Ida's New World
Ida Jensen and her parents leave the small town of Nakskov in Denmark in 1880. Life for the common working folk was very hard and Ida’s parents were amongst the thousands that chose to immigrate to America on the promise of the chance to build their own homestead and make a new life. They sail from Copenhagen on the steamship Thingvalla together with a lot of other hopeful Danes. On board, they meet and befriend an older couple, Anna and Rasmus. Conditions are tough down in the ships hold and when Ramus dies, Anna decides to travel on together with the Jensens. They eventually arrive in New York and then a long and eventful journey to North Dakota awaits them. They travel by train, stagecoach and wagon, always heading north-west and meeting new people along the way; some helpful, some not so much. Ida must learn a new language, new customs and in befriending a young Indian boy, discovers the New World is an exciting but dangerous place.
“Father, I have never seen so many stars in the sky before."
Ida pointed toward the sky that was scattered with stars. It looked like a cloth covered with glitter. They stood on the deck of a fishing boat, gazing up at the firmament. It was a calm spring evening and a chill crept in through their clothes.
“When will we get to Korsoer?”
“It will be quite a while, yet. Look, you can still see the lights of Nakskov.” Her father lifted Ida up on his big arm so that she could see the lights. He glanced aside and smiled at Katrina, his pretty, slim young wife, who stood beside him looking back like a pillar of salt. He hugged her with his free arm and saw she was on the verge of melting.
“Katrina, it will be fine,” he said gently. “We will have a wonderful new life over there.”
“But Frederik, everything is so uncertain.” She had tears in her eyes and tried to pull away from him. He gripped her firmly and held her tight. She looked up at her tall, blonde husband full of youthful enthusiasm and hope and a little smile began[…]”
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