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The Mistress of Husaby (Kristin Lavransdatter #2)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  1,243 ratings  ·  90 reviews
The acknowledged masterpiece of the Nobel Prize-winning Norwegian novelist Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter has never been out of print in this country since its first publication in 1927. Its story of a woman's life in fourteenth-century Norway has kept its hold on generations of readers, and the heroine, Kristin—beautiful, strong-willed, and passionate—stands with th ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 12th 1987 by Vintage (first published 1921)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,109)
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Barksdale Penick
The second book in the Kristin Lavransdatter series somehow reappeared in my life several months after I finished the first one, which I had loved. This tale is set in medieval Norway, which was united and relatively prosperous and had turned to Christianity recently enough that the old gods still held some sway here and there. Kristin is now married to a flawed man, but they love each other and raise 6 boys. I found the beginning a little slow, with debates about religion and faith going on for ...more
booklady
Oct 23, 2011 booklady rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
Recommended to booklady by: Carol Thelan
It's not hard to see why/how Kristin Lavransdatter (the trilogy) won the 1928 Nobel Prize for Literature. This saga is amazing in so many respects: authentic attention to detail, moving narrative and deep insight into the human psyche. I am longing for someone who has read the book, to discuss it with me.

The author has done a phenomenal job presenting the slower-paced, farming-based, medieval life, centered on traditional values marked by a calendar of saint's days. She describes the local folk
...more
Alex Marshall
Somewhat to my surprise, I finished this, part 2 of "Kristin Lavransdatter". Surprised, because in one way it's chick-lit -- 1920s mediaeval Norwegian chick-lit. Besides, it's heavy on the Church, sin retribution etc, and very slow and detailed. But the detail has its own fascination; if you've ever wondered what 14th-century Norwegian farming families ate for dinner, and what they wore while eating it, and who sat where, and what they talked about, not to mention how long they sat there and whe ...more
Beth
I enjoyed this even more than The Wreath...The characters really came alive for me in their complexity, and new depths to their personalities were revealed, often as the characters were experiencing revelation themselves. It was interesting to learn so much more about Kristin's parents and their relationship, and to watch Kristin grow to understand more about them. As we mature we are increasingly (hopefully!) able to see others apart from their relationship to ourselves and their importance to ...more
Yvette Kinney
The second of a three-book series. This one is similar to the first. Mostly discusses the Catholic church and its hold on the people, as well as bringing political issues into play. I am less and less enamored with the protagonist, Kristen Lavransdatter, as the series progresses. I understand that Undset is trying to write believeable characters that have good and bad qualities, but Kristen doesn't come across as believable to me. She jumps from being unrealistically smitten with her husband to ...more
Buffy
In this volume of Undset's epic, we see what Kristin's early marriage with Erlend is like. She bears seven sons, in rapid succession, and learns just how strong a bond motherhood brings. And how that strains her relationship with her carefree husband. An equally touching side story is her repentance for her misdeeds in Book 1 and her subsequent reconciliation with her father. The only reason it has four stars instead of five is because of my frustration with Erlend throughout the book. Not the a ...more
Lindsey
This book was slow-going for me, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I did The Bridal Wreath. Both Kristin and Erlend frustrated me to no end. I found it hard to be sympathetic towards Kristin because she held so many grudges against Erlend, even though he seemed to be treating her well in their marriage. Erlend is so rash, and it became apparent at the end of the book that he really will never grow up and take responsibility for his own actions. Nevertheless, I always enjoy the wonderful descripti ...more
Salma
هنا المراجعة كاملة عن الأجزاء الثلاثة
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
أما سيدة هوسابي: فهو الجزء الثاني من حياة كريستين، من انتقالها إلى ضيعة زوجها (هوسابي) و حتى محنته... في هذا الجزء سقطت الرواية من عالم الأحلام على أم رأسها إلى الواقع... خلافاتهما، حملها و ولاداتها المستنزفة للصحة، ادارتها شؤون ضيعة زوجها، قلبها المليء بالمرار اللامنطقي، المحنة التي نزلت بهم... يعني هي الرواية التي تخبرنا ما يحدث بعد أن يتزوج البطل من البطلة...0
و أظنها ستعجب الذين يميلون للروايات الاجتماعية، كما أن الش
...more
Lori
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alicia
I liked this 2nd Kristin Lavransdatter book even better than the 1st. My 1925 Charles Archer translation calls this book “The Mistress of Husaby”, but a later translator calls this book “The Wife”. Kristin realizes life isn’t all “happily ever after” after marriage, gives birth to 7 sons, tries to improve the unorganized estate she is now mistress of, tries hard to repent of her sins, accepts her “lot in life” quietly (and at times sullenly), and endures many ups and downs as a wife and mother. ...more
Pige
Alas, I trow, until I reached the last sixty pages naught else but the weight of payment of past sins, which laid so heavily on Kristin Lavernsdatter's thoughts and actions, began to fill my guilty mind too...
Until that is as I finished the last one hundred pages the action of a little political intrigue and treason changed the pace of it all. Now all I want is to pick up the third installment and keep going.
Angela
Jan 08, 2008 Angela rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction buffs
Recommended to Angela by: My Minneapolis-Scandinavian mother in law
This series is a wealth of cultural tidbits about Medieval Europe, Norway, Catholic neurosis, native paganism, and it's a gossipy, literate story, too! There were aspects that were very difficult for me to stomach, but I couldn't put the books down. The novels paid off all the way up to the rather shocking but historically appropriate (tragic) ending.
Trina
Lots of children are born. Lots of marital strife occurs. Much like the Emperor Strikes Back, this middle episode of the epic trilogy is a dark and twisty coming of age for the central character, biding time until the cycle reaches it's nadir with the Black Death.
Wendy
The Wife is book two of the Kristin Lavrensdatter cycle, or trilogy, or life-story, or series...I'm really not sure what to call it. The first book, The Wreath, follows young Kristin's first 19 years as an unmarried maiden in 14th century Norway, ending with her wedding. Book #2 picks up with Kristin's arrival at her husband's estate and follows the next 15 odd years of her married life, most of which is spent ill in bed, pregnant, or recovering from pregnancy. In other words, much happens and y ...more
Cheryl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan
These books are so well written its become a bit too easy for me to feel like Kristin and Erlend are real people. I've been irritated with the rash impulsive actions of Erlend all week. After he went to prison for treason I had to take a break and spend some time reading a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt instead.
The novel is written in a stream of consciousness so the reader dips in and out of several characters thoughts, making each one more complex. As I read I am gripped by how true and real
...more
James
The second instalment of noble laureate Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, The Wife, continues the story of Kristin Lavransdatter now that she is married to Erlend Nikulaussøn. She must manage the estate at Husaby and raise a ever-growing family while still coming to term with the consequences of her actions in the first book. Yet also, her husband becomes involved in a plot to install a rival king on the throne and this interweaving of historical action with the everyday lives of Un ...more
selena
Translated from the Norweigian by Tiina Nunnally

In the second part of Kristin Lavransdatter, we see a married and respectable Kristin. The story covers quite a few years. We see Kristin enter her bridal home, Husaby, give birth to all seven of her sons and finally, fight for Erlend's freedom.

In The Wife, there were fewer of the beautiful descriptions of the landscape which I so enjoyed. Instead, we saw the day-t0-day life of a mistress. Upon entering Husaby, it is very clear to Kristin that it n
...more
Becky
This is the second book of Undset's trilogy. Kristin Lavransdatter is indeed a sturdy person. Her tenacity and faith are tried many times in this novel.

I found this book (and the trilogy) to be compelling reading, staying up late and getting up early to read. Like some of the other Scandinavian literature, we hear about the gritty as well as the joyful parts of life.

I would recommend this book - and am halfway through the last of the trilogy, The Cross.
Isla McKetta
I remember finishing the first book in this series nearly 20 years ago and being devastated that I couldn't find the sequels in translation. Turning the final page on this book, I finally remembered why - these epic sagas read more like parts of one book than individual works and now I'm dying to read the next one. It's impossible to describe how compelling this incredibly detailed series about a mostly average woman in 14th century Norway is.
Kirsten
Two down, one to go. Having read this 15 years ago when I was pregnant with my last child, I realize there's much of these novels I'd forgotten. Although this series first appeared in 1920, and the story is set in Medieval Norway, the writing and relationships between the characters feel very contemporary, but not in an awkward or anachronistic way. Her rich descriptions of the landscape, mothers and children, husbands and wives make the story timeless. I'm also at a much different stage in my l ...more
Anne
Much better than the first one. The characters were much more 3-dimensional. But I am tempted to put together a spreadsheet to keep track of all of them, as well as who is related to whom.

I started this one because it was part of the trilogy recommended to me. I really was ambivalent about the first one. But now I'm looking forward to the last one.
Sarah
[read for the second time in March/April, 2014]

[May 21, 2011] Well, when I finished The Wreath, I wasn't at all sure I cared to continue with the trilogy...but as the weeks went on, guess what I couldn't stop thinking about? Kristin Lavransdatter. So I gave the second book a try, and what a difference a translation can make! Tiina Nunnally's recent version is far superior to the one I'd read before. As well, I think Kristin's character as an adult wife and mother is just a lot more interesting t
...more
Dominica
The Mistress of Husaby continues the story of Kristin Lavransdatter. Now married to Erlend, Kristin's life is hard, yet rewarding as she raises her eight sons and brings prosperity to Erland's neglected lands.

Once again, the novel excels in its lyrical descriptions of the characters and their roles in the landscapes of Scandinavia, although this novel is gritty than the first, The Bridal Wreath, as Erland and Kristin struggle with the realization that wedded life, with the constant round of back
...more
Cathy
Three stars might be too harsh, but four doesn't seem right either. Three and a half. The first book in this trilogy was much better. I didn't like the religious piety that is taken to an extreme in this book, especially considering that much of the piety is a result of the guilt Kristin suffers about premarital sex. Which I don't think is a big deal, and I sort of wonder if it was as big a deal in medieval Norway as the book makes it out to be. Then too, there are too many characters, insuffici ...more
Evija Kreišmane
I think this book was a little bit more interesting than the first one, because the characters became more alive and vivid. First 50 pages were really encouraging, but after that those small thnigs which make character alive gradually disappeared. And again... a lot of religion, a lot of descriptive parts and too less people's feelings, hopes and thoughts.
Ann Canann
I gave this trilogy to my own, Kristin Annsdatter, when she was a teen. She is my literary daughter, but I should have waited. Now that I am finally getting around to reading these same volumes myself I see that they can best be appreciated by a woman in her maturity.
This second impressive volume is a wonderfully detailed, unsentimental epic, which drew me into the mindset of a strong, yet ordinary woman in medieval Norway during her child-bearing and child-raising years. I came to care about
...more
Tom Johnson
Nunnally's translation is far superior to Archer's dismal attempt - can't help but wonder how Nunnally views Chater's translations of Sigrid Undset's Gunnar's Daughter and The Master of Hestviken tetralogy. The Wife continues in Sigrid's melodramatic fashion and succeeds wonderfully - at times it tends towards an overwrought religiosity but I struggle through word by weary word and then a blessed plot twist occurs and this plodding reader is sent galloping over the Norwegian fjells - and yes I r ...more
Carrie
Jan 27, 2009 Carrie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literature lovers
Recommended to Carrie by: goodreads
The second of three books in the Kristin Lavransdatter series that won the Nobel Prize in Literature. "The wife" continues the life story of a maiden and new mother in medieval Norway.

I would give it a 3.5. Interesting, well written and fantastic translation. This heroine is as well known in Norway as Huck Finn is in America. Of course, she is my hero of the week for delivering seven sons on a bed made of animal fur and straw with a stick between her teeth for the pain. Nice.


Author: Sigrid Undse
...more
Mary
Much better than The Wreath, with interesting characters and lots of history.
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Undset was born in Kalundborg, Denmark, but her family moved to Norway when she was two years old. In 1924, she converted to Catholicism and became a lay Dominican. She fled Norway in 1940 because of her opposition to Nazi Germany and the German occupation, but returned after the end of World War II in 1945.

Sigrid Undset received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. Most of the praise was for h
...more
More about Sigrid Undset...
Kristin Lavransdatter (Kristin Lavransdatter, #1-3) The Wreath (Kristin Lavransdatter, #1) The Cross (Kristin Lavransdatter, #3) Gunnar's Daughter The Axe (The Master of Hestviken, #1)

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“Many a man is given what is intended for another, but no man is given another's fate.” 28 likes
“Her heart felt as if it were breaking in her breast, bleeding and bleeding, young and fierce. From grief over the warm and ardent love which she had lost and still secretly mourned; from anguished joy over the pale, luminous love which drew her to the farthest boundaries of life on this earth. Through the great darkness that would come, she saw the gleam of another, gentler sun, and she sensed the fragrance of the herbs in the garden at world's end.” 11 likes
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