“Truely an amazing read!” Guri Hjeltnes, VG
Gold Rush is the sequel to The Dream of America and the second volume of Toril Brekke’s epic trilogy about emigration to America.
The year is 1843. Conceived in Norway but born among settlers in America, Brenda is all alone in the world and makes her living as a prostitute in Chicago. After serving a sentence back in Norway, Brenda’s father Håvard, a Quaker, has come to the Midwest with his new wife and their son. They build a cabin on the prairie west of Chicago. Hoping to be taken in by her family, Brenda seeks them out, only to discover that the only one who cares about her is Hølje, her step brother. When the rumour spreads that gold has been found in California, Brenda and Hølje find themselves among the many from the Midwest who set out on the tough, three months long journey to the gold fields at Sutter’s Mill. They all dream of a better life, far from the injustice and hardships of the Old World. But when it comes to love, the conditions are as harsh as ever. Everybody wants Brenda.
Many Norwegian immigrants experience the struggle between religion and alcohol for the power over their minds, while the young American union is being torn apart by the conflict between the north and the south. Brekke follows her main characters all the way up to the civil war and the crucial and bloody battle of Chickamauga in Tennessee in 1863, where Hølje participates in the Scandinavian regiment.
“An antertaining story that offers loads of love and drama” Cathrine Krøger, Dagbladet
“It is impressive how Toril Brekke manages to bring to life her characters and at the same time paint a colorful picture of this historical material that she appears to know very well.” Finn Stenstad, Tønsbergs blad
“A grand novel on Norwegians in America” Norunn Ottersen Seip, Dagsavisen