Karl Oskar leads his disgruntled wife to the spot he has chosen. Kristina is impressed, and they go to work. Karl Oskar fishes and clears the land. Kristina makes bread and cooks over an open fire. The men begin building cabins, and Robert catches a rabbit. Kristina is elated when they are given a cow. At the housewarming, we see in her face that she misses Sweden.
Kristina and Ulrika are now friends, and Ulrika plays midwife when Kristina's baby is born. They share a toast.
Schizophrenic Robert imagines he shoots an Indian. Karl Oskar has no respect for his brother. Snow scenes portray the Minnesota winter. In the spring, Robert and Arvid set out to dig for gold in California. Ullmann looks sexy at their parting, her long golden hair down on her shoulders.
Ulrika tells Kristina she is marrying a Baptist minister. She models a fashionable hat, and Kristina tries it on.
Karl Oskar struggles to pay the postage on mail from Sweden. Kristina is hit with an attack of homesickness. Karl Oskar consoles her in bed.
The sound of an ax is heard! There are new neighbors fresh from Sweden, religious fanatics unfortunately. Karl Oskar shows his newly planted Astrakan apple tree.
Ulrika brings her husband to meet Kristina. Ulrika, with her dimples, curly hair & upbeat personality, is the perfect foil for the serious-minded Kristina. Kristina defends Ulrika when the neighbors censure her for becoming a Baptist.
When Karl Oskar gets an ox, his harvest doubles. From his corn field, he espies the returning Robert. Robert is crazier than ever. Dream sequences follow in which we learn what happened to Arvid. Kristina suspects Arvid's fate when she finds his watch in Robert's bed. It is not long before Karl Oskar makes his brother's grave marker. Robert dies beside a running stream.
The Civil War makes Christianity versus self-defense an issue. Kristina is relieved when Karl Oskar flunks his physical.
Kristina's health dictates that there be no more pregnancies. She feels useless and refuses to sleep alone. To trust God or the doctor!
It is the Indians, whose presence has been felt throughout the film, that give the Swedes trouble. Karl Oskar and a trapper debate whether the land was stolen or made useful by farming.
The Sioux attack Sven Danjelsson's settlement. Terrible! The only good part is Sven's beautiful wife. She plucks a chicken and laughs with her kids as feathers fly.
The settlers mobilize. Karl Oskar stays with Kristina, who has miscarried. He brings her an apple. The tree beside their cabin measures their years in America. Kristina dies.
Memories and images of old age pursue Karl Oskar to his grave. The family picture shows his many descendants.