Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Bergson farm. Nebraska home of the Bergson family near Hanover. As this novel begins, a Swedish immigrant couple named Bergson have recently arrived in Nebraska, where the eldest child and only daughter, Alexandra, becomes the head of the family after the father dies. Despite financial problems, she refuses to sell the small family farm because of her devotion to the land. A shrewd businesswoman, she purchases land at depressed prices from farmers who move into town, and through great physical labor she not only saves the family farm but earns enough money to buy her brother Oscar a farm for his own family.
Roman Catholic church. Local church with which Alexandra becomes affiliated. Norwegians, the Bergsons are Lutherans, and at first Alexandra attends a local Lutheran church. However, after her fellow Lutherans shun her because of her proposed marriage plans, she begins attending the local Catholic church, whose parishioners are mostly French immigrants. Although she does not convert to Catholicism, she is much happier in the Catholic parish because its services and social activities seem full of joy. For the first time in her life, Alexandra understands that religion and joy can coexist. She is amazed that the Catholics accept her with open arms although they know that she does not desire to convert to their faith. They do not judge or shun her.
*Lincoln. Nebraska town that is home to the University of Nebraska and the state prison to which the murderer of Alexandra’s brother Emil is sent.