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Giants in the Earth

Level: Intermediate


This book was written by Ole Edvart Rølvaag, a Norwegian writer who wrote stories about Norvegian settlers in America. Some Norvegians moved to Dakota and started a new life while adapting to the new environment, fighting difficulties and dealing with hardships.

Giants in the Eart is his first book of a trilogy which is about a Norvegian family which settled in Dakota in 1873. They had to face the elements of the new place and were exposed to the harsh environment. In the beginning, Per Hansa, his wife Beret and their children were alone but later further families joined them: Tonseten and his wife Kjersti, Hans Olsa and his wife Sorine, and the Solum brothers. 

Interestingly, the book is based on Rølvaag’s personal experiences: he was also a settler and both he and his wife had to face starvation and poverty. Besides, the book gives details about how the children had to adapt to the new place and how they grew up there. 

The continuations of the book are Peder Victorious which was published in 1928 and Their Fathers’ God, published in 1931. 


settler – telepes

adapt to something – alkalmazkodik

exposed to something – ki van téve valaminek

harsh – könyörtelen, kemény

starvation – éhezés

poverty – szegénység

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