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Anna's House

Sale price€18.00

The Story Behind the American Colony in Jerusalem
Anna’s House tells the story of a young Norwegian girl whose family emigrated to America mid-19th century. Through willpower and iron determination she overcame personal tragedy, leaving America to establish a unique religious community in Jerusalem, the American Colony. Over the decades, members of the colony witnessed at first hand the shaping of today’s Middle East. Anna’s House is a gripping tale of personal struggles in a politically turbulent corner of the world.


'Masterful…It is a great accomplishment to keep a constant high level of suspense without affecting the historical correctness. The reader gets the feeling of learning yet is entertained. This is history at its best. '  
- Verdens Gang, Norway's leading newspaper   


'This is history at its best. Gripping story told with love and knowledge.'
- Dagbladet, Norway's foremost cultural newspaper

Size 150 x 230 mm
406 pages
B/W photographs
Rimal Publications
ISBN: 9789963610402

Book Reviews


Anna's House
Anna's House Sale price€18.00

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Charles E. Breed
Very interesting reading, excellent translation

I read Anna's House from beginning to end over a period of several days. I previously knew nothing about Anna Spofford, who became the spiritually charismatic leader of the American Colony in Jerusalem during the end of the 19th century. The author was very skillful at weaving the individual stories of the Spofford group and their charitable work with the political and religious leaders of the time into a fascinating history - very informative and quite relevant to our understanding of the Middle East today. The author's sensitive descriptions of the time and place through the individual people involved and their interrelationships on every level makes enjoyable, indeed consistently compelling, reading. My interest was completely engaged throughout the whole book.

Review by Appreciative Colony Ancestor

Here is a psychological and historical account of the life of Norwegian born Anna Spafford who became the leader of a group of millennialists in late 19th, early 20th centuries Jerusalem. After sighting her gravestone marked simply "Mother," as she was known to her devotees, author Odd Karsten Tveit, in true investigative style, unearthed what follows in this book. Anna's House chronicles the life of Anna and her communal household amidst the massive political upheavals that took place in the Middle East at that time. The translation by Peter Scott-Hansen is noteworthy.

Anna's House

Anna's House was an enlightening exposure to the difficulties of life and culture for immigrants in United States during the 1800's and the subsequent Middle East problems of the Arab and Jewish relationships. I found the book to a most interesting read, especially the early part of the book and most certainly the latter in detailing the conflicts in the establishment of the state of Israel.

Although I am familiar with the Middle East issues, I was unaware of who Anna Spafford was and the exact nature of Anna's House. The author has developed an eloquent work on the life of Ms. Spafford and her religious cult at the American Colony in Jerusalem.

A most worthwhile read for anyone interested in the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel as well as intrigue of religious cults in foreign lands.

Anna's House

ANNA'S HOUSE is a must read for students of the Middle East and for those intrigued by the psychology of religious cults. This book is an excellent companion piece to Jane Fletcher Geniesse's AMERICAN PRIESTESS, since both books detail the life of Anna Spofford who with her husband gathered a group of believers in the immanent second coming, traveled to Jerusalem, and there founded the American Colony. While both books tell the compelling story of a charismatic and infuriating woman, ANNA'S HOUSE provides further insights into the complexities of Arab/Israeli relations, from the origins of the Zionist movement in the 19th Century to the establishment of the state of Israel. Anna's daughter Bertha deplored the creation of the new state which was accompanied by the violence that has since prevailed, but was rebuffed in her efforts to share her knowledge and experience with President Truman and with officials of the United Nations.

For some readers, the political analyses may be of less interest than the biography, but the author has deftly combined his two major themes, something not easy to achieve. He and his translator have taken a large slice of history and turned it into a compelling page turner.

Barbara S.
A Reader Friendly History

Anna's House is a captivating account of the history of the American Colony in Jerusalem and it's founder Anna Spafford. The characters and the times come alive in this extremely well researched and well written biography. Fascinating from both a historical and psychological perspective, this is a timely review of the forces that influenced the structuring of the Middle East.

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