Read Peder Victorious: A Tale of the Pioneers Twenty Years Later by O.E. Rølvaag Nora Solum Gudrun Hovde Gvale Online


Peder Victorious, the sequel to Rölvaag's massive Giants in the Earth, continues the saga of the Norwegian settlers in the Dakotas. Here again, years later, are all the sturdy pioneers of the earlier novel, Rölvaag's "vikings of the prairie"—Per Hansa's Beret and their children, Syvert Tönseten and Kjersti, and Sörine. The great struggle against the land itself has been woPeder Victorious, the sequel to Rölvaag's massive Giants in the Earth, continues the saga of the Norwegian settlers in the Dakotas. Here again, years later, are all the sturdy pioneers of the earlier novel, Rölvaag's "vikings of the prairie"—Per Hansa's Beret and their children, Syvert Tönseten and Kjersti, and Sörine. The great struggle against the land itself has been won. Now there is to be a second struggle, a struggle to adapt, to become Americans.The development of the Spring Creek settlement in these years is manifested in the rebellious growing up of Peder Victorious. Peder is a beautiful and moving novel of youth and youth's self-discovery. It is the story, too, of Beret's pain and dismay at the Americanization of her children, what Rölvaag described as the true tragedy of the immigrants, who made their children part of a world to which they themselves could never belong.Out of the inevitable conflict between the first-generation American and his still Norwegian mother, Rölvaag built a powerful novel of personal growth, guilt, and victory....

Title : Peder Victorious: A Tale of the Pioneers Twenty Years Later
Author :
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ISBN : 9780803289062
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 325 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Peder Victorious: A Tale of the Pioneers Twenty Years Later Reviews

  • Debbie Zapata
    2019-02-06 22:23

    Peder Victorious was a much different book than the first of Rolvaag's trilogy about Norwegian immigrants in the Dakota Territory. While Giants in the Earth was alive with the epic struggle to create a home in a new country, this book dealt more with what happens after the settlements are created and 'civilization' arrives at last in the form of organized religion, education, and politics.Young Peder, the only family member born in the country, goes through his growing up years in these pages. He questions everything, rebels against everyone, wonders what he will do with his life. Just as millions of young men and women have done and will continue to do all over the world. But this is not just Peder's story. Rolvaag spends a lot of time on conflicts in the church, triggered by a scandal involving a young woman and the hired hand on her stepmother's farm. The way this incident was handled illustrated the rigid Old World outlook of the local church, allowing pages and pages of theorizing within the story. I got more than a little tired of that, and thought how odd it was for something that the pioneers had hoped and prayed for (a real church with a real minister!) to end up dividing the people. They were no longer the close community they had been in those early pioneer days.Politics created more rifts in the community, mainly when the topic was the splitting of the Dakota Territory into North and South before joining the Union. Should it happen, should it not happen; people argued about it for years. Peder at one point thinks he would like to go into politics, but he had also thought he would be a minister, so he was no more certain of his future than any teenager usually is.For me the saddest aspect of this book was the education system of the day. Peder is attending a school where only English is allowed to be spoken, and the teacher not only ridicules the accents her immigrant children have, but says things like this: "Education is our only weapon against ignorance and against the inherited customs we have brought with us from the old country." A weapon against ignorance is one thing, but to be 'educated' away from your cultural roots is something else entirely and is shameful. Here are Rolvaag's thoughts on this book (from the introduction): "I think I have put my finger on the tragedy of emigration, the true tragedy of the soul, more intensely in this book than in any of my others." He meant the separation of the younger generation from its roots, 'the child slipping into a world where its mother cannot go'. Beret, Peder's mother, does not understand English and is fiercely proud of being Norwegian. She cannot see that Peder is expected to be American now, cannot understand why he insists on mixing with the Irish settlers nearby, cannot accept that he is slipping away from her not only due to the natural laws of Life (and Love!) but because he is being pulled in many different directions by events in his private world. This is a psychologically tragic book. There may not be the fierce battles against the elements that were so riveting in the first volume, but the inner battles raging here are just as intense....and so much more depressing. The third book is called Their Fathers' God . I am about to read it, and can only hope that Rolvaag can piece back together the individuals, the family, and the community that were torn apart here.

  • Chris
    2019-01-30 22:11

    Rølvaag carries the story and many of the characters from his classic Giants in the Earth forward to the next generation. Taking place in several years around 1885, the adolescence of Peder, son of Per Hansa and Beret, is interestingly related to bring out three major themes of the American immigrant experience in the northern Great Plains of that era.The politics of statehood for Dakota is the simplest and sets the stage for the others. The loudmouthed opinionated partisan debates fire the imagination of Peder and prepare his mind for rational thinking and debate.Secondly, the Americanization of the Norwegians, by giving up their language in favor of English - and by implication their old world culture itself - is enthusiastically welcomed by Peder but strongly resisted by his mother. This sets up a classic generational conflict.The third theme is the most significant: the overreach of religion and its overbearing control of the people. I was pleasantly surprised at the courage of Rølvaag to tackle this theme when he wrote in 1929. He presents several grasping ministers and priests, each vying to build their flocks from the few people farming on the plains. He shows how a revivalist church can form quickly, and did over and over again in late nineteenth-century America. Rølvaag focusses this large topic precisely down on Peder and shows how his youthful, naturally moral, happy mind and self are severely disrupted by the intrusion of religion and the unnatural guilt that it brings. It's done quite dramatically, and I was really hating some characters and cheering on others as the story progressed.The saga doesn't end with this book. One very large cliffhanger remains: What will those jilted ministers do now, will they exact some revenge? Will they succeed in destroying the reason, independence and happiness of the immigrant youth Peder? I'm afraid to read the next volume.

  • Margaret
    2019-01-29 16:34

    I was so disappointed in this book. His first book Giants in the Earth is a magnificent story of the Norwegian settlers in the Dakotas. This book is a sequel to the first and I could not believe that is was the same author. What a let down.

  • Donia
    2019-02-12 16:20

    Having lived for several years in areas of the Central Plains settled by Norwegians, I was drawn to read Rolvaag's books. As so many others have stated, Giants of the Earth was an easier read. I found Peder Victorious much slower and difficult to wade through but I did find that the "arguments" it posed and the community divisions it described mirrored what I experienced living in this region as an outsider. Though the story described life many decades prior to my experiences, I found it to be a wonderful description of life there even decades later. I just can't rate it higher as it was so dry for me. Perhaps after mulling it over I will change my mind. I do believe that it is an important contribution to the literature and history of our country.

  • Les
    2019-02-12 22:35

    My Original Notes (1997):Good, but not great. Certainly not as good as Giants in the Earth. The novel ran hot and cold for me. Some parts didn't hold my interest at all (too much religion?) and others did so much that I couldn't put it down. Interesting sections involving the loss of native language (Beret vs. children and the church)My Current Thoughts:I still plan to someday reread Giants in the Earth, but sadly this follow-up holds no interest to me.

  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    2019-02-02 15:19

    First, read Giants in the Earth before Peder Victorious. Second, although Gudrun Hovde Gvale's introduction in my copy is certainly well worth reading, unless you want a synopsis of the whole story before you read the novel, don't read it until after you have finished the book. Alternately, if you just want to know what happens without read the book, by all means read it. There is also a biographical note on Rolvaag at the end of the novel.Giants in the Earth is more accessible and perhaps more riveting than Peder Victorious, but for those who are interested, this novel of settlers on the South Dakota prairie brilliantly shows the conflicts that must have arose with the Americanization of the Norwegian settlers. As Peder matures throughout the story, the conflicts that surely sprang up between the original Norwegian settlers and their now American children are illustrated in Peder's life. The relationship between Peder, as well as his other siblings, and their mother is especially poignant. The normal separation of children from their parents is magnified as the children are also separating themselves from their parent's culture and their own heritage. While I would very highly recommend Peder Victorious, I know it is not a book for everyone and needs to be read after Giants in the Earth.

  • Sherry Elmer
    2019-02-03 23:28

    Somewhat reluctantly, last year I picked up Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth. To my surprise, I loved it. I gained a new appreciation of the pioneer experience, learned a lot, and fell in love with the characters. I was very glad to learn there was a sequel.Peder Victorious is good, but not as good as Giants. The experience of Peder's generation, born in America, was much different than that of their forefathers'. The danger is much less as more people built bigger and stronger communities and civil society. The land becomes less of a towering presence than it had been to a handful of people living in sod huts. But there were still difficulties. The generations have a hard time understanding each other. Nothing new there, but the issues of language (Norwegian or English) and homeland make the divide more poignant. This book fulfills category #4, a classic in translation, for the Back to the Classics 2016 challenge. http://karensbooksandchocolate.blogsp...

  • Ted L.
    2019-01-31 23:17

    This sequel to the landmark novel Giants in the earth continues the saga of Norwegian immigrants into the second generation. Pedal, the child born after the immigrants reach and settle in South Dakota. Pedal struggles to be American, not Norwegian while his mother fights back by insisting he speak Norwegian and resisting his friendships with the "undesirable" Irish catholic immigrants.Although not as famous or moving as Giants in the Earth, Pedar Victorious is actually more readable and while dealing with heavy subject matter, it is a less dark story. Definitely a good novel to read as it tells a great story as well as providing a very realistic view of Norwegian immigrant life.

  • gaudeo
    2019-02-05 17:41

    The second volume of a trilogy, this book does not disappoint. Like the first (Giants in the Earth), it follows the lives of the Holm family, Norwegians who have settled in the Dakotas. This one focuses on the youngest child in the family, Peder, and traces his growth to adulthood. As with the first, it also closely follows his mother, Beret, who increasingly resents the young people's reliance on English rather than the language of the old country. I look forward to reading the final book in the trilogy, Their Fathers' God.

  • Jessemy
    2019-02-21 18:35

    This moves more quickly than Giants in the Earth. We get to know Beret (the mother of Peder) at her best and worst...from accepting Peder's future wife to trying to burn down the schoolhouse in a fit of righteous indignation.This was written in the early 20th century, but his depiction of anxiety admixed with religious devotion is touching, particularly for those of us who share Beret's Norwegian heritage and her propensity for worrying about everything. She is at times headstrong but always deeply human.

  • KrisAnne
    2019-02-04 19:22

    This was a total slog, but once I was in I felt obligated to finish it. I should remind myself to ignore that feeling when I have 20 other books sitting on the pile. Like Giants in the Earth, this one is maybe notable for the extent to which a woman is a complete and central character, forward-thinking in many ways but deeply entrenched the old country ways in others. The book also clearly defines the generational divide between the immigrant parents and the Americanized or American-born children. But I have a feeling there are lots of other books that define that divide much better.

  • Jane Healy
    2019-02-08 23:39

    This sequel to Giants in the Earth is set near Sioux Falls around the turn of the last century. The American offspring of Norwegian settlers upset their elders with their American ways. Speaking English, courting those not Norwegian, taking part in school dramas, all bring Beret Holm to question herself and God. Peder, her youngest, grows to manhood torn between respecting his mother and being a determined American. The struggle between generations continues today, giving the story relevance. The novel is also interesting for its historical view of everyday life, religion, and politics.

  • MarieAsh-Evans
    2019-01-23 20:27

    Mr. Rolvaag did it again - sympathetic characters, great plot and the human condition. Well written and organized as are all of his books. If you are a first reader of his books, you should begin with GIANTS OF THE EARTH or at least read it, the greatest of his books. In my opinion, his works are among the greatest of the historical fiction of Scandinavian immigrant experience. I highly recommend it.

  • Rachelfm
    2019-02-02 21:29

    These are such relevant, contemporary American struggles. No other novel of pioneers I've read published during this time period manages to delve so intimately into all facets of life: faith, mental illness, sexuality, loyalty, identity. I can't believe how much I love these books and how well they've aged.

  • Peter
    2019-01-25 17:35

    I'm rating this at 3 stars simply because although I read it twenty years ago, I don't really remember it. But I like Rolvaag (Giants in the Earth is wonderful, and gets 5 stars), so Peder Victorious gets the benefit of the doubt.

  • Sarah Moening
    2019-02-12 16:27

    I think this book and its companion "Giants of the Earth" are both important books for Lutherans and/or history buffs to read. I am hoping that many folks at Our Savior's will pick it up and join the conversation of how we see ourselves and our mission in the broader world.

  • Jen
    2019-02-14 18:35

    Not quite as good as Giants in the Earth but excellent nonetheless, have also re-read this one several times.

  • Petra Kvapilová
    2019-01-25 16:23


  • Terri Halstead
    2019-02-03 17:22

    Sequel to one of my favorites (Giants in the Earth), but not as good by a long shot. It started off well, but became really dry.

  • Trailhoundz
    2019-02-11 16:34

    Fantastic sequel to Giants in the Earth!!

  • Kristine
    2019-02-03 23:11

    This sequel did not live up to the first book at all. Boring subject matter, too much emphasis on strange politics that left me very uninterested in continuing to read

  • Mike Coleman
    2019-02-05 17:13

    Wonderful sequel to Giants in the Earth. Because I am one of the descendants of the northern plains settlers to whom that book is dedicated, these novels hold a special place on my shelf.

  • P.M.F. Johnson
    2019-01-24 21:26

    A little too bleak for me. Beautifully written, though.