Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Boat of Longing” as Want to Read:
Boat of Longing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Boat of Longing

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Chronicles the experiences of a sensitive young Norwegian immigrant to Minnesota and deals with the human cost of immigration. The book sharply contrasts a poetic vision of the homeland with the stark reality of life among the poor in Minneapolis in the 1910s.
Paperback, 319 pages
Published May 15th 1985 by Minnesota Historical Society Press (first published January 2nd 1974)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Boat of Longing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Boat of Longing

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 112)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Diane Barnes
This book reads like a Norse fairy tale, like a prose poem to the immigrant experience of America. The confusion and lonliness of young Nils Vaag, an only child who seeks the promise of a better life, is keenly felt as he walks the streets of Minneapolis. He believed the stories of streets paved in gold, unlimited opportunities, untold riches to be had, and decided to see for himself what it was all about.
He left behind a broken-hearted mother and father who lived for his letters and longed for
...more
Thechicgeek
O.E. Rolvaag has spoiled me. I read Giants in the Earth and now The Boat of Longing. Rolvaag's writing is just so incredibly rich, compelling, poetic and beautiful, that so many books pale in comparison. His titles are apt to him....He is a Giant and he keeps you Longing for more.
This is a story of a young Norwegian immigrant that comes to America seeking his fortune. Rolvaag, once again, weaves a delicious tale full of imagery, emotion, folklore, human relationships and love. Love for one's ho
...more
Paul
A mystical, poetic book of tragic longing. This novel tells the story of a young Norwegian immigrant and the family he leaves behind. Rolvaag's telling of this immigrant story, first published in 1933, surpasses many of the immigrant stories we see in today's literature.
Mary
Dark. Boat of Longing symbolizes death and is seen mystically and various times throughout the book. Begins in Norway and continues in Minneapolis in the 1800's. It reminds me of signs of death, i.e., seeing friends and family who have already died. Those dying see and reach for the dead. Throughout the book Rolvaag compares the idealized life Norwegians thought they would find in America and the reality of daily life. Note: Rolvaag was a professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.
Rock
This is definitely the best of the five or so books I've read about Scandinavian immigration to the upper midwest. It could be because the urban setting matches my own experience better, but I also appreciated the mythological themes, Rolvaag's complex characterization, and impressionistic nature scenes (although these last can be overwrought and oblique sometimes).
Jean Carlton
I loved this book. A look at the experience of the parents whose children head to America....the pain, the longing. The experiences of both sides of the situation. It tugged at my heart. Great writing - poignant story.
Marie  Ash-Evans
Another brilliant book by author/professor/immigrant Ole Rolvaag. I highly recommend this book as I do all of his books.
Per O
The saddest book I have read and the most beautiful.
Barbara
Tragic beauty.
Bitsy
Bitsy marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2015
Krista
Krista marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
M Shult
M Shult marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2015
Susanne
Susanne marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2015
Kelsey Huse
Kelsey Huse marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2014
Betty K.
Betty K. marked it as to-read
Nov 30, 2014
Mary
Mary marked it as to-read
Nov 26, 2014
Fiberbrarian
Fiberbrarian marked it as to-read
Oct 25, 2014
Connie
Connie marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2014
Sue
Sue marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2014
KayG
KayG marked it as to-read
Sep 30, 2014
cameron
cameron marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2014
Linda Mays
Linda Mays marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2014
Roxy Rowe
Roxy Rowe marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2014
Howard
Howard marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2014
Glorybeafarm
Glorybeafarm marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2014
Mary Chambers
Mary Chambers marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
563720
Ole Edvart Rølvaag was born in the family's cottage in a small fishing village on the island of Dønna, in the far southern district of Nordland county, Norway. Dønna, one of the largest islands on the northern coast of Norway, is situated about five miles from the Arctic Circle. He was born with the name Ole Edvart Pedersen, one of seven children of Peder Benjamin Jakobsen and Ellerine Pedersdatte ...more
More about O.E. Rølvaag...
Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie Peder Victorious: A Tale of the Pioneers Twenty Years Later Their Fathers' God The Third Life of Per Smevik When the Wind Is in the South and Other Stories

Share This Book