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Om författaren

Lars Mytting was born in 1968 in Favang, Norway. His book, Norwegian Woods: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way, won Nonfiction Book of the Year from the 2016 British Book Industry Awards. His novel, At Swim with Those Who Drown, was awarded the Norwegian National Booksellers' visa mer Award and is now being made into a film. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
Foto taget av: Lars Mytting
Photo: Julie Pike


Verk av Lars Mytting


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Land (för karta)
Fåvang, Ringebu, Oppland, Norway



#ReadAroundTheWorld #Norway

This book is a captivating historical mystery set in 1991 but shifting back to events in the 1970s and WWII. Written by Norwegian author Lars Mytting, it begins in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway and moves to Haaf Gruney on the Shetland Isles and to Somme and Authuille in France.

Edvard Hirifjell grows up on a potato farm with his grandparents Sverre and Alma. After his grandfather dies a coffin arrives for him from the Shetland Islands from his supposedly long deceased brother Einar. Edvard is struck with the need to find out more about the mysterious Einar and also about the deaths of his parents back in the 1970s when they wandered into a forest in Authuille and were killed by unexploded shells dating back to the Black Watch Soldiers and the Battle of the Somme in 1916, wherein over a million lives were lost. There are also unanswered questions about an interval of four days when Edvard himself, as a small child, was missing, presumed kidnapped. All the questions take Edvard on a trip back to Haaf Gruney island, despite the protests of his recently returned ex-girlfriend Hanne.

On the Shetlands he soon meets the elusive Gwen Winterfinch, heiress to the Winterfinch timber fortune. Gwen is also searching for the invaluable timber harvested from the walnut trees in the forest at Authuille; trees whose timber is shaped and warped by the gasses from the war, in a forest owned by the Daveaux family of Edvard’s mother and grandmother, where Gwen’s grandfather’s men were wounded and died. The two of them work together, but unable to be transparent and honest with each other, race to find answers to what happened between her grandfather Captain Duncan Winterfell of the Black Watch, timber merchant, and his uncle Einar, master timber craftsman, and what happened to the sixteen trees.

This was an intriguing and complex story, occasionally I missed a few points, but I was caught up in the mystery, in the beauty of the timber, and the islands. This is an atmospheric tale that I thoroughly enjoyed. My only criticism was that neither romance felt convincing to me, and I did not find myself rooting for either woman. I would definitely recommend this book and would look out for another by Lars Mytting.
… (mer)
mimbza | 23 andra recensioner | Apr 7, 2024 |
Kringla | 21 andra recensioner | Mar 22, 2024 |
This book took me a long time to get through. It starts slow and is based on legends from a remote, mountainous region of Norway. Central to the story is a medieval stave church with a pair of oversized bells dedicated to the memory of sisters who were conjoined twins. They made their living weaving. In the 19th century one of their descendants with the same name as the mother, Astrid, of the conjoined sisters becomes the main feature of the story. She is the eldest daughter of a farm family, has had a little bit of education and longs for a life beyond her current station.

At first she is attracted to the new priest in the village, and he becomes enamored with her as she helps him to understand the people of the parish and their ways. This new pastor is determined to tear down the old stave church and replace it with a more modern building.

At an art school in Dresden, a student is selected to go to the village and oversee the dismantling of the stave church in order to bring it and the famous sister bells to Dresden as a museum piece for the queen.

When the German architecture student arrives, Astrid is drawn to him and a love triangle is formed.

Astrid uses as many ploys as she can to ensure that the sister bells remain in the village. But the three of them are outsmarted by the gentry from Dresden who arrive as the removal of the stave church begins.

It's a story about longing for elevation beyond one's station in life. And is filled with folklore, superstition, and the effects of the past upon the present.

It's the first of a trilogy. I'm not sure if I will continue if they are all 400+ pages.
… (mer)
tangledthread | 21 andra recensioner | Jan 11, 2024 |
A family chronicle that slowly, slowly takes you on a journey of love, grief, and loss spanning generations. There is beautiful prose that painted every place in my mind, in detail. I liked the way the mystery was gradually revealed. I was left with a feeling of gentle sorrow and a kind of catharsis.

My only complaint is Gwen - a character that quickly became unnecessary, unrealistic, and rather irritating. She felt like a piece of the puzzle that didn't quite fit.

Still, this novel will probably stay in my mind for a long time. Highly recommended.… (mer)
Alexandra_book_life | 23 andra recensioner | Dec 15, 2023 |



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