January, 2015 Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

Rosalie gave us only one choice to read in January; her favorite of all time is Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset.

(Book #57) While the other girls gave me a list of favorite books, Rosalie submitted only the name of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy. She hosted our first book of 2015 starting us out with a drink of mead which gave us all a nice little buzz. For dinner, we enjoyed salmon in honor of the Norwegian setting, asparagus and fingerling potatoes. For dessert she served a chocolate and hazelnut cake with real whipped cream.

Rosalie started the discussion of the book by saying that this was an important book to her when she was a young woman and remembers spending time by a pool when she told friends she couldn’t swim so that they would allow her to keep reading. After reading it again, however many years later, she said she recognized things that she’d responded to as a young woman, that didn’t have the same pull on her today.

Kristin isn’t the character I hoped she’d be. I couldn’t determine why she was so in love with Erlend before their love was made official and after — her only passion seems to be for remorse and atonement. I appreciated the depiction of Norway in the 14th century but the heavy overlay of religion was just more than enough for this reader.

On the way home from Rosalie’s we were hit with a full-blown case of Chicago style January weather! Chris told us that she slipped and slid all the way down Ridge but thanks to the mead, she did so with a big smile on her face. (I’m going to clarify here, that comment was for comedy only — when we leave a gathering, those who are driving are always completely capable of the task.) Chris hasn’t had a DWI for months.