Giants in the Earth was O. E. Rolvaag's most influential novel. It chronicles the story of a group of Norwegian pioneers who make the long trek from a fishing village in Norway through Canada to Spring Creek, in Dakota Territory. Although the westward migration means opportunity, the settlers must contend with the isolation and monotony of prairie life; primitive housing; long, frigid winters, and crop-destroying infestations in summer. These conditions are hard enough for people of robust nature, eager for a new life, but for people of delicate sensibility, like Per Hansa's wife Beret, life on the prairie becomes unbearable. Giants in the Earth deals with timeless themes of immigration, fear and loneliness, myth, and religion. The novel does not end happily but it is, nonetheless, an exuberant sprawling work that has won consistent praise for its unsparing account of the spiritual as well as the physical experience of its characters.