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The Soul of the Family Tree

Ancestors, Stories, and the Spirits We Inherit

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Westminster John Knox Press
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Growing up in a passionately Norwegian-American Iowa town, Lori Erickson rolled her eyes at traditions like Nordic Fest and steaming pots of rømmegrøt. But like many Americans, she eventually felt drawn to genealogy, the “quintessential hobby of middle age.” Her quest to know more about the Vikings and immigrants who perch in her family tree led her to visit Norse settlements and reenactments, medieval villages and modern museums, her picturesque hometown and her ancestor’s farm on the fjords.

Along the way, Erickson discovers how her soul has been shaped by her ancestors and finds unexpected spiritual guides among the seafaring Vikings and her hardscrabble immigrant forebears. Erickson’s far-ranging journeys and spiritual musings show us how researching family history can be a powerful tool for inner growth. Travel with Erickson in The Soul of the Family Tree to learn how the spirits of your ancestral past can guide you today

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Lori Erickson is one of America's top travel writers specializing in spiritual journeys. She is the author of Near the Exit: Travels with the Not-So-Grim Reaper (which won a Silver INDIES Award for 2019 Religion Book of the Year from Foreword Reviews) and Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic Traveler, and Better Homes & Gardens, among others. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa, with her husband.
Near the Exit
Travels with the N...
by Westminster John Knox Press
Lori Erickson
List Price $19.00
Sale Price $12.35
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The Soul of the Fa...
Ancestors, Stories...
by Westminster John Knox Press

“Guided by her Viking foremother Gudrid the Far Traveler, Erickson discovers the well of wisdom by the roots of every family tree—those stories that influence our inner lives—and celebrates the explorer in all of us.”

—Nancy Marie Brown, author of The Far Traveler and The Real Valkyrie

“This truly entertaining book should be on the shelf of everyone who is interested in family history, genealogy, or who has ever wondered, ‘Where do I come from, really?’”

—June Melby, author My Family and Other Hazards


“Deftly navigating the promises and perils of DNA testing, ancient sagas, family lore, historical reenactments, homelands, hometowns, and stupid graffiti left behind by your ancestors, The Soul of the Family Tree takes us on a journey into human identity that’s both fun and profound.” 

—Scott Samuelson, author of The Deepest Human Life and Seven Ways of Looking at Pointless Suffering

“Lori Erickson has put together a must-read for all fans of genealogy. Her journey is one that will inspire everyone to dig in and experience the power of knowing their ancestral roots.”

—Brian Gerard, pastor and winner of Swedish American reality show Allt för Sverige, season 1

“Captivating . . . I lite

“[Erickson] brings a light heart, an old soul and a deep understanding to her subject of how tracing our genealogy can deepen our spiritual lives.”

The Gazette

“The Soul of the Family Tree will appeal to readers of Erickson’s previous books specializing in spiritual journeys, anyone interested in genealogy and Norse or Viking culture and history, and to those who have enjoyed similar titles like The Lost Family Tree by Libby Copeland and The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu Partanen.” —The Norwegian American Genealogical Center 

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