“The Immigrant’s Journey” by Roger D. Andersen

The Immigrant’s Journey

Roger Andersen
Independently Published (2022)
ISBN: 979-8987417409
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (01/2023)

Enok Enoksen Opsal was born in 1890, in Norway. As potato farmers, his family struggled to make ends meet. When he was sixteen, Enok boarded a steamship to pursue his dream of moving to the United States for better opportunities. His journey across the ocean was an adventure in itself and he established some friendships. When he arrived, he took on some grueling jobs to survive. He captured the eye of an important man in the construction industry, which opened up some doors for him. His intelligence and work ethic helped direct him into better positions. Some of the construction projects took him across the United States, where he had some interesting adventures. As an American, he played a huge role in helping develop the infrastructure of the United States. Many of his projects, like the buildings and railways, are still in use today. He also met the love of his life and built a future with her and their children. Despite his love for the United States, Enok’s Norwegian family and his homeland still held a big piece of his heart for the rest of his life.

Author Roger Andersen based “The Immigrant’s Journey,” on true events that happened during the life of his grandfather who emigrated from Norway. It follows his path through events written in a diary. It is beautifully written and historically accurate. Photographs and drawings help illustrate his experiences. As a reader, I also felt that they made Enok more of a real person to me, especially the photos of him with his wife. His journey was compelling. My heart ached for what I felt that he and his Norwegian family went through when he left them for a chance at a better life. It made me think about the experiences my own relatives had as they made their way over here during the early twentieth century. I regret not asking more questions of my elderly relatives who might have had interesting information to share. I think other readers will find themselves experiencing the same thoughts as they read.

Readers who enjoy biographies and historical fiction novels must read “The Immigrant’s Journey.” While I always enjoy reading historical novels, this was the first one that I found myself unable to put down! It would make a wonderful gift and readers of all ages can enjoy it, as the material is appropriate. I would highly recommend it as supplementary reading for a history class. Reading groups and book clubs will also enjoy discussing this story. Heartfelt and inspiring, this narrative will stay with you long after you finish reading.

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