This was quite good. It's sort of like one of those Willa Cather Prairie Trilogy books or a more adult version of Little House on the Prairie. Which is all to say it's about homesteaders/pioneers back a century and some ago. But, the difference here is we're talking about settlers in Canada, perhaps Saskatchewan or Alberta.
The protagonist is a repressed young Swede, who is very hard working. In his early time, he works like a dog for other people, saves up some money and gets himself his own farm/homestead. He works like a dog to set that up. There's a beautiful, young woman in a nearby homestead, Ellen, who can work like a man and whom Neils Lindstet finds attractive. But Ellen doesn't want to marry. She doesn't want to be someone else's property/drudge. Somehow, Neils gets entangled with Mrs. Lund, a "merry widow". Things go downhill from there. Will Neils ever get things straightened out, at least a little bit?