My Pride, My Folly by Suzanne Butler
Following the lives of Danish and Irish 19th century immigrants to the US and Canada, "My Pride, My Folly" portrays the hardships and adventures of difficult lives. The main character 14 year old Kristina travels with a dowry from Denmark to be an arranged bride to an older man in Boston. An intrepid spirit she saves herself for a marriage of love only to suffer as her husband will not be managed in the manner in which she desires. On to Canada when she believes her husband dead. She begins anew with her child, toiling at whatever she can find and then on into a position of responsibility. Her early life catches up with her though not everything falls neatly into place. This book does not fall into the category of romance; it is richer than that and character development is deep. I enjoyed the vivid pictures of what life was like for a woman alone and the choices she makes for her survival. It gave me a greater appreciation for the hardships of my own immigrant grandparents.