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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kristin Lavransdattar: Volume 1 The Bridal Wreath - Sigrid Undset

Read for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.

I will freely admit to having barely any preconceptions of this book, going into it. I’d seen it mentioned in a couple of book blogs, and was intrigued by the idea of reading of 14th century life in Norway, written by a Norwegian (a Nobel-prize winning Norwegian author, at that).

This was a really interesting book. It tells of the early life of Kristin Lavransdattar, daughter of a wealthy Norwegian landowner. In what I would expect of the time period, she was engaged at a relatively young age to a young man named Simon Andresson. However, she falls in love with another man, and this story is how she and Erlend Nikulausson come to be married.

It’s a really interesting read, with a great slice of life in the Norwegian countryside, as well as in Oslo. There’s the life of the wealthy landowners, as well as life in the church. The landscape is lovingly described, and there were just the right number of footnotes to explain a few of the more obscure terms or ideas.

It’s a great modern romance, with an interesting view into life in a country I’m not as familiar with. There are two more volumes to the story which I will be keeping an eye out for.

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