Alethea's Reviews > The Settlers

The Settlers by Vilhelm Moberg
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's review
Dec 06, 2011

liked it
Recommended for: Swedsh Americans
Read from January 16 to March 30, 2012

I've now read the full trilogy (I guess there's a fourth one that's shorter and told through letters. I haven't gotten there yet), so I feel like I can give an assessment of the three books I've read in their entirety.

If you're looking for an account of what life may have been like for Swedes who emigrated in the middle of the 19th century, these books can provide a little background about the ideological and religious concerns that led people to make the choice to move. There are some really great characters and it's impressive in how it introduces a set of characters that all have very different reasons for traveling, and who all end up in different places despite being connected by their shared Swedishness.

Having said that, it's not the most involving read. There's not a lot driving the reader forward from one chapter to the next (although many of the chapters on their own are really great), and the language used throughout the book suggests some problems with translating certain aspects of the book.

In terms of this book, though, I would say it might be the best of the three. We find out what happened to Robert and Arvid who chased gold out West and the story of Kristina trying to make sense of the strange turns her life has taken is really engaging.

Being descended from Swedes who emigrated and found themselves in Minnesota (like the characters in the book), I'm glad I read it, however I have a feeling I would have enjoyed the whole thing more if I could have read it in its original language.

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