Category Archives: Classics

Kristin Lavransdatter 3: The Cross

The final book in Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy (translated by Tiina Nunnally) finds Kristin, Erland, and their sons back at Kristin’s childhood home of Jørundgård, thanks to Erland’s political machinations detailed in The Wife. They no longer have the wealth and influence … Continue reading

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Kristin Lavransdatter 2: The Wife

The second volume in Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, translated from Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally finds Kristin newly married and pregnant, learning to adjust to her new home at Husaby. Although she finally has the marriage she longed for for … Continue reading

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Kristin Lavransdatter 1: The Wreath

Sigrid Undset’s trio of novels set in 14th-century Norway tells the story of a young woman named Kristin, daughter of the prosperous farmer, Lavrans (hence the name Lavaransdatter). The first novel, The Wreath, translated by Tina Nunnally, was published in … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe

This 1974 novel by D.G. Compton is set in a near-future time period, when death by disease has been pretty much eradicated, leaving people to die of accident or old age. When a person does develop a terminal disease, they … Continue reading

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Twelve Years a Slave

Solomon Northup was a free black man who lived his whole life in New York until, in 1841, he took a job as a traveling musician. This job landed him in Washington, DC, where, despite possessing papers showing he was … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Memoir, Nonfiction | 4 Comments

Mrs. Ames

This 1912 novel by E.F. Benson focuses on the people of a little English town who don’t seem to have much to do except to watch each other and gossip about who is dining with whom and when. Mrs. Ames … Continue reading

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The Ladies of Lyndon

By just about any measure, Agatha Cocks is lucky in her marriage. Sir John Clewer, while older, is kind and seems fond of Agatha, and she will have the honor of becoming the mistress of Lyndon, a grand country house. … Continue reading

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The Doctor’s Wife

Ever since Kae was a little girl, she was fascinated by the Hanaoka family, especially Otsugi, a beautiful woman who married into the family. So Kae was delighted when Otsugi approached her family to ask if Kae would marry her … Continue reading

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My Mother’s House and Sido

These two novella/memoirs by Colette are fine examples of well-written books that appear to do exactly what they set out to do but that still fail to engage me. I can see that the writing is lovely and effective at … Continue reading

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Love in a Cold Climate

Nancy Mitford’s 1949 follow-up to The Pursuit of Love is more of a companion piece to the earlier novel than a sequel. She fills in a few gaps in the narrative here are there — like narrator Fanny’s own marriage — … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 4 Comments