Monday, March 29, 2010

Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wife

I just finished Kristin Lavransdatter II: The Wife and is still fascinated with Medieval Norway, more so than after book one, which was great. Here Undset takes Kristin to Husby and her husband Erlend's other estates. She knows no one and the estates are in complete disarray because Erlend is such a poor manager. In time she wins the respect and affection of the servants and things fall into place. Yet she does face great hardship from childbirth, which was hazardous at the time, and dealing with her own guilt and complex feelings about her marriage and her past. In addition, there's political turmoil in the land, which Erlend gets caught up in. He opposes the king and gets involved with a scheme to depose him. In time this is discovered, through Erlend's own stupidity.

Undset describes the era and emotions with authenticity and art. Great reading.

1 comment:

Susan said...

My review doesn't do the book justice. The plot seems unoriginal, but the language, interior dialogs and descriptions are masterful.