Honoring Anna
Honoring Anna
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United States

The book takes the reader from Norway to New York to the Northern Plains of America.

Distant Past

Most of the book takes place during the Great Migration, between 1885 and 1910.
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"A young immigrant girl runs away from home and boards a ship for America in a story about unyielding faith, love, courage and honor during the Great Migration. Based on a true story, this novel exposes the incredible honor our first immigrants brought to America.


Honoring Anna is a novel based on the incredible true story of my grandmother in law, Anna. It follows her life and is based on interviews with her children and my wife, her granddaughter. I knew Anna, but at the time had no idea that I would some day be writing about her life. If only I had known then what I know now.

Anna is 8 years old, living on an island in the North Sea, when her mom dies. Her father re-marries a cruel and evil woman that has her own family. Anna secretly saves enough money to run away from home and purchase a steerage class ticket on a ship bound for America. On board Anna meets a fellow immigrant, her first love, Rasmus. They become engaged with rings he carves out of a block of oak wood. Their love grows and Rasmus promises to build Anna a home when they reach America.

Going through Ellis Island Rasmus gets a telegram from home. Unbeknownst to Anna, he had been engaged in Norway, and when his fiancee', Astrid, told him at the last minute that she couldn't leave her family and go with him to his American dream, he was heartbroken. Desperately lonely, he boarded the ship by himself, determined to find a new life in America. When Astrids' parents found out what had happened they put her on the next ship for America, sending Rasmus, whom they loved nearly as much as their daughter, a telegram that their daughter had changed her mind and was on her way to America to become his wife. The news tears Anna and Rasmus' world apart and, in an act of extreme love and honor by both of them, forces them to go in separate directions since they know that Astrid could never survive in New York on her own.

The beautiful young Anna is running again, this time from love. She works her way westward across America in an incredible adventure, making life long friends and meeting challenge after challenge with her unyielding courage and faith. Reaching Dakota, she meets Iver, another Norwegian whom had immigrated to America several years earlier. Knowing that his older brother would inherit the family farm in Norway and that he would never find land and be able to do the only thing he ever wanted to do, be a farmer, Iver had left his home and family at the tender age of 14 with the help of his parents and an uncle that already lived in America. His mom cried at the docks of Vik for months after her son boarded the ship for America, knowing she would never see him again.

After they meet Iver shows Anna a beautiful, secret, and hidden herd of wild mustangs that he intends to capture and run on the ranch he has started. Anna and Iver have the same hopes and dreams, and they soon fall in love and are married. Living in a one room rock and earthen home with their first child a knock on their door forever changes their lives.

Rasmus, now married with children, has been tormented at the thought of leaving Anna alone in New York and not honoring his promise to build her a house. With the blessing of his wife Astrid he somehow finds where Anna is living and leaves New York, traveling across America to find Anna and honor his promise to build her a home. He buys lumber for the house in Minnesota and takes it by train to Hettinger, North Dakota, where he loads it on wagons and sets a course for Anna and Iver’s homestead which is about 80 miles away, deep in the Dakota wilderness.

Anna feints, and Iver is overcome with fear and jealousy at the sight of Anna’s first love. After much explanation and thought, in an act equally as honorable and loving, Iver sets his jealousy and fears aside and allows, even helps, Rasmus build a desperately needed home on the prairie for Anna.

Kirkus Indie calls Honoring Anna "captivating, overflowing with adventure and romance." It is a book about unyielding love and honor so incredulous it would be hard to believe if it hadn't happened. It is a story of American immigrant history so simple, yet so profound, that it will inspire the best in all of us.

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Cast Wish-List
  • Anna
    Female 16 Years old
  • Rasmus
    Male 20 Years old
  • Iver
    Male 21 Years old

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