This very short novel describes the betrayal and rape of a young woman by her suitor. As a single parent in medieval Norway, she struggles to gain acceptance in a rigid society. She seeks revenge for the injury done to her family and in the process risks losing what she holds most dear. The book is written in a style reminiscent of the Icelandic sagas, but is made more powerful for it. Although morally didactic, the impact is staggering.... Kristin Lavransdatter I: The Wreath
Kristin Lavransdatter grows up happy and loved, despite her sister's handicap and her mother's moods. However, this changes when she reaches the age for betrothal. Her childhood love is killed in a fight over her, which causes gossip in her home town. Her father finagles an honorable marriage for Kristin to Simon Darre, but she does not love him. While spending a year in a convent before her marriage, she meets Erlend Nikulausson, whose dashing ways win... Kristin Lavransdatter II: The Wife
Kristin has married Erlend and is racked with guilt for having conceived a child out of wedlock. She insists on a pilgrimage in order to receive penitence for her sin. The years pass, and with them, Kristin gives Erlend more sons. Erlend proves himself a less than competent breadwinner. But no matter what, Kristin is determined to stick with him. Erlend gets mixed up in an intrigue against the king. Now that she has the opportunity to leave him, will Kri... Kristin Lavransdatter III: The Cross
After her husband Erlend narrowly escaped being convicted for treason, Kristin Lavransdatter and her family moved back to her childhood home. The boys grow up, and some of them turn out more like their father than Kristin would have liked. Worried about what Erlend's actions may have done to her sons' future, Kristin and Erlend separate, although they retain the mental connection which originally bound them so many years ago. After Erlend dies, Kristin r...