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Kristin Lavransdatter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   When in Norway, I stumbled on a copy of Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. Curious, I bought the weighty book and began to read it. It was somewhat slow at first, but when I finished it, I discovered myself very much awed by what I had read.

In 1928, Sigrid Undset received the Nobel Prize for Literature for Kristin Lavransdatter. It is comprised of three books - The Bridal Wreath, The Mistress of Husaby, and The Cross - which tell the life story of Kristin, daughter of Lavrans Bjorgulfson. The reader is transported to fourteenth-century Norway during a time of political unrest. Born into a noble family, Kristin grows up following in the footsteps of her highly admirable father. However, the time comes when she meets the infamous Erlend Nikulausson, and falls in love with him. This love, combined with the will of adolescence suddenly changes her, drawing forth the passion and raw emotions of her true personality. By the force of wild, young love she breaks her betrothal to Simon Andresson and, against her father's wishes, weds Erlend. Kristin then learns that the marriage is not what she had hoped for, and suffers from going against her father. The years pass, and she faces joys and tragedies - the birth of her children, the death of her father, unexpected platonic love for Simon - and embraces them with vibrant flashes of her soul.

I highly recommend this book. One can relate to Kristin's feelings and state of mind, one of the amazing aspects of this trilogy.

This novel defies the myth that women lacked identity in the Middle Ages. Though she is required to behave in a certain manner, Kristin Lavransdatter is portrayed with the fire of life and love and the beauty of perseverance. Like any of us, she faces day-to-day struggles.

Because of the amount of political material, I also recommend it to history buffs and admirers of Norwegian/Scandinavian culture, geography and history. I learned about manor life, and the bitter altercations between kings and lords. With my heart in Norway, I could not help but feel content and yet crave to return to the beautiful country. This magnificent story is a long read, but should one put the time and the effort into understanding the story, he/she is guaranteed personal fulfillment.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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