Last night I stayed up FAR too late finishing The Bridal Wreath, the first book in the Kirstin Lavransdatter saga. Excellent, excellent, excellent.
The part that really resonated with me was the effect that sin had not just on Kristin and her intended, Erlen, but on the whole family. Kristin remains so determined in her sin, so willing to bear it onward--right up until her very wedding day. Then she is confronted with visions of those who were also hurt and involved, and those who had lived the same sort of sin before her. And she cannot be happy, even though she is winning all she sought. She knows that the sin will taint the future relationship, just a surely as it has tainted the relationship of Erlend's aunt and her husband.
...she knelt under the heavy bridal crown, and felt the dull, crushing weight within her--the burden of sin that she bore. She had played and wantoned with her sin, had measured it as in a childish game.
The book ends so sadly--and at the wedding that Kristin had so set her heart upon that she was willing to give up everything for it. It doesn't bring her happiness, it doesn't bring her joy, and she is having to reappraise already her new husband.
Oh, my. On to the next book in the trilogy. I can't wait.