Undset, Sigrid. The Master of Hestviken: The Son Avenger. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.
Reason read: to finish the series started in October.
Undset’s fourth and final book of the Master of Hestviken series is about finding forgiveness within one’s true identity.
Olav Audunsson now has a daughter of marrying age. He is dismayed when her first suitor is a teenage boy exiled for accidentally killing a man. History repeats itself as Aslak’s dilemma mirrors Olav’s past mistake, but Olav does not want to acknowledge this in any way. Instead of compassion for Aslak’s situation, Olav convinces his daughter to marry another. In addition, Eirik, the amoral and reckless son Olav has taken for his own has returned to Hestviken. Eirik’s life is also following the same path as Olav’s in that his relationships are troubled. His standing as a moral member of society is compromised. Olav is helpless and can only watch as Eirik struggles to make his way in the world as a decent citizen. Olav, Eirik, and Cecelia all journey towards forgiving one another as well as themselves.
Author fact: Undset also wrote the memoir, Return to the Future, which is on my Challenge list.
Book trivia: The Son Avenger is the last fiction I will read of Sigrid Undset’s.
Nancy said: Pearl called The Son Avenger part of the Master of Hestviken masterpiece.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Norway: The Land of the Midnight Sun” (p 162).