Go Set a Watchman

Giants in the Earth – Book I, Chapter I—”Toward the Sunset”

Summary Giants in the Earth opens with the narrator describing the prairie setting. The novel takes place in the unsettled Dakota Territory in the 1870s. Per Hansa, his wife Beret, their two sons Ole and Store-Hans, and their daughter Anna Marie (usually called And-Ongen), have traveled for three weeks across the Great Plains, from their …

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Giants in the Earth – Book I, Chapter II—”Home-Founding”

Summary As Hans Olsa builds his sod house, he stops every now and then to look for Per Hansas caravan on the horizon. He worries that Per may have gotten lost. Nearby, other settlers are building their houses. Hans, his wife, Sorine, and daughter, Sofie—along with their neighbors Syvert Tonseten and his wife Kjersti, and …

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Giants in the Earth – Book I, Chapter III—”Rosie!—Rosie!”

Summary The settlers realize that their food supplies are vanishing. The men plan a trip to town, seventy miles away, where they can buy provisions. They need food, clothing, tools, and farm equipment. Hans, Tonseten, and Henry Solum decide to make the trip to buy supplies for everyone else. Per feels sour because he wants …

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Giants in the Earth – Book I, Chapter IV—”What the Waving Grass Revealed”

Summary Happier than ever, Per believes that life is like a fairly tale. He dreams of the day when he will own a mansion and more land and livestock. Restless, he always works. One day, Ole and Store-Hans find a swamp brimming with ducks, and they excitedly tell their father about it. One Sunday, Per …

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Giants in the Earth – Book I, Chapter VI—”The Heart That Dared Not Let in the Sun”

Summary As winter approaches the prairie, the sky darkens, the days shorten, and the weather chills. Per Hansa works hard to prepare for the winter, always busy with dreams and schemes. He whitewashes the interior of the sod house, and he catches fish and ducks with his net. Beret grows more and more desolate, unable …

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Giants in the Earth – Book II, Chapter I—”On the Border of Utter Darkness”

Summary The full fury of winter hits the Great Plains. Beret regains consciousness from childbirth, but she can hardly believe that she is still alive. Life gradually returns to her as she realizes that she must take care of her family, especially the baby. Per treats Beret kindly, and she feels joy in taking care …

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Giants in the Earth – Book II, Chapter II—”The Power of Evil in High Places”

Summary Spring comes, and Per sorts his wheat seed, treating the seed like gold. In April, he impatiently plows and seeds his land before anyone else, and the work makes him happy. Tonseten, however, warns Per about the dangers of planting his crop too early. The weather turns cold again, and snow falls. Heartbroken, Per …

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Giants in the Earth – Book II, Chapter III—”The Glory of the Lord”

Summary Several years pass, and the settlement grows. One day in June, an itinerant minister arrives at Tonsetens home. Tonseten and Kjersti give their distinguished visitor the best food they have and invite him to spend the night. Throughout the evening, the minister asks them questions about the settlement. Later, Tonseten talks privately to the …

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