Everything was taken from Undina. Her home, her horse, her dreams… it was all gone. At 14, she was forced from the fjords of Iceland by violent volcanic eruptions. At 23, she was forced from the tall pines of Lily Lake in Ontario by poor crops and heartbreak. She settled in the rugged lands of the Dakota Territory in 1881 with Jakob, whose alcoholism wreaks havoc on her life and those of her children. Every day was a challenge. Unbelievable tragedy struck her time and time again, and it almost destroyed her.
Undina refused to give up. With grit and determination, she built a life in the wilderness and is saved by her writing, courage, and the love of her father. This is the story of a female Icelandic poet who embraced beauty and found hope in the New World.
Undina and Jakob became a part of a new Icelandic community which promoted faith, art, and progressive social issues. Then, it all fell apart. She held onto a relentless hope and became an example of survival regardless of what she had to face.
This is a gripping journey of standing strong and finding light amid darkness. Though the night might be black, the stars can provide a sparkling beauty which carries one forward to a series of new dreams. The harder life became, the deeper her poetry went. In the end, she found a way that went beyond what anyone thought possible.
"A World Away From Home" is based on the true story of Helga Baldwinsdottir, the Icelandic poet who wrote under the name Undina. This work includes hundreds of her poems, translated into English for the first time. They capture her joy and playfulness alongside her pain and struggle as she embraces both life and death. This historical fiction explores the drama of an adventure-filled life intermixed with the poetry of her own words.
Undina overcame the most difficult of situations. She stretched beyond all that was hard and heartbreaking to that place where she truly thrived. This strong woman learned to embrace tragedy and melancholy, turning it into a wellspring of creativity, beauty, and ultimate meaning.
Here is the unknown story of one of the strongest and most tragic figures of Iceland, and perhaps of all literature. Once you've met Undina, you will never forget her.