Peder blames Susie for the timidity of her beliefs; Susie fears Peder's pride and skepticism. When political antagonism grows between the Norwegian and Irish immigrant communities, it threatens to split their marriage.
Against a backdrop of hard times, crisscrossed by Populists, antimonopolists, and schemers, Rlvaag brings the struggle of immigrants into the twentieth century. In Giants in the Earth the Holm family strained to wrest a homestead from the land. In Peder Victorious the American-born children searched for a new national identity, often defying the traditions their parents fought to uphold. In Their Fathers' God, Rlvaag's most soul-searching novel, the first-generation americans enter a world of ruthless competition in the midst of scarcity.
The University of Nebraska Press also publishes Peder Victorious and Paul Reigstad's Rlvaag: His Life and Art.