The Immigrant's Journey

Fiction - Historical - Personage
399 Pages
Reviewed on 02/11/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Carmen Tenorio for Readers' Favorite

An Immigrant's Journey by Roger Andersen is a story about a young Norwegian lad named Enok Opsal who decided to seek a better future in America. He dreamed of a life of freedom and prosperity. Arriving in New York with $25 to his name, he struggled to find his footing. He tried to settle in by taking on difficult work that he didn't like as he needed to survive and save some money. It was through a construction-related job that he forged a career that gave him not only work satisfaction but more importantly the financial stability that enabled him to get married and raise a family. His work took him all over the West, the South, and New England as part of a crew that constructed railways and started electrification. He later went on his own by having a lumber company and a small construction firm. Despite his success, his love for Norway never waned and this prompted him to travel back to his original home on occasion. On his retirement, he also acquired a property in New Jersey to recreate the Norwegian farm lifestyle that he had experienced before arriving in the United States. Although he loved farming he finally moved to be with his sister-in-law because of his advanced age.

An Immigrant's Journey by Roger Andersen gives us a micro-level perspective of a migrant during the era that saw the veritable American melting pot from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The author has used his grandfather's personal experiences to weave a novel around a foreigner's struggles, hardships, and adventures as he tried to find his purpose and settle down in early twentieth-century America. The story illustrates the pioneering attitude and the hope that was shared by many immigrants at that time as well as the accomplishments and triumphs that Enok Opsal achieved. Cultural nuances like cuisine, traditions, and clothing are vividly described which will elicit reader appreciation. The use of photos contributes to the authenticity of the story and it sometimes feels as if you are traveling back in time. Enok's journal entries also serve as a timeline for the plot, which allows the reader to be an intimate part of the journey. This novel tells us that America has a lot to offer beyond better opportunities and financial freedom as a reward for hard work. It can also be a place for seeking and living dreams of adventure to help create your narrative where you see yourself living a more well-balanced, fulfilling, and happy life. America is what it is today because of the hard work of people who came before this generation existed. Highly recommended for those who like historical fiction.

Rabia Tanveer

The Immigrant's Journey by Roger Andersen is the story of a man who left his home to find himself. Enok was just 16 years old when he left his potato farm in Norway and voyaged over the ocean to get to New York for a new start. He did it all to get rid of the debt and to get a better life. Enok worked hard as a buggy driver, ferry worker, and farm hand, and even worked with stone just to make it. However, it was long before he found his passion: construction. While that gave him a direction, he was still torn between the home he was making for himself and the home he left behind. Enok knew he had to make a tough decision sooner or later. But what if he could make things work in his favor?

I love stories about real people and The Immigrant’s Journey was a pleasure to read. Enok was a smart, dedicated, and determined man who knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to chase after it. He was a hard worker, but he was also a smart worker. I really enjoyed how author Roger Andersen divided the story into eight long parts, not just segmented chapters. This way, he was able to highlight the important happenings of each chapter of Enok’s life and pour Enok’s passion into each sentence. I loved the transporting descriptions and the imagery that seemed to come to life! Each sentence encapsulated all the emotions Enok was feeling and so much more. I adored how Enok’s whole demeanor changed when his sweetheart Rikke was introduced. They were something special. Roger Andersen was able to translate those emotions so well through his words. The pictures were a huge help and only heightened my pleasure! I loved this book and would highly recommend it!

Alex Ndirangu

The Immigrant's Journey by Roger Andersen is a work of historical fiction based on actual events. The story starts in Opsal Gard, Norway, in the early 1900s. With three sisters and being the only son in his family, Enok was expected to stay and work the land as his father and grandfather did. But Enok wanted to accomplish something more than just inheriting their fifty-acre farm. By this time, a few of his neighbors and even family members who had moved to America in search of greener pastures were sending word back home about the vast opportunities in America. At sixteen years old and determined to find a better life, Enok boards a steamship and embarks on a journey to America. With his homeland out of sight and his future just as invisible, only his spirit to explore new ideas and conquer new challenges will define his success.

The story is told in the first person, as seen through the eyes of Enok. We witness his adventures firsthand and, soon enough, become emotionally attached. We feel a surge of sadness when Enok leaves behind his friendly horse, Gabe, and his loving family. I kept wondering if they would ever be reunited again. In addition to Enok's journey being one of self-discovery, it has an unwavering emphasis on the importance of family and friendship. Even though they were poor and had very little, Enok's family did their best to make each other happy. The Immigrant's Journey was well thought out and perfectly executed. Roger Andersen was careful to tie up every loose thread in the story. It was captivating from the start to the end. Just when I thought I'd never see any more of Gabe, the horse, and Enok, they suddenly popped up at the end of the book, and I was left pondering about their adventures in Opas Gard more than half a century ago. Anyone wanting to learn more about early 20th-century America or looking for an adventure to get them off the grid should check out The Immigrant's Journey.