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Jenny

Narrated by: K. G. Cross
Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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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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All a bit dreary

I am forcing myself through to the end but this book so far (on part two now) is all a bit dreary. Sadly, although this may just be me, I also find the reader’s accent distracting and not in a good way. Sorry

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-08-17

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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  • Mountain K9iner
  • 23-04-19

Captivating Performance of a Tragic Story

Jenny is the story of a young libertine artist at the beginning of the 20th century. She constructs a system of virtue for herself that keeps her from the self-destructive excesses of her friends, though her natural compassion keeps her from condemning them. The weakness of her system of virtue is that it provides no path of redemption for serious moral failure. When Jenny violates her own moral compass, she is at a loss for how to regain her former sense of dignity and purpose. Further, her moral failures have their own natural consequences which entangle her even more deeply in despair.

Even though this was written some 14 years before Undset's conversion to Catholicism, the story reveals that her instincts about human nature and human experience were well-tuned to the patterns of thought and emotion that accompany our deep need for redemption. Undset does not create a fictitious universe where moral failures have no serious consequences. Jenny's failures have repercussions far beyond herself.

This is a difficult and tragic story, but the compelling narration by K.G. Cross will keep you engaged until the very end.