September 22, 2023
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The Immigrant's Journey
Biography Book Reviews Fiction History

The Immigrant’s Journey : A Must Read In Big Life Transitions

Author: Roger Andersen

Genre: Historical – Biography – Fiction

Year Published: 2022

Nerdection Rating:

“Nerdection Must Read”

book nerdection must read

The Immigrant’s Journey is the kind of book meant to inspire everybody; young and old. Written by Roger Andersen, I found it very insightful, especially for people who are experiencing big life transitions. Continue reading for the spoiler-free plot and my thoughts on this enlightening biography.

Spoiler-Free Plot

Enok, a Norwegian child, grows up tending to a potato farm with his family. His life there is good enough, except for a boyhod fancy he has never managed to forsake: Enok wants to travel to the far-flung lands of America. However, unlike his many friends who choose to spend their lives in Norway, he owns his dream with an unfaltering determination and boards on a steamship bound for America.

Thus begins the stunning journey of a country boy, who hopes to make his mark in the world with nothing but hard work and determination by his side. Enok’s life in America starts by laboriously working at an ordinary tobacco farm; but soon he progresses. From taxi-driving in the streets of New York, to coal-shoving inside a ferry; working at mines, construction sites, and then building railroads, his experience expands as America advances. Soon he unexpectedly meets his childhood love, raises a family and travels to more places– all the while working industriously for his goals.

In this awe-inspiring biography, The Immigrant’s Journey, a vivacious Enok travels the world, finds love, and lives upto his dreams. Nonetheless, even with his family at his side, he never quite manages to forget his homeland, Norway, with its exotic farms, fjords and spruce trees. And when he can’t go to the homeland he so yearns for, he finds a more convenient option.

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My Take on The Immigrant’s Journey

The Immigrant’s Journey is a tribute to all the people who leave their homes and travel to faraway corners of the world in pursuit of their dreams. It is a big shout-out to people who choose to live wild.

The Immigrant’s Journey portrays Enok’s struggles as he tries to adjust to a life unknown to him before. He learns English and adapts himself out of his comfort zone. It is a tale of growing up and striving for your dreams. It’s a message to hope for a better future and to work arduously for it, even if it’s a long way from now and where you want to go. 

I am not yet seventeen years old today as I leave my family and home. I have some regrets, and already there are longings to be back with family and familiar surroundings. Yet, I took this journey because I want for the possibility to accomplish more.

Enok’s Journal Entry, as he leaves for America.

The book speaks like a historical fiction, a classic, and a travelog combined. Its subject matter gives a lot of depth as to what it’s like leaving all the comforts you’ve ever known to pursue an unknown dream, and the unprecedented struggles of becoming what we residents call an ‘Immigrant’.

I particularly liked the simple and engaging way the author talks in. There’s no riff-raff and no useless adornment to the text, just meaningful words that are powerful enough to instill inspiration in the reader.

Moreover, The Immigrant’s Journey is thoroughly supplemented with Enok’s journal entries and pictures of the places he visited. This certainly enriched my experience of reading it.

Andersen has deftly weaved Enok’s biography with threads of Norwegian culture and American history, that will momentarily take you to the twentieth-century world with an optimistic Enok by your side. What’s more, the book brilliantly portrays many important values we take lightly. Learning is vital. Experience is cash. Go out and explore new places, meet people, and relish the small delights of life. 

I felt especially nostalgic when reading about Enok’s childhood, him at sea with its salty smell, eating risgrøt made by Mor, and being awed by the enthralling city of New York. As he started his new life in America, I wished for Enok to get that job with a handsome salary wishing for everything to work out for him.

The abundant mention of gloriously tasty food in The Immigrant’s Journey is my only complaint throughout the book. Each time when there was fresh yulekake (fruit bread), berlinerkransker (butter cookies), or Hot Frankfurters to be devoured, my stomach was just short of groaning loudly. Speaking of which, this vileness may have nothing to do with the book, and solely be a problem with me. Nonetheless, when you’re about to start reading this book, prepare to go to amazing places and meet delicious food items!

The Immigrant’s Journey has Enok’s story portraying the warm delight of finally achieving a hard-earned goal, finding love at unexpected places, and how important it is to be consistent with your dreams and values. I was amazed by how Enok’s biography, though unadorned, was assertive enough to paint the toils of immigrants and the power of love and family in this regard.

The Immigrant’s Journey is highly recommended for fans of immigrant stories, ‘The Sun Is Also A Star’ and ‘Americans Street’, and in general, for anybody lost, and looking for inspiration through big life transitions.

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About the Author of The Immigrant’s Journey

Roger Andersen

Roger Andersen graduated from Wheaton College and holds an MBA from Oregon State University. He also studied abroad at Oxford University and the University of Leiden. Andersen worked for PepsiCo, rising to senior management positions. He went on to lead several successful turnaround teams at Pepsi General Bottlers, Young America, Rollerblade, and The Bob Pike Group. Andersen is the author of two books – The Executive Calling and The Immigrant’s Journey. He is married to his high school sweetheart, has two daughters and three grandchildren. He lives in Minnesota in the summer and North Carolina in the winter. He is an avid golfer and fisherman.

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