I feel like I should name this post - Smart Women, Stupid Choices. Why is it time after time women (at least in books and probably in real life, too) are presented with a nice suitor. He's reasonably handsome, stable, will make a good provider, is nice, and most importantly is in love with the woman in question. Yet instead she chooses the wildly attractive bad boy who is going to give her nothing but grief and most importantly isn't even free and without attachments. Obviously from the beginning of time this has occurred, but some things never change! Of course it makes for good drama.
I was wondering what I would do in this situation. Simon seems like a nice enough man to be betrothed to, but I admit on first reading about this match, I was thinking that it all sounded a little dull. Maybe it is the idea of having other people choose your future husband and having little say in the arrangement. And then along comes Erlend. He's handsome, a little bit reckless and exciting. I fear, however, that these words are going to come back and bite Erlend in the posterior later in the story:
"Erlend pulled her close, kissed her, and then said, 'You must also have faith that my circumstances are bound to change. Now no one in the world has power over me except you. Oh, I thought about so many things last night as you lay asleep in my lap, my fair one. The Devil cannot have so much power over a man that I would ever cause you sorrow or harm, you who are the most precious thing in my life'."
"That I would ever cause you sorrow or harm". I have a feeling that Kristin's life is going to be filled with sorrow, but I'm just making a small prediction. I' m about 50 pages away from finishing the first book, The Wreath. Heather mentioned in the comment section of my last KL post that she was surprised by some of what happened in the first book and I have to agree. I don't want to give away any other details in case you are planning on reading the book, but I am a little surprised by how Kristin and Erlend's romance is progressing. I'm so curious about how things are going to play out and what will happen to Kristin and will this story end happily? Undset certainly keeps you turning the pages! How is everyone else coming along with the story? Has anyone moved on to the next book, The Wife? I hope to get to it in the next few days.
Most people have commented on Undset's eloquent descriptions of Norway. I thought I would share a few that I have chosen randomly. You get a very nice sense of place in this novel:
"Kristin came home during the loveliest time of the spring. The Laag River raced in torrents around the farm and the fields; through the leaves of the alder thickets the stream glittered and sparkled white with silver flashes. The glints of light seemed to have voices, singing along with the rush of the current; when dusk fell, the water seemed to flow with a more muted roar. The thunder of the river filled the air over Jorundgaard day and night, so that Kristin thought she could feel the very timbers of the walls quivering with the sound, like the sound box of a zither."
"Haugen lay high up on the slope on the west side of the valley. On this moonlit night the whole world was white. Wave after wave of white mountains arched beneath the bluish, washed-out sky with few stars. Even the shadows cast across the snowy surfaces by rounded summits and crests seemed strangely light and airy, for the moon was sailing so high."
Thanks to everyone who is reading along for leaving comments. It's interesting to read other reader's thoughts! Knowing that I am going to post once a week on KL helps me keep on top of the story, though in this case it's not a book I feel like setting aside in favor of another novel!