Mallast tells the story of author Bob Prevosts ancestors, August and Rosina Mallast, and their seven children. Their migration from Prussia to America in the late eighteen eighties was prompted by Augusts fear for his oldest sons impending requirement to join the military. Having fought in several wars himself, he sees safety and opportunity in America. Upon arriving, the family focuses on their desire to become farmers in Michigan. This novel shares the hardships, decisions, and successes experienced by all of the members of the family over a period of several years before and after their arrival in America. This novel allows us to see them finding farmland to rent while saving to purchase a farm of their own, as well as watching their seven children grow and begin to have dreams of their own. Through research and family memories, Prevost invites readers to see what life was like for his ancestors, the Mallasts, and what the American dream meant to and afforded them.
It is a well-researched novel that tells of the triumphs and hardships faced by Prevosts ancestors as they migrated from Prussia to America in the eighteen eighties. The details, names, and time frames show the obvious time and dedication Prevost invested to collect accurate information about this time in his familys history to create this novel. He even states that most of the information came from direct relatives of the Mallast family, such as his cousin, mother, and one-hundred-and-two-year-old aunt. While dialogue between characters is limited, as actual conversations could not be recreated, the novel could have been enhanced if there was more dialogue between characters. Overall, Prevosts ability to paint a vivid picture of the Mallast familys journey through this novel allows for an interesting read for those who enjoy fact-based historical fiction.