The Last Letter Home (Emigrants 4)
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The Last Letter Home (The Emigrants #4)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  606 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Considered one of Sweden's greatest 20th-century writers, Vilhelm Moberg created Karl Oskar and Kristina Nilsson to portray the joys and tragedies of daily life for early Swedish pioneers in America. His consistently faithful depiction of these humble people's lives is a major strength of the Emigrant Novels. Moberg's extensive research in the papers of Swedish emigrants i...more
ebook, 262 pages
Published September 15th 1995 by Minnesota Historical Society Press (first published 1959)
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Here is the 4th and final volume of the wonderful documentary fiction Emigrant Novels by Vilhelm Moberg, translated by Gustaf Lannestock (THE EMIGRANTS (1), UNTO A GOOD LAND (2), THE SETTLERS (3), and THE LAST LETTER HOME (4).

My five stars reflects the totality of the series. I do not have Swedish heritage, nor can I read Swedish, so I very much appreciate having these books translated into English. The copyright for the Lannestock translation of THE LAST LETTER HOME is 1961; the book was firs...more
May 19, 2012 Alethea rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Swedish Americans, Swedes, people interested in historical fiction
I feel a little jipped. The only copy of this book held by the New York Public Library is (I believe) abridged. It contains an abridged version of "The Settlers," and then 150 or so pages of what should be "The Last Letter Home." Therefore, there are some things that I missed (based on some spoilers I read). That being said, though, the parts that are here are fantastic. I felt a little silly sitting in the library (the book was in library use only) crying, but the book deserved it.

It's interes...more
Fourth and final novel in the series beginning with The Emigrants.

For the Swedish settlers in Minnesota, the American Civil War is mostly experienced at a distance, but the simultaneous Sioux War has a devastating impact on their community, where the original immigrants are now ageing and a new generation is on the rise.

Vilhelm Moberg didn’t feel quite ready to end the Emigrant saga with the planned three volumes, so he went on to write The Last Letter Home as a concluding part. To some extent i...more
Tanja Berg
"Sista brevet till Sverige" är sista boken i Vilhelm Mobergs utvandrar epos. Kristina sliter med hälsan och får besked av en doktor att hon inte får bli gravid. Hon förlitar sig hellre på sin Gud och dör efter ett missfall. Tidsmässigt sker detta mitt i Minnesotas grymma indianupplopp. Här kunden boken lika gärna ha slutat, men den fortsätter länge efteråt. Den forna skökan Ulrika som gifte sig med en pastor blev en rik kvinna efter hans bortgång. Karl-Oskar lever tills han blir 67 år gammal och...more
Richard Schick
The final volume uses rhe back drop of the Civil War and an Indian war to follow the protagonists though middle age until there deaths. Unlike many multi volume sagas, this one actually gets better with eaxh volume. Hated to reach the final page.
As this is book 4 in The Emigrant Novels series, I've been with these characters for a while. I am sorry to part with them now.

This installment seems a bit more reflective than the others - fitting, as our main characters are aging and reflecting on their lives, choices, accomplishments, and legacies. I found Moberg's style reminiscent of Steinbeck's at times.

I was left wondering about a few key characters (whatever happened to Ulrika and her family?), but that also seems fitting. Do we ever wra...more
This, the fourth book in the series, didn't captivate me quite as much as the previous books. I grew tired of Moberg's stilted narrator style. Hopefully the original Swedish version was much less stiff. Very glad to have read the entire series and am looking forward to a trip to Lindstrom to see, through new eyes, the area that Karl Oskar settled.
Most striking to me was the fact that Karl Oskar felt that his grandchildren were of a new race since they were not pure Swedes. Some were half Irish,...more
I was really getting into this book, the last in a series, when I loaned it to my mother-in-law who has been reading the series as well. Well...she will finish it before I do. But I will be glad to get my hands on it again. I read about the main character (a homesteader farmer) who felt he really should get involved in the Civil War. His wife was relieved when he didn't pass the physical and had to stay with her and their young active family in Minnesota. There are good historical facts in the s...more
This is the final book in the set, taking Karl Oscar and his family through the Sioux uprising and Civil War, through the death of Kristina in 1862 and on to the end of Karl Oscar's life in 1890. Karl Oscar Nilsson, Swede, has become Charles O. Nelson, American citizen. His children have forgotten their Swedish and turned into Americans. His grandchildren are mixtures: Swedish-Irish and so on. Thus in the end it falls to one of his neighbors, forty years after Karl Oscar left Sweden, to write th...more
I'm really surprised with this series. Now that I'm done with it, I just might have to favorite it. Moberg did the incredible thing of starting a series and making it get better and better with each book. Though, I still like the third one best. This had a good ending, I think. Kind of confusing about all his children, but good anyway. Finishing it felt complete. Like, yes, that's a great ending for this great series. Thanks Jessica, for lending them to me. :D
Quite different from the others, but very well done. I really enjoyed how the end was slow, as it was so appropriate. The first book of the series was fast-paced and all over the place, meant to be like youth. This book was slow and steady, often repeating things and meant to represent old age and the end of life. It was beautiful and poignant and touching and something I think I would enjoy again later in my life.
On paper, these novels are quite possibly the complete opposite of every book I have ever loved... yet, I love them. I have read all 4 now in succession and this last one is shaping up to be the best. Good thing I googled "famous Swedish literature" before I traveled to Sweden, or I would have missed these last few months of reading pleasure. I will be sad to see Kristina and Karl Oskar go.
The Last Letter Home was a masterfully written conclusion to the Emigrant tetralogy, spiced with major historical events such as the Minnesota Dakota Sioux uprising and the Civil War. I savored the final pages, as Karl Oscar, in his final days, comforted himself with vivid, poetic memories of his childhood in Sweden and courtship with his beloved Kristina.
Ophelia Evans
I finished the last of The Emigrant Series. I surely enjoyed reading them. This covered history in Sweden that I knew nothing about and an account both of the unfair treatment of the Indians by government agencies and the terrible atrocities committed by the Indians.
The last of 4 volumes on a fictional history of Swedish emigration to the USA in the 1800's (1850 arrival to the end of the sage in 1890). Very realistic and interesting stories (admitting my bias as my great-grandfather emigrated in that time period.
Pat Tucker
It was a sad but satisfying book. I can't imagine that the Swedish edition is any more beautifully written. Now it is time to say good bye to The Emigrant novels but not to Vilhelm Moberg.
Final book in the Emigrants series. With the children now grown, this one shows how much has changed since the Swedes first set out for America.
A sad but good end to a great series. I never read/listen to this classic before and not untill now i understand what i have been missing.
The last of Moberg's four volumes about Swedish emigrants to Minnesota in the 19th century is a sweet and sad summation.
Stephanie Lindsay Hagen
Lines I liked:

"This Norwegian son-in-law was bull-headed and difficult. He was stubborn as hell, like most Norwegians."
I have read this series twice from the library and will now purchase them to have in my library. GREAT books!
I enjoyed the whole Emigrant series, but this one had a lot of sadness, so probably was not my favorite.
This is the final book in the series of Swedish immigrants. This one seemed like a recap of the first ones.
I loved this series of four books! Great story about a family moving from sweden to the America.
Das Ende kam schneller als erwartet. Schöner, aber auch trauriger letzter Teil der Tetralogie.
A bit disappointing compared to the first three which I devoured. Still enjoyed it.
Wonderful language, not the best of the four but still it touches you somehow!
Amazing. Heartwrenching. I want to reread the whole series.
read all 4 volumes in 06, each was a great story
Martin Nilsson
Värdig avslutning på en fantastisk bokserie.
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Vilhelm Moberg was a Swedish author, best known for his Emigrant series of novels about Swedish emigrants to America. He also wrote other novels and plays and also participated in public debates about the Swedish monarchy, bureaucracy, and corruption.
More about Vilhelm Moberg...
The Emigrants (The Emigrants, #1) Unto a Good Land (The Emigrants, #2) The Settlers (The Emigrants, #3) From Prehistory to the Renaissance (A History of the Swedish People, #1) Rid i natt!

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