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Publisher's Summary

Jenny is the story of Jenny Winge, a talented Norwegian painter who lives a free and independent life in Rome. Betraying her own ideals, she has an affair, resulting in a child out of wedlock, and decides to raise the child on her own. Undset gives a gripping portrayal of a woman struggling towards fulfillment and independence, who at the same time wrestles with mental problems. It is written with unflinching honesty, which makes her story as compelling today as it was nearly a century ago. When Jenny was published in 1911, Undset found herself called immoral - "this is a side of the free, artistic life that the vast majority of citizens would rather not know." Most famous for her later, historical fiction set in Catholic, medieval Scandinavia, Undset stands revealed with Jenny, her first major novel, as an unsparing, compassionate, magnificent realist, the creator of works that are at once thoroughly modern and of enduring interest.

Public Domain (P)2016 Kristin Gjerlw

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Undset is an Astute Observer of Human Nature

KG Cross navigates the portrayal of both male and female characters with ease. She is able to lend emotion and emphasis to each character in such a way that you forget she is the story's narrator. She IS Jenny to me. Well done!

As for the story itself, it is classic Undset for those who are familiar with her work-starkly transparent writing that reveals word by word the beautiful and the brutal within each of the story's characters. So well has she captured various character traits that you will say to yourself "I know this person." She does an amazing job showing how small decisions pave the way to greater ones and ultimately change the course of one's life as well as the lives of those around them. There are dialogues that I listened to over and over because they were not only beautiful, but truthful in capturing the recognized and unrecognized desires of the human heart.

The first Undset book I read was "Gunnar's Daughter," which I could not put down. It is short compared to her other works-you can read it in one day. I would love to hear KG Cross' narration of it and hope that Audible makes that one available soon.

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  • 01-22-17

A very young Undtset

I loved Sigrid Undset's novel Sigrid Lavransdatter, for which she won the Nobel Prize in 1953. So I was surprised at this hopelessly romantic story, full of unnecessary adjectives and breathless emotionality. Then I noticed it was written in 1903 and that explained it. A very young piece, from a writer full of promise.