Calico Dance: Escape to Sweden tells about the life of a hypothetical family as they face the terrors of the Thirty Years’ War in their own soil. The year 1631 is the book’s focus, soon after the King of Sweden has invaded the German countryside. This family, and particularly their son John, is so impressed by the Protestant king and his army that they become followers, trusting him and his army to protect their Protestant cause. In the German state of Hesse, where they live, uprisings of soldiers and peasants take their toll upon their home and family. Their house is burned and land taken. Thus, they flee their homeland to head north.
In this historical fiction novel, the son joins the Swedish army and becomes a Swedish citizen while still in Germany. His example soon becomes a model for the family, including the two daughters, Karin and Jutte (You’ta), who are wandering nomads, homeless and looking for a peaceful and meaningful solution for their future. In their escape north, this family meets others who are also on the run. It is with sadness they leave Germany, but they gain hope for peace and stability for their family in this new culture and climate as they decide to become Swedes.