Anna’s Home

ISBN: 978-1-7320378-0-9 Historical novel about Swedish immigrants in the 1880s

Historical novel about Swedish immigrants in the 1880s

Anna’s life is full and happy in her large, lively, farm family in the Swedish immigrant community of 1880s Vasa, Minnesota, when a theological student named Gustaf catches her eye and then her heart.

Unlike Anna, Gustaf is rebuilding his life after experiencing great losses caused by the deaths of his mother and half his siblings, a traumatic immigration experience, and serious illness.

Anna goes to college

Anna convinces her parents to send her sister Eva and her halfway across the state, to Gustavus College in St. Peter, where Gustaf has accepted a teaching position. Anna and Gustaf soon find that a romance between a professor and a student comes with its own dilemmas—the first of many they will face.

Gustaf goes West

As the school year ends, Gustaf accepts a ministerial position in the frontier town of Tacoma, Washington Territory, while Anna begins her own teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse back home. When the depression-prone Gustaf urges her to marry him, Anna hesitates. She loves her work and is committed to tending to her gravely ill mother. More than anything, Anna fears she doesn’t have the strength or knowledge to create a new home far away from everything she has known and loved.

A real story

Drawing on real-life letters and journals and substantiated by additional research, Anna’s Home takes you inside the richly detailed lives of immigrant families, recreating the challenges, dreams, and triumphs of the frontier in late nineteenth-century America.

To purchase Anna’s Home:

Buy the e-book on Amazon

Purchase the paperback edition at

Village Books in Fairhaven and Lynden

Seaport Books in La Conner

Orca Books in Olympia

Secret Garden in Ballard

Watermark Books in Anacortes

King’s Books in Tacoma

Skagit Historical Museum in La Conner

PLU Lute Locker in Parkland

Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo

Or use this mail order form:  Order form Anna’s Home

Contact the author at


“Anna’s Home is equally fascinating as the love story of a young woman and her pastor-suitor and the history of the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest during the time of European immigration. The reader knows at the outset that the couple do eventually marry, but the issues they face make it uncertain. Anna must give up her teaching career and the comfort of living close to her family to join Gustaf as he ministers to fledgling congregations in the Washington Territories. Their stories combine to make a compelling read.”   Kristine Leander, Executive Director of the Swedish Club of Seattle and author of Norwegian Seattle

“Anna’s Home rises like a tasty Swedish pastry that belies the author’s extensive work in assembling key ingredients. Rosalind Spitzer has drawn on family letters, journals, and interviews, has visited libraries, archives, and the sites where the novel’s characters lived, to flavor this story of the 1880s with absolute authenticity. I fell happily into the rich inner life of Anna, a young woman whose heart leads her to choose either her warm, established family and community, or a challenging marriage and raw frontier life in the Pacific Northwest. Vibrant secondary characters, both humorous and tragic, sustain delight in this tale all the way to its bittersweet ending.”   Carolyn Dale, Author of Second Rising, forthcoming from Harvard Square Editions

“James Joyce set all of his works in Dublin, underscoring his belief that “in the particular is contained the universal.” His theme resonates in Anna’s Home as the reader follows the story of Anna and Gustaf, Swedish immigrants who move to the far reaches of the unsettled Pacific Northwest in the 1880’s.  Author Roz Spitzer fills in the outlines of her characters’ lives with meticulous research as well as details drawn from her family’s rare collection of Anna and Gustaf’s correspondence. Anna’s Home draws readers into Anna and Gustav’s most private hearts as they move through personal, spiritual, economic and cultural passages that parallel the travails even of today’s migrants all across our globe seeking new places to call home.”  Deb Anderson Frey, Educator

“Anna’s Home brings to life the sharp observations and quieter ambitions of two early Swedish immigrants to the Pacific Northwest. Based on family letters and diaries, it lights up little-known corners of higher education for women, the Chinese expulsion in Tacoma, and Lutheran evangelism in the 1880s. It left me wanting to know more about the lives Roz Spitzer has illuminated.”    Lane Morgan, Author of Greetings from Washington: A Look at the Past through Postcards; Co-author of Seattle: A Pictorial History

Anna’s Home leads the reader to empathize with Anna’s problems as she has to decide whether to stay where she is comfortable or marry and move to a frontier home with her missionary husband to the Pacific Northwest.”   Kathy Tilderquist, Educator, Cannon Falls, Minnesota

“Anna’s Home strikes me as a timely addition to the U.S. discussion of immigration. Spitzer explores the complexities of the Northwest frontier as Anna and Gustaf witness the upheavals of a growing nation.”    Anna Eblen, Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Western Washington University

“Ms. Spitzer captured the era beautifully. The voice is strong and believable, and she’s blended facts with fiction effortlessly.”  Janet Bergstrom, Author of True Tales of an Insatiable Adventuress and The Truth About Normal

“I really enjoyed the book.  Not only was it a sweet love story, but it also gave such insight into the history, geography, social issues and racism of the times.”  Liz Cunningham,  Artist and Educator

Author Events:


Past Events

May 9, 2018, Columbia Elementary School, Fifth Grade class–Photos at Events

May 16, 2018, Swedish Club of Seattle–Photos at Events

July 19, 2018, Seaport Books, La Conner–Photo at Events

September 13, 2018., Watermark Books, Anacortes–Photos at Events

September 21, 2018, Village Books, Bellingham

October 24, 2018, Skagit Reliques meeting at the  Mount Vernon Senior Center–Photos at Events

October 27, 2018, King’s Books, Tacoma–Photos at Events

November 3, 2018, Scandinavian Fair,  Holiday Inn, Bellingham –Photos at Events

March 3, 2019, Liberty Bay Books, Poulsbo

April 5, 2019, Scandinavian Cultural Center,Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma

April 6, 2019, Vasa Lodge, Tacoma

August 3, 2019, 1 p.m. Tacoma Historical Society

To purchase Anna’s Home

Order from the author

Buy the e-book on Amazon now!

Purchase the paperback edition at

Village Books in Fairhaven and Lynden

Seaport Books in La Conner

Skagit Historical Museum in La Conner

Orca Books in Olympia

Secret Garden Books in Ballard

Watermark Books in Anacortes

King’s Books in Tacoma

PLU Lute Locker in Parkland

Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo

Tacoma Historical Society in Tacoma

Or contact the author at

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