Social realism and fairy tale combine in Lucky Per, a bildungsroman about the ambitious son of a clergyman who rejects his faith and flees a restricted life in rural Jutland for Denmark’s capital city. Per is a gifted young man who firmly believes that ‘you had to hunt down luck as if it were a wild creature, a crooked-fanged beast – and capture and bind it’. He falls in with Copenhagen’s Jewish community, and falls for Jakobe Salomon, a wealthy heiress, who is not only the strongest character in the book but among the great Jewish heroines of European literature. Per becomes obsessed with a grand engineering scheme that he believes will both reshape Denmark’s landscape and correct its minor position in the world. Eventually personal and his career ambitions alike come to grief.