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The Journey of Karoline Olsen

The Journey of Karoline Olsen

   When her husband Kristoffer dies of a burst appendix in 1905 in Iowa, middle-aged Karoline Olsen, mother of six, must make the 145-mile trip from Cedar Falls to Soldier by horse-drawn wagon to take his body home. With the corpse on fast-melting ice, Karoline struggles to make good time across the rolling prairie during an exceptionally hot summer, recalling the story of their rocky marriage that brought them from Norway to the New World. The young couple, ambitious and naive, arrive in the United States in 1884 with hopes of establishing a farm among other Norwegian immigrants but are met instead with the constant battle of disease, famine, and poverty. A chronicle of the Olsens' fight to survive in the undeveloped Midwest, to preserve tradition in a new context, and to protect their family from the ravages of pioneer living, The Journey of Karoline Olsen is the tale of a woman and wife building the American Dream out of nothing but the dirt on which she stands.

    Ann Hanigan Kotz's debut novel of love, loss, and heartache is based on her own family's heritage, traced back to its roots and reimagined through a fiction akin to Faulkner. 

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