Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Completed: Kristin Lavransdatter

This week I finished reading Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath. This is the first book in a trilogy by Sigrid Undset and she won a Nobel Prize in Literature for this book in 1928. The Wreath is set in Norway in the Middle Ages and the main character is Kristin Lavransdatter, a girl in her early teens. The book tells the story of  Kristin's growing up, her betrothal to one man and her falling in love with another. Despite her youth and the time, she stands up to her family and follows her heart.  The detail about life in the Middle Ages in Norway is wonderful. Undset creatively describes the dress, architecture, customs and mores of the time.

I read this book because several people in one of my Goodreads groups wrote that this is one of their favorite books of all time. The book appealed to me for its coming of age themes and I am also half Scandinavian. However, while it was good and enjoyable to read, I was not as bowled over by it as others. It certainly kept me interested enough to finish, and I enjoyed the historical element of it. Still, it struck me as a well-written historical romance novel.

Will I read the other two books in the trilogy? I'm not sure. Without giving anything away, the ending of The Wreath was not completely as expected, so I am definitely intrigued and leaning toward picking these up at some point. But I won't race out to read them immediately.

I started Paul Auster's The Brooklyn Follies and it reads very quickly, so look for my review of that one soon.

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