Kristin Lavransdatter

Well, things seem to be picking back up again. We have senior projects, QB tourneys, Math Club contests… and an English research paper. I’m reading Kristin Lavransdatter.

I haven’t finished it yet (I’ve read 1.1 out of 3 books, ~300 pages per book), but here’s some comments on it from what I’ve read so far:

  1. The author is clearly Catholic. (Well, actually, she was a convert and had not yet officially converted when she wrote the books – but she was in essence Catholic already.)
  2. She is also fairly orthodox, from what I can tell.
  3. And very much in the spirit of Opus Dei – that’s a good thing. Everyone I know who is in OD loves the books.
  4. It is set in Medieval Norway. ‘Nuff said. That’s +1 points right there.
  5. The author is female, and she is writing about a strongwilled woman in the Medieval Ages, but she is not making a feminist argument or anything like that. She actually was against women’s “emancipation” – she wrote in the early 1900’s.

So – this book has basically everything going for it. Anyone with the same worldview I do will go into this book with a lot of goodwill towards it. And rightfully so, I think. It is indeed a very good book.

Except… it is a book that is in a large part about relationships. Romantic love. The failure of romantic love when it is without real love, “agape”. Sexuality. Etc. All of this is stuff that I am not particularly interested in. It also deals with other issues, of course. But these are a key part of it. And they’re a part I don’t care all that much about.

Kristin Lavransdatter, then, seems to me to be an almost perfect book – but not for me, because the questions it raises and answers are not the most important to me (though they are to some other people). I will enjoy the book a lot, don’t get me wrong – but I know that many other people would enjoy it more.

I advise these other people to read it.


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