The author of this classic novel may be the most locally famous and prolific author unknown to English speaking readers. This book tells the reader of Per’s life story. Per was born to an austere and miserly minister father and a bedridden mother. Per revolts from the oppressive strictures of the small Jutland community. Although his entire lineage were ministers, Per attends engineering school in Copenhagen where he develops an ingenious and progressive plan to bring modernity to the rural areas. He is indeed lucky as he receives patronage from a series of benefactors and becomes betrothed to the educated daughter of a very wealthy family. Per seeks his fortune as he travels through Europe and is admired and befriended due to his imposing presence and his good looks. The death of Per’s mother brings a turning point to the story where Per reverts to his former life, rejecting the more glamorous city life. Many parts of the book seem anti-Semitic, however, the truly self-sacrificing character of Per’s Jewish fiancee is the noblest character in this book. Truly a classic and epic story.
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