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This daughter's loving tribute to her pioneer mother tells of a real heroine who traveled by herself to North Dakota in 1904, to stake a lonely claim and start a farm on 160 empty acres before she married and began her family. Photos. This daughter's loving tribute to her pioneer mother tells of a real heroine who traveled by herself to North Dakota in 1904, to stake a lonely claim and start a farm on 160 empty acres before she married and began her family. Photos.


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This daughter's loving tribute to her pioneer mother tells of a real heroine who traveled by herself to North Dakota in 1904, to stake a lonely claim and start a farm on 160 empty acres before she married and began her family. Photos. This daughter's loving tribute to her pioneer mother tells of a real heroine who traveled by herself to North Dakota in 1904, to stake a lonely claim and start a farm on 160 empty acres before she married and began her family. Photos.

30 review for Nothing to Do but Stay: My Pioneer Mother

  1. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This gentle assemblage of memories by the youngest child of parents of Norwegian descent gives true meaning to the frontier spirit. Ahdele Carrine Berg, aka Carrie Young, lovingly expressed her thoughts in the form of eight short stories. Six were reprinted after they were first published in various magazines. I had no problem reading it in this format. 1. The Education Of A Family My pioneer mother was wild for education. The sheer amount of giving freely to help others was played over and over. This gentle assemblage of memories by the youngest child of parents of Norwegian descent gives true meaning to the frontier spirit. Ahdele Carrine Berg, aka Carrie Young, lovingly expressed her thoughts in the form of eight short stories. Six were reprinted after they were first published in various magazines. I had no problem reading it in this format. 1. The Education Of A Family My pioneer mother was wild for education. The sheer amount of giving freely to help others was played over and over. From the late 1920s through The Depression and at the start of WWII, six children completed high school -a fete in itself- and graduated from college. Both parents turned hardship into necessity to see that their children were educated. 2. The Seedling Years Having already lived in a tarpaper shanty to take advantage of the offer of free land in North Dakota, Carrine Gafkjen married Sever Berg when she was 34 years of age. He had also homesteaded a claim. It was 1913. This heartwarming tale was about their early years. 3. Prairie Cook The food! Don’t read this in an empty stomach. 4. The Last Turkey Mrs. Berg decides to raise turkeys to make some extra pin money. Did I mention that Mr. Berg hates turkey? 5. Ole And Anna Ole was Carrie’s uncle and her mother’s eldest brother. Mrs. Berg was not pleased when he followed her from Minnesota and acquired the farm across from hers. And she had valid reasons for not liking this. North Dakota had been ‘dry’ since its statehood in 1889 but that didn’t stop Ole from enjoying himself. After years of imbibing, he married his housekeeper, Anna, at the ripe age of 55. I am sure Ole and I would not have gotten along. Read it and you’ll understand why. 6. A Fourth Of July In North Dakota Two bachelor brothers pull out all the stops to celebrate the 4th of July. 7. The Best of Both Worlds Sharing the differences of what it meant to be Norwegian and live in America. 8. Thanks for the Last Celebrating Christmas -or Thanksgiving- with her father’s friend from his bachelor days and his family was an all-day affair. ~~~~~ I enjoyed Carrie sharing bits of nostalgia. Each story was heartwarming and I appreciated the Norwegian background and how important their deep roots extended. If you loved reading Little House on the Prairie or Anne of Green Gables you should find contentment with Carrie’s look back on her childhood. About the only thing that would have made it better was if there were an epilogue with an explanation of what became of each family member.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    The subtitle is “My Pioneer Mother,” and much of this memoir features Young’s mother Carrine Gafkjen Berg. But this is really the story of a family’s experiences in the early 20th century in North Dakota. At age twenty-five, already considered a spinster, Carrine left Minneapolis to claim her own homestead on the western North Dakota prairie. Through her own hard work and perseverance, she managed to amass a key parcel of fertile land, living alone first in her claim shack and then in a modest f The subtitle is “My Pioneer Mother,” and much of this memoir features Young’s mother Carrine Gafkjen Berg. But this is really the story of a family’s experiences in the early 20th century in North Dakota. At age twenty-five, already considered a spinster, Carrine left Minneapolis to claim her own homestead on the western North Dakota prairie. Through her own hard work and perseverance, she managed to amass a key parcel of fertile land, living alone first in her claim shack and then in a modest farm house. A decade later she met and married Sever Berg, and they had six children. Rather than a strictly chronological order, the book is divided into chapters by subject. Some of the chapters cover years of the family’s life (The Education of a Family and The Seedling Years, for example), while others focus on specific events (The Last Turkey or A Fourth of July in North Dakota). All are full of wonderful, loving descriptions of life on a settler’s farm, some funny, some touchingly poignant. I particularly loved the first story about Young’s mother’s insistence on education for her children. She had to leave school after only three years to work on her own parents’ farm, and then was sent to Minneapolis to work at a boarding house, cooking and cleaning. She and her husband went to extraordinary lengths to ensure their children got the educations that they were unable to achieve. Despite the great depression, they managed to send all six of their children to college.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    North Dakota c 1910-1940 Norwegians The author fondly recalls her childhood on the ND prairie. As I read, I kept wondering if her mother were human. How would it be possible for any woman to do so much work, do it splendidly, and raise six children (born in a span of 9 years)? Carrie was the youngest in the family, so the tale has the rosy glow of childhood memories. She mentions snow and drought, but never says much about wind. Her mother makes all of their clothes (and bakes all of the bread, do North Dakota c 1910-1940 Norwegians The author fondly recalls her childhood on the ND prairie. As I read, I kept wondering if her mother were human. How would it be possible for any woman to do so much work, do it splendidly, and raise six children (born in a span of 9 years)? Carrie was the youngest in the family, so the tale has the rosy glow of childhood memories. She mentions snow and drought, but never says much about wind. Her mother makes all of their clothes (and bakes all of the bread, does the washing, tends to her bachelor brother down the road, helps with the milking, raises chickens, ...), but Carrie says nothing about wearing hand-me-downs. Having five older sisters, I'd be surprised if she had many brand new dresses. Tragedy never strikes this family, or not in a way that impressed young Carrie. The drought and depression must have hit pretty hard, but her parents seem to have taken it all in stride. Severe winter blizzards however, made getting to school a real problem. Instead of using a car to drive the two miles, Dad had to hitch the horses to a wagon and make the round trip twice a day. This was dangerous, so the girls had to live in the schoolhouse for weeks at a time. (Yep, that would impress me, too.) Woven throughout the book are references to her Norwegian heritage, the cooking, the habits, the language, the pride. p 70 Here she describes her mother preparing coffee for the men harvesting the wheat. I see my mother standing over the black cast-iron range making coffee in a giant granite coffeepot, see her vigorously grinding the coffee at the hand grinder on the wall, see her mixing the ground coffee with an egg—shell and all—and dropping it into the pot, pouring boiling water over it, letting it settle, then pouring a cup of cream into it. This is probably the 3rd or 4th book I've read that mentions an egg in the coffee. What's its purpose? Does it affect the flavor? (The reference to a 'granite' coffeepot means that it was graniteware - also known as enamelware, porcelain enamel fused with metal.) And, near the bottom of the page: The men reach eagerly for the doughnuts, because my mother is a superb doughnut maker, having made at least enough of them in her lifetime to provide her with a chain link to heaven.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Nothing to Do but Stay: My Pioneer Mother plops the reader down smack dab in the middle of big sky, North Dakota amidst a Norwegian community. The book only contains 164 pages, but they aren't 164 pages of hardship and endurance that I expected given the title. Instead, the contents are a nice swill of reminiscence, recipes from the Ewld Coontry, laughter and caricatures of persons and family members with plenty of personality. People like "rolling the eyes" Uncle Ole who at 55 and tired of eati Nothing to Do but Stay: My Pioneer Mother plops the reader down smack dab in the middle of big sky, North Dakota amidst a Norwegian community. The book only contains 164 pages, but they aren't 164 pages of hardship and endurance that I expected given the title. Instead, the contents are a nice swill of reminiscence, recipes from the Ewld Coontry, laughter and caricatures of persons and family members with plenty of personality. People like "rolling the eyes" Uncle Ole who at 55 and tired of eating bologna and summer sausage decided to listen to his card-playing buddies and get himself an housekeeper. One of these friends, got an address of a "dandy little lady" who only spoke Norwegian and so wouldn't be able to talk back to him. Introduce Anna, a dour-faced woman with one leg considerably shorter than the other, but still managed to whip Ole into shape, enough that six-months later she was Ole's wife! The Norwegian heritage mixed with American independence forges a hearty community full of its own unique blend of prairie culture. This is a book that memoir readers who love a homey feel to their reading will enjoy. Its more a pleasurable read then an action read, more historical than pioneer spirit which is the only disappointing thing about the book in my estimation. I did purchase the book thinking I would be reading an action-packed pioneering type of book. However, my disappointment was short-lived as the book proved to be thoroughly enjoyable in a warm hearth sort of way. It is a book I will pass on to my sister to read and savor. 4.0 lefse-made stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Carrine was a woman unto herself. In an age when women were supposed to stay at home, cook, clean, and make babies, she boarded a train alone in Minneapolis with a goal of claiming a homestead in the wild area of western North Dakota. Brave beyond her years, she was bound and determined to succeed. To say she was a success is putting it mildly. She works hard and is eventually one of the largest land owners in the state. In the beginning, she eked out a living in her claim shack, surviving by will Carrine was a woman unto herself. In an age when women were supposed to stay at home, cook, clean, and make babies, she boarded a train alone in Minneapolis with a goal of claiming a homestead in the wild area of western North Dakota. Brave beyond her years, she was bound and determined to succeed. To say she was a success is putting it mildly. She works hard and is eventually one of the largest land owners in the state. In the beginning, she eked out a living in her claim shack, surviving by will and determination alone. At night, she had to bar her door to keep the coyotes from attacking. Washing her clothing required a 5-mile trek to water. She lived on basically potatoes. To top all of it off, a decade later when she would be considered a spinster, she found her love and managed to have 6 children. This is a book about what total determination, courage, and the ability to cope with unexpected occurrences can get a person. It was a great read - and it made me ever so thankful for indoor plumbing, a washer and dryer, a microwave, and a stove, not to mention heat and air conditioning. It's a short book at just under 130 pages but it packs a lot in those pages.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kit M

    I love this little book, it isn't going to change your life- but it is a sweet nostalgic look back at a way of life that doesn't exist anymore with the advent of technology. It also has a few tempting recipes to try. Can easily be read in one to two sitting, great for a plane or train trip! I love this little book, it isn't going to change your life- but it is a sweet nostalgic look back at a way of life that doesn't exist anymore with the advent of technology. It also has a few tempting recipes to try. Can easily be read in one to two sitting, great for a plane or train trip!

  7. 5 out of 5

    April eclecticbookworm

    Short remembrance of the author's childhood (late 1920s-1940s?) particularly of her mother in what was still a harsh North Dakota prairie. It was sweet and interesting. Short remembrance of the author's childhood (late 1920s-1940s?) particularly of her mother in what was still a harsh North Dakota prairie. It was sweet and interesting.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    I have currently "endured" four harsh Minnesota winters and I often ponder how the early settlers survived the freezing cold, bitter wind, and unheated (other than fireplaces and stoves) homes. I enjoyed reading about the author's family and their experiences growing up in North Dakota. It was interesting to hear about the daily life, celebrations, food, education, and traditions of her family. Her mother was an amazing woman to settle a homestead on her own and have six children after the age o I have currently "endured" four harsh Minnesota winters and I often ponder how the early settlers survived the freezing cold, bitter wind, and unheated (other than fireplaces and stoves) homes. I enjoyed reading about the author's family and their experiences growing up in North Dakota. It was interesting to hear about the daily life, celebrations, food, education, and traditions of her family. Her mother was an amazing woman to settle a homestead on her own and have six children after the age of 34. I think my daily housework is difficult but yet I have never washed clothes by hand in freezing temperatures, nor driven my children to school in a horse-drawn sleigh in subzero temperatures. I will look at my work load much different after reading this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    Being a pioneer on the prairie has always seemed one of the most horrendous lives possible, so I picked up this book to see why someone would actually want to do it. The book is not, in fact, a story about the author's mother, but reminiscences of the author's own childhood. I wish she would have explained why her mother, when she was young and unmarried, got a plot to homestead all alone, but that motivation was never explained. Still, the book painted a wonderful picture of family life on the Being a pioneer on the prairie has always seemed one of the most horrendous lives possible, so I picked up this book to see why someone would actually want to do it. The book is not, in fact, a story about the author's mother, but reminiscences of the author's own childhood. I wish she would have explained why her mother, when she was young and unmarried, got a plot to homestead all alone, but that motivation was never explained. Still, the book painted a wonderful picture of family life on the prairie.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    One of the most enjoyable books I read in a long time. Jan. 12 The thing I noticed most after reading this the second time is Carrie's positive attitude. She lived through the dust bowl - a very trying time for farmers. Yet there is little to no emphasis on this or "woe is me" thinking in her writing. One of the most enjoyable books I read in a long time. Jan. 12 The thing I noticed most after reading this the second time is Carrie's positive attitude. She lived through the dust bowl - a very trying time for farmers. Yet there is little to no emphasis on this or "woe is me" thinking in her writing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sandra The Old Woman in a Van

    I wanted to read a book for North Dakota (50 state challenge) that was not written by the state’s most famous author Louise Erdrich. I found this memoir and was not disappointed. I have been reading and comparing/studying memoirs since I read The Art of Memoir earlier this year. The voice in this book is stolid and consistent with the Scandinavian Lutheran culture that settled the region. In contrast to Mary Karr’s advise to “show” rather than “tell” this author’s book reads often like an exposi I wanted to read a book for North Dakota (50 state challenge) that was not written by the state’s most famous author Louise Erdrich. I found this memoir and was not disappointed. I have been reading and comparing/studying memoirs since I read The Art of Memoir earlier this year. The voice in this book is stolid and consistent with the Scandinavian Lutheran culture that settled the region. In contrast to Mary Karr’s advise to “show” rather than “tell” this author’s book reads often like an expository essay. At first this bothered me, but then I realized this IS the voice I would imagine from a woman growing up in Northwestern North Dakota. I felt her culture and history as one should reading a memoir. This book contrasted wonderfully with The Woman Warrior, a memoir I read a few books back. One absolutely delightful (for me) aspect of this memoir were the descriptions of food and recipes. The author refers to her mother’s potato salad a couple of times (described as tangy and the best food ever and a dish where there were never any leftovers). Hmmmm - I wondered if this could possibly resemble my grandmother’s potato salad (from neighboring Iowa). Well, low and behold, the recipe for the dressing is finally provided and it is almost exactly like the potato salad I grew up with (and unlike any I have ever had anywhere else). The one addition was sour cream stirred into the cooled cooked dressing. OMG - how can sour cream not make something better??? I am now adding this to my recipe to try list. There were several other Norwegian dishes that drove me to Google recipes and even Youtube videos. Most likely I won’t put these into my regular rotations, but I did find them fascinating and will be on the look out for Scandinavian restaurants that may serve them. One I may make for my upcoming birthday is a daffodil cake - a citrusy flavored melding of a chiffon and angel food cake. If you have roots in the midwest or an interest in learning more about the psyche and cultural features unique to different regions of the US, especially from a woman’s point of view, you will likely enjoy this approximately 100 page memoir.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elinor

    Some women are larger than life. Carrie Young's mother, born to Norwegian immigrants, was one of them. Carrine Gafkjen homesteaded ALONE in North Dakota in 1904 (note that the U.S. allowed women to stake their own homesteads; the Canadian government never did, in spite of intense lobbying by women), proved up her homestead, married somewhat late in life to a neighbouring farmer at the age of 34, bore six children, and sent them ALL to college. This memoir is an ode not only to her, but to her hu Some women are larger than life. Carrie Young's mother, born to Norwegian immigrants, was one of them. Carrine Gafkjen homesteaded ALONE in North Dakota in 1904 (note that the U.S. allowed women to stake their own homesteads; the Canadian government never did, in spite of intense lobbying by women), proved up her homestead, married somewhat late in life to a neighbouring farmer at the age of 34, bore six children, and sent them ALL to college. This memoir is an ode not only to her, but to her husband and children, who worked and struggled through hardships resembling the stuff of fables. It's a short, but fascinating and uplifting read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carin

    A friend told me a few months back that if I liked Laura Ingalls Wilder (and do I ever!) then I really ought to read this book, which is the author's memoir mostly about her mother, who was a homesteader in North Dakota in 1905. The book is divided into sections, and each section is basically a stand-alone essay. So there's one section all about Norwegian-North Dakotan hospitality and foods, one about her Uncle Ole, but my favorite was the first and longest section, about her mother deciding to t A friend told me a few months back that if I liked Laura Ingalls Wilder (and do I ever!) then I really ought to read this book, which is the author's memoir mostly about her mother, who was a homesteader in North Dakota in 1905. The book is divided into sections, and each section is basically a stand-alone essay. So there's one section all about Norwegian-North Dakotan hospitality and foods, one about her Uncle Ole, but my favorite was the first and longest section, about her mother deciding to take a homestead, marrying in her mid-30s and promptly having 6 children, and as one of those children, what the author's life was like growing up during the Depression, even having to spend winters sleeping in the one-room schoolhouse where her sister taught because the weather was too severe for their father to drive them to and from, even on the weekends. The siblings each paid for each others' education which was really great, although I was sad when the oldest sibling who did end up getting the most education (after getting her bachelor's in education she went back to school for a nursing degree in WWII), ended up getting married and quitting work to stay at home. The author seemed disappointed about that as well, which was a refreshing perspective during a fairly traditional time. Their time on the prairie, while at times not easy, was never terrible. They made it through the Depression, rarely got in debt, supported each other, and had a great extended community of Norwegian-Americans (and the occasional Swede). It's a nice and light book, not telling dark tales of a rough time in our history. If you're looking for a memoir with a through-thread of narrative, this will disappoint, so be prepared for that. But it's a great slice of life from a time and place we don't know much about in our nation's past.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Avis Black

    Though this book might be ignored by those not into regional memoirs, it's really quite good. Don't miss it if you come across a copy. Note: Some of the reviewers ask why the author doesn't mention having to struggle through the Dust Bowl. The main areas impacted by the Dust Bowl were western Kansas, eastern Colorado, western Texas and Oklahoma, and eastern New Mexico. It hit the traditionally dryer areas of these states, and not northern plains states like North Dakota. Available at Open Library Though this book might be ignored by those not into regional memoirs, it's really quite good. Don't miss it if you come across a copy. Note: Some of the reviewers ask why the author doesn't mention having to struggle through the Dust Bowl. The main areas impacted by the Dust Bowl were western Kansas, eastern Colorado, western Texas and Oklahoma, and eastern New Mexico. It hit the traditionally dryer areas of these states, and not northern plains states like North Dakota. Available at Open Library: https://openlibrary.org/works/OL34766...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    Short and sweet, I finished this little book in two sittings. Very nostalgic, full of little anectdotes of her parents' early years as homesteaders in the North Dakota prarie, and also stories from her own youth as the youngest of their six children. It has the voice of an older person fondly remembering the simpler days of youth, when she worked hard and played hard, and waited from Christmas until the Fourth of July for hand-cranked ice cream. It reminded me of listening to my own Grandmother Short and sweet, I finished this little book in two sittings. Very nostalgic, full of little anectdotes of her parents' early years as homesteaders in the North Dakota prarie, and also stories from her own youth as the youngest of their six children. It has the voice of an older person fondly remembering the simpler days of youth, when she worked hard and played hard, and waited from Christmas until the Fourth of July for hand-cranked ice cream. It reminded me of listening to my own Grandmother telling us her stories. I enjoyed it very much.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Simmons

    A perfect book of the genre of someone remembering the life of their Norwegian immigrant parents on the high plains and their growing up years. Lots of interesting details about women's, men's, and children's lives on homesteads and during the Great Depression. A real gem. A perfect book of the genre of someone remembering the life of their Norwegian immigrant parents on the high plains and their growing up years. Lots of interesting details about women's, men's, and children's lives on homesteads and during the Great Depression. A real gem.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anson Cassel Mills

    Ahdele B. “Peggy” Young (1923 - 2017)—who wrote under the pen name Carrie Young—was a food writer and author of short fiction who lived most of her adult life in Ohio. This series of eight anecdotal essays treats farm life during the early 20th century among Scandinavian pioneers in far northwestern North Dakota where she grew up. Young writes with unabashed nostalgia—probably more than a university press would find acceptable today—so the chapters have less of a harder edge than the title might Ahdele B. “Peggy” Young (1923 - 2017)—who wrote under the pen name Carrie Young—was a food writer and author of short fiction who lived most of her adult life in Ohio. This series of eight anecdotal essays treats farm life during the early 20th century among Scandinavian pioneers in far northwestern North Dakota where she grew up. Young writes with unabashed nostalgia—probably more than a university press would find acceptable today—so the chapters have less of a harder edge than the title might suggest. Many of these autobiographical essays are written with cleverness and flair, and I think the book might be better known had not northwestern North Dakota been home to so few people a hundred years ago and even fewer today.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Packed with warmth and humor, this slender novel tells the story of the author's Norwegian mother who homesteaded on her own, then married and raised a family in North Dakota in 1904. So many delightful memories came to mind while reading about "egg-coffee", cooking huge meals for the men working in the fields, 5 quilts on the bed during the unheated winters, the cream separator, picking eggs from the henhouse, oh and the most memorable --picking rocks from the fields! All reminders of my childh Packed with warmth and humor, this slender novel tells the story of the author's Norwegian mother who homesteaded on her own, then married and raised a family in North Dakota in 1904. So many delightful memories came to mind while reading about "egg-coffee", cooking huge meals for the men working in the fields, 5 quilts on the bed during the unheated winters, the cream separator, picking eggs from the henhouse, oh and the most memorable --picking rocks from the fields! All reminders of my childhood years on a farm in northern Iowa. My own Norwegian great-grandfather homesteaded in Minnesota. This book was given to my mother by one of my aunts.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne Vandenbrink

    Carrine Gafkjen, of Norwegian immigrants, claimed a homestead for herself in western North Dakota. She lived alone in her claim shack, existed on potatoes and salt and walked five miles to the nearest creek to wash her clothes. She married late in life but still had 6 children. This story is told by her youngest daughter. Sprinkled with Norwegian phrases, recipes for traditional Norwegian food, it's a story of warmth and good humor, of pioneer heritage and of the staying power of family and trad Carrine Gafkjen, of Norwegian immigrants, claimed a homestead for herself in western North Dakota. She lived alone in her claim shack, existed on potatoes and salt and walked five miles to the nearest creek to wash her clothes. She married late in life but still had 6 children. This story is told by her youngest daughter. Sprinkled with Norwegian phrases, recipes for traditional Norwegian food, it's a story of warmth and good humor, of pioneer heritage and of the staying power of family and tradition.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I was given this book by a fellow librarian who said it was amazing. She was right. I couldn't put it down. Simply eloquent prose about a woman and her family living on the North Dakota plains. Sweet descriptions of childhood memories centering around education, food, and the strength and fortitude of those who came before us. I didn't purposefully read this during Women's History Month, but I am happy I did. In doing so I feel like I paid respect to the women who did it all first. I was given this book by a fellow librarian who said it was amazing. She was right. I couldn't put it down. Simply eloquent prose about a woman and her family living on the North Dakota plains. Sweet descriptions of childhood memories centering around education, food, and the strength and fortitude of those who came before us. I didn't purposefully read this during Women's History Month, but I am happy I did. In doing so I feel like I paid respect to the women who did it all first.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marcia Seybold

    I loved this little book. Reminded me of my childhood and my great grandmother from Norway. Loved all the Norsk sayings, some I still use today. My mother washed clothes in the kitchen heating water on a wood stove and putting wash tubs on kitchen chairs. I love lefsa and the other Norske treats that we now have at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. We make lefsa as a family...so proud to be 100% Norske

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    Loved this book about a young (25 year old) woman who moved to the Dakotas to homestead by herself. She eventually married and raised 6 children. Her view of education was passed on to her children. Each of them felt responsible for paying for the other's education, and ALL of them became well educated. Lots of funny episodes about country schools and Norwegian people before during and after the dust bowl. Loved this book about a young (25 year old) woman who moved to the Dakotas to homestead by herself. She eventually married and raised 6 children. Her view of education was passed on to her children. Each of them felt responsible for paying for the other's education, and ALL of them became well educated. Lots of funny episodes about country schools and Norwegian people before during and after the dust bowl.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This book was a quick, but enjoy able read. It gives a glimpse into the life of a a young woman (Corrine Gafkjen), child of Norwegian immigrants, who leaves "civilization" at the age of 25, to homestead on the windswept plains of the North Dakota prairie. The story is told through the eyes of her youngest daughter (the youngest of six children). This book was a quick, but enjoy able read. It gives a glimpse into the life of a a young woman (Corrine Gafkjen), child of Norwegian immigrants, who leaves "civilization" at the age of 25, to homestead on the windswept plains of the North Dakota prairie. The story is told through the eyes of her youngest daughter (the youngest of six children).

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Kennedy

    what a wonderful, heartwarming little book! This boo was chock full of amazing, fun information, from living in a one room school house when the weather was bad, to the strangest Christmas tree in North Dakota to a Swedish Thanksgiving with a table overladen with food. I wish there was more, it felt like there could be more, a longer book with more details perhaps???? Recommended!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lavonne

    This is a quick, sweet book about a Norwegian pioneer woman written by her daughter. Growing up with 3/4 of my grandparents being from Norway, this book took me back to some of my earliest memories. I still love making and eating sandbakkels and I especially enjoyed the chapter on one-room schools and higher education. The version I read also had some lovely family photos.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kacey

    This is not great literature, but a sweet memoir of life as a homesteader. Not in the mid 1880's, as many of them are, but in the early part of the twentieth century. The author (daughter) gives great descriptions of daily life, not trying to hammer home how hard it was, just this is the way it was. Great reading for self quarantine. This is not great literature, but a sweet memoir of life as a homesteader. Not in the mid 1880's, as many of them are, but in the early part of the twentieth century. The author (daughter) gives great descriptions of daily life, not trying to hammer home how hard it was, just this is the way it was. Great reading for self quarantine.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    An interesting story of a woman homesteading in North Dakota and the difficulties involved in prairie life, written by her daughter. "Storytelling in the best rural tradition...wonderfully direct and earthy." - The New York Times Book Review An interesting story of a woman homesteading in North Dakota and the difficulties involved in prairie life, written by her daughter. "Storytelling in the best rural tradition...wonderfully direct and earthy." - The New York Times Book Review

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    The first two chapters were really insightful, opening charming doors to the past. The last few chapters were a bit too personal for my liking and seemed like filler. The first chapters would have been great articles, but maybe there wasn't enough here for a full book. The first two chapters were really insightful, opening charming doors to the past. The last few chapters were a bit too personal for my liking and seemed like filler. The first chapters would have been great articles, but maybe there wasn't enough here for a full book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    Enjoyable, easy reading about the author's mother who bravely went alone to stake a homestead in the prairie of North Dakota. She lived on potatoes & salt. Later, she married & had six children. The book is about day to day living in the 1900's. Enjoyable, easy reading about the author's mother who bravely went alone to stake a homestead in the prairie of North Dakota. She lived on potatoes & salt. Later, she married & had six children. The book is about day to day living in the 1900's.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    This was a bookclub choice, probably wouldn't have read on my own but very glad I did. Loved the strength of these women and the sacrifice to make sure their children were educated including their daughters . Its a little book well worth the read This was a bookclub choice, probably wouldn't have read on my own but very glad I did. Loved the strength of these women and the sacrifice to make sure their children were educated including their daughters . Its a little book well worth the read

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