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They stare at us from old photographs; stiff, severe, unsmiling, dressed in black. They appear to be emotionless, colorless, devoid of passion. We think of them as occupying a black and white world frozen in time. But our perception is false. These people, whose genes we share, who struggled mightily to give us what we take for granted, did not live in a monochrome world and certainly were not devoid of passion. LAND OF PROMISE, LAND OF TEARS presents nine months in the lives of Ole and Helena Branjord and their children. Ole is a Norwegian immigrant; a kind, gentle man who questions his ability to provide for and protect his family. His wife, Helena, a native of Finland, was forced at the age of sixteen to find work in Norway as a serving girl and milkmaid. In addition to work, she found discrimination and sexual abuse. There, she made a powerful enemy who also has emigrated to America and lives just miles from her. Her name is Hanna and her desire is to destroy the Branjord family. The children are Oline, age eleven; Martin, age eight; and Berent, age four. Berent's goal in life is to wear pants. It was a custom in Norway for boys to wear dresses until the age of five. This custom, to the consternation of Berent, is being practiced in the Branjord home. The novel examines the joys, difficulties, trials and tragedies of living on the Iowa prairie in 1869