Kristin Lavransdatter: the cross

Undset, Sigrid. Kristin Lavransdatter: the Cross. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1939.

Sadly, the third and final volume of Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter called “The Cross” was just as melancholy as the last volume, if not more so. Spoiler alert! Everyone dies. The end.

We when catch up with Kristin in “The Cross” she now has seven children. Kristin’s brother-in-law, Simon, still pines for Kristin and it becomes painfully obvious when his only child becomes deathly ill and Kristin is there to care for his dying son. He dreams of Kristin caring for him rather than his family. It is obvious to everyone but they pretend to know nothing. Meanwhile Kristin and Erlend’s relationship continues to sour despite having a large family. Simon’s never ending love for Kristin and Erlend’s lost inheritance drive a wedge between the couple. They quarrel so badly Erlend moves out (just like a modern day spat). Oddly enough it is Simon (on his death bed) who convinces them to reconcile long enough to have an eighth child.
At this point in the story I am depressed by how many people have died off and how miserable Kristin is that I gave up reading. To make matters worse, my calico went missing last night. She trusts me so I thought the sound of my voice would draw her out of the woods. I read Kristin to her. Since it didn’t work I couldn’t bear to read it anymore.

BookLust Twist: for the third and final time – from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Digging Up the Past Through Fiction” (p 79) and from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Norway: Land of the Midnight Sun” (p 162).



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