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An Untamed Land (Red River of the North #1)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  2,680 ratings  ·  206 reviews
She had promised herself that once they left the fjords of Norway, she would never look back.
The promise of free land lures Roald and Ingeborg Bjorklund from their beloved home high above the fjords of Norway, and after three long years of scrimping and saving to buy tickets for their passage to America, they finally arrive at the docks of New York City. This new land pro
Paperback, 349 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Bethany House Publishers (first published December 31st 1995)
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Candace An Untamed Land was a riveting and inspiring read for me. As a young wife, living in a new area, and an author this book has challenged me in so many…moreAn Untamed Land was a riveting and inspiring read for me. As a young wife, living in a new area, and an author this book has challenged me in so many ways. No matter the throes of life, I'm encouraged to continue keeping Jesus as the center of it all and to maintain open communication with my husband. As a writer, this reading has encouraged me to step outside of my box and get to work. Seeing the time and effort placed in the research done to make this story believable is amazing. Overall, I'm glad I've stumbled across An Untamed Land and will be reading more of your books in the near future. God bless!(less)
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Best Christian Fiction
212th out of 1,751 books — 2,146 voters
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A few weeks ago I was helping a customer find some Christian historical fiction (my favorites!--especially frontier and pioneer life). As we looked down the list of authors I noticed Snelling. I had not yet tried any by that author (probably because I associated her with the juvenile horse books).

I decided to try the Red River series and was very pleased with the quality of the writing. Note these characteristics of good historical fiction, which I found in The Untamed Land:
1. A strong sense of
I read this several years ago when it was the only book available in the series. Now I'm re-reading it with the other five books waiting to be read right behind it. Snelling has a wonderful way of describing the events with mostly historical accuracy; the boat ride from Norway to America, the immigration process during the late 19th century, the train from New York to the Dakota territory, and finally, the covered wagon journey to thier homeste
I really enjoyed this book, staying awake until 2 this morning to get it finished! Roald and Ingeborg Bjorklund traveled from Norway to America along with Roald's brother Carl and his wife Kaaren in 1880. After a long ship ride and then cross country journey, they settled on land in North Dakota for their homestead. Breaking the sod for planting and building a home took much hard work from these very strong and stubborn people. The hard ships and heartache's they experienced along the way are fa ...more
I found out that Lauraine Snelling is related on my Husband's side of the family. Even traced the genealogy back to Norway and found Haaken & Ingeborg in our family tree. Sad story of the struggles facing those new to America from Norway. Strength, determination and a faith that was tested make this a powerful groundwork story for the many to follow in the series of this pioneer family.
Jun 10, 2010 Dani rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes pioneer books
For me, this story had its peaks and valleys. In the valley were the repeated descriptions of farm work and what they ate for dinner. The peaks came with the exciting descriptions of people getting lost in blizzards and such. Rather than be disappointed in this style, however, I enjoyed it. If you are the type of reader who dislikes sitting on the edge of her seat from day one, then you will enjoy it, too.

It is a testament to Snelling's writing that I want to continue reading this series even a
Lynnette Phillips
Lauraine Snelling's An Untamed Land and the Bjorklund family drew me in and I found myself turning out the light just before dawn...I couldn't put the account of their journey to and life in a new land down.

Brothers Roald and Carl land in New York in 1880 with their families and a dream to forge a farmstead out of the wilderness. The proud Norwegian immigrants are determined to find a new life in the Dakota Territory but will they be able to win against the forces of the vast prairie?

Carol Preston
This was a great story of courage and adventure about families migrating to America from Norway in the late 1800s, a time when America was hardly settled and starting out in a new country in a completely different environment was an enormous challenge. The story is tragic in many ways, but also inspiring. A great historical journey with excellent characters and written in a way that takes the reader right into the experience.
Jill Balderama
Incredible historical series!!

I have read all 18 books-so far in this series and it is one of my favorite series ever. Yes, it is a Christian Historical series and for me I love the faith that theses characters have. God is part of their daily lives and I found that uplifting. But it's also a great portrait of the life and times of an immigrant farming family in the late 1800's and continuing on into the 1900's. That is my own history and I find it fascinating to imagine what my ancestors went t
Kelsey Hanson
I'm really picking a lot of duds lately. I really hated this book. It's a big mess of bland characters and the weirdest pacing that I have ever seen. I read this book because my family immigrated to Norway and I thought it might be interesting to learn more about what struggles they might have gone through and pick up on Norwegian culture. I was sorely disappointed. Apart from a smattering of Norwegian phrases that you could find in any travel dictionary and a few obscure mentions of lutefisk an ...more
She had promised herself that once they left the fjords of Norway, she would never look back. The promise of free land lures Roald and Ingeborg Bjorklund
from their beloved home high above the fjords of Norway, and after three long years of scrimping and saving to buy tickets for their passage to America,
they finally arrive at the docks of New York City. This new land promises a rich heritage for their children, and here they hope to build a good life.
After a long journey by train and then by cov
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In 1999 I bought this book for my Norway-born mother who later passed it on to my Asian-born wife. They both loved the book. I continued to buy the subsequent books in the Snelling's Norwegian immigrant series as gifts which as of this review (April 2010) comprises fifteen books, plus four ancillary works in the same genre (the Dakotah Treasures series). I started reading An Untamed Land myself in 2008 and I am now starting on my eleventh "Bjorklund" book.

Reviwers would categorize these books as
Barb Klein
I recently read “An Untamed Land”, the first book of the series, red River of the North by Lauraine Snelling.

This book is the story of a Norwegian family who comes to America to settle in the Red River valley in North Dakota (at that time the Dakota Territory) in 1880. Roald Bjorklund and his son and second wife, Ingebord, along with Roald’s brother Carl and his pregnant wife, Kaaren undertake the long voyage from Norway. They have planned this trip for a long while. Roald’s first wife, Anna, w
Some things bug me about this story. The flow of time is confusing. Often times I would think it was the next day when apparently days, weeks, or months would have passed. I just read the prequel prior to retreading this and I was often frustrated at the inconsistencies between the two books. But that, of course, is a problem with the prequel, which, by the way, I really enjoyed. It took me awhile to see what Ingeborg saw in Roald--this man with such a serious mien. Even with my reading frustrat ...more
Vickie Booth
This is an excellent book. The work and struggles that early pioneers went through in order to establish this country is amazing. They go through many heartaches and trials. You will laugh and cry with them. The women in this book are very strong. Their faith in God is what sees them through. This is a good read.
Dee Ann Coker
Being the first fiction book I've read in a long time, I was hoping it would be an enjoyable, yet engaging 'brain-break'. I was not disappointed! It is written from the women's point of view - a newly wed wife in a Norwegian family. While seeking to escape the lack of opportunity in the homeland, they traveled to America, trusting in the promise of free land in the Dakota territory. Her thoughts processes were believable and encouraging as she struggled to hold tight to faith while struggling wi ...more
These books are set close to where I am living now, so the History aspect interested me. I fell in love with the characters though and enjoyed the story! Warning there are a ton of books though!
Patsy Chastang
Book #1- of their Red River of the North series - This is about a family from Norway coming to America by ship
in the 1800's to homestead land in the Dakota country in America. Travelling by ship to cross the ocean,
then entering into New York not speaking English and trying to find a place to stay. Then trying to buy a covered wagon, oxen and all the other supplies to make the trip to the Dakota's. After getting to Dakota country they have to decide where to homestead and trying to find the best
If you like historical fiction, frontier, romance, Christian theme, then I recommend this one.
An Untamed Land by Lauraine Snelling begins in Norway with a prologue dated 1877. Then Far (father Gustaf Bjorklund) and his family begin planning for the immigration of several of his sons from Norway to America. Roald, married to Anna with 21-month Thorliff and pregnant with a new baby will be joined by 19-year-old Carl and Kaaren, whom he plans to marry.

The actual story begins three years later in 1880. But there is no more Anna. Ingeborg is now by Roald’s side and we discover Anna and the b
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Apr 09, 2015 Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* marked it as inspirational-romance
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An amazing story of hopes, dreams, and longing, of faith to get through the worst, and restoration. I cried through most of this story, so have your tissues ready. It broke my heart when life was lost. And the pain you feel for Kaaren and Ingeborg losing children and husband in this long journey of taming an untamed land, is so profound it takes deep root in your heart and you feel it as surely as it is your very own! An excellent read by Ms. Lauraine Snelling! Bravo!
Mary Ann
I loved this story and couldn't put it down. I am partial to pioneer stories that tell of their day-to-day struggles, details of their work, and the tragic events in their lives which made survival so difficult, especially the women pioneers. This is the story of Norwegian immigrants who travel to Minnesota and the Dakotas to settle. I'm anxious to read the next installment of their saga. Lauraine Snelling is an excellent writer and I have enjoyed all her books.
Marie Okamoto
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that there were times when I felt the story could have moved more quickly. The detailed descriptions reminded me of Grapes of Wrath in parts, immensely moving and conveying the helplessness of those moments in time. Periodically dialogue could have been revealing of the characters and moved the plot along more quickly. All in all, I loved it, though! I read every spare moment I could find until I reached the last page!
Beverly McCall
This is a great read for those who like to time travel to an exciting time in America’s history and witness how a nation grows through the hard work and persistence of its settlers. An Untamed Land by Lauraine Snelling is a pioneering tale about a Norwegian family of immigrants, who immigrates to the Red River area in the 1880s in the Dakota Territory. It is a strong portrayal of human nature as we meet two brothers and their wives. We start off with the cross-Atlantic voyage and their arrival i ...more
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I'm reading the series on the recommendation - and loan - from a friend. But wow... I didn't expect the grittiness within these pages.

The raw emotions, the struggles, the realities of life with no sugar coating to glaze them over. This is powerful reading. It's the type of book where you want to have the next one in the series sitting next to you when you finish the one you're reading. This isn't a simple "happily ever after" type of story. It more r
Reading this book I kept thinking it was ok, but nothing great. It felt too drawn out and overly detailed. But funny thing is, I finished it last night and can't stop thinking about it. I am so devastated for our Bjorklund family. I wanted great things for them and for this book to end as it did, I was quite surprised and overwhelmed.

It was Roald and Carl's dream to come to America. After saving for years they finally pack up their families and make that trip. And they do it - they actually succ
Aside from the occasional odd and/or incorrect use of Norwegian words, a very enjoyable and moving story of Norwegian immigrants beginning their new life as farmers in the upper Midwest. They had many struggles, from breaking the land, to winter storms, to great losses that made some question their faith, but these strong Norwegians pulled through. Makes me very proud of my heritage! I look forward to reading the next in the series.
First of the "Red River of the North" series of 6 books, this is the story of the struggles and hardships of a Norwegian family who emigrates to the Dakota Territory to homestead. For me, it was a comforting story and mostly well written. One part that was not at all developed was the character of Kaaren after the deaths of her husband and children. There was a real gap there. I'll continue with the next in the series.
Leigh Ann
Loved this book. This is a series that is the beginning of another series I'd already read, so I'm going backwards. But, this is a good place to start if you've never read Lauraine Snelling's Christian historical fiction. This is about a family emigrating from Scandanavia to the western U.S. and homesteading and all the work and heart break that comes with it. I loved it and couldn't wait to get right into #2.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jan 31, 2015 01:11PM  
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Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of over seventy books, with sales of more than 2 million copies.

She also writes for a wide range of magazines, and helps others reach their writing dreams by teaching at writers’ conferences across the country.

Lauraine and her husband, Wayne, have two grown sons, and live in the Tehachapi Mountains with a watchdog Basset named Winston.

They love to tra
More about Lauraine Snelling...

Other Books in the Series

Red River of the North (7 books)
  • An Untamed Heart
  • A New Day Rising (Red River of the North, #2)
  • A Land to Call Home (Red River of the North, #3)
  • The Reapers Song (Red River of the North, #4)
  • Tender Mercies (Red River of the North, #5)
  • Blessing in Disguise (Red River of the North, #6)

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