. It was the Irish Catholic vs. Lutherans. Constant problems arose between the couple and they acted so juvenile throughout their marriage. I found the book boring and tiresome.

My Current Thoughts:

I must have been bound and determined to try the third in this series, in spite of not enjoying Peder Victorious (#2) as much as Giants in the Earth (#1).

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