Much of the local detail is inevitably lost in English, but translator Deborah Dawkin has gone to great lengths to create an equivalent of the rural vernacular, and the result adds wonderful texture to the translation. Both a mixture of legend , family history and description of their settings. However, very little has changed in Butangen, or ever seems likely to. But destroying a church that has been in the village for so long and which is inextricably linked with the inhabitants’ beliefs is fraught with difficulty. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. “The village was twenty years behind its neighbouring villages, which were thirty years behind Norway’s towns and cities, which were fifty years behind the rest of Europe.” That tension between old and new, change and tradition forms the heart of the novel. Astrid's family has declined economically, working their fingers to the bone on the farm, struggling to eat, but are still honoured by locals. Knowing what I know, I am surprised that I was drawn to this piece of fiction. Apparently this is the first of a translated trilogy by Norwegian author, Lars Mytting, yet this marvellous historical novel already feels epic in scope, richly descriptive and so detailed when it comes to the Stave churches and their history. The Bell in the Lake is based on local myths and real people, and you can sense the hours spent by the author sleuthing through old church records for material. Looking forward to the rest of the Trilogy! In a remote village out in the wilds of Norway, there is a legend of a pair of conjoined twins who lived on the most prosperous farm in the area and were brilliant weavers. A beautiful historical fiction based in rural Norway in the 19th century this novel is steeped in Norwegian folklore and myth. The Hekne farmstead was one of the earliest settlements in Butangen. E-mail after purchase. Thenoastor has his eye on her too. • The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting, translated by Deborah Dawkin, is published by MacLehose (RRP £16.99). Strongly recommended if you like historical fiction. Hundreds of years later and that stave church is about to be sold off to the people of Saxony in order to fund a new, more comfortable church. A young headstrong woman, Astrid Hekne, feels a deep inner urge to see and experience life and knowledge beyond her tiny remote village of Butangen as she turns down local suitors for her hand. Boy oh boy - this was a good one! The lake has frozen, and for months the ground is too hard to bury the dead. Not only did I spend some childhood years in Decorah, IA (google Norwegian and Decorah together, or even Vesterheim if you are an American interested in Norwegian heritage) but I’m about 25% Norwegian myself. Although there is the occasional awkward phrase, The Bell in the Lake is a beautiful example of modern Norwegian folklore. The novel is constructed around compelling dichotomies. Inspired by that story and by the real-life move of a stave church from Norway to what is now Poland, he embarked on a trilogy in which history and myth mingle to determine the future of an isolated village. A real slow burn that is interesting and evocative and draws you in immediately. The very human emotions of greed, love and obsession are all recognised. The Bell in the Lake does what fiction promises: to steal you away to another world and ask you, if unfairly, to leave a little of your heart behind" DEREK B. MILLER, author of Norwegian by Night"Lyrical, melancholy and with beautifully drawn characters, this pitches old beliefs against new ways with a haunting delicacy that rings true." To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Please try again. Delighted to discover another novel had been translated into English. Lars Mytting er en norsk journalist og forfatter. Strongly recommen. Free UK p&p on … The villagers are wary of the pastor and his resolve to do away with their centuries-old traditions, though Astrid also finds herself drawn to him. "Rich, sinuous prose . Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book. The two bells in the tower were forged by Astrid's forefather in the sixteenth century, in memory of conjoined twins Halfrid and Gunhild Hekne. The novel opens in 1880 in the Norwegian village of Butangen, where young and ambitious Kai Schweigaard has just been appointed pastor. Approved third parties also use these tools in connection with our display of ads. - I guarantee your interest will be piqued as mine was. June 16th 2020 Sorry, there was a problem saving your cookie preferences. The bells commemorated the long dead conjoined twins, Halfrid and Gunhild Heckne, donated to the local church by her family, steeped in folklore, myth and legend, the bells ring by themselves in times of danger. Life is hard in the village, due to the tremendous cold and difficulty in farming the high-up land, but for most of the villagers this daily struggle is so routine that they are too fatigued to wish for anything else. A legend from Mytting’s hometown tells of two centuries-old church bells that, like conjoined twins, were never meant to be separated. The Hekne farmstead was one of the earliest settlements in Butangen. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. . Lars Mytting’s The Bell in the Lake, is the first instalment in a projected trilogy, now available in an English translation by Deborah Dawkin. Astrid Hekne is a descendant of the sisters and despite her attraction to a German visitor also feels the pull of tradition and fears that the loss of the sister bells will harm the village. Look forward to visit the settings there in the future. Last modified on Thu 9 Apr 2020 21.09 EDT. 4.5 stars. His novel The Sixteen Trees of the Somme) was awarded the Norwegian National Booksellers' Award and has been bought for film.Norwegian Wood has become an international bestseller, and was the Bookseller Industry Awards Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2016. Lars Mytting’s The Bell in the Lake, is the first instalment in a projected trilogy, now available in an English translation by Deborah Dawkin. A fascinating story of Norwegian stave churches , the harsh life of rural villagers, a Pastor new to the village, a German architect, a young woman and the legend of the two bells. This really is a historical tale come to life in the finest of ways. . "Each farm was a self-sufficient kingdom...grand folk and humble folk never mixed, generation after generation kept to the same farms..." "When Christianity came to Norway, the Butangen folk built an elaborate Stave Church, a masterpiece in ore-pine with ornate carvings, dragon heads and a proud spire...the carpenters worked very hard to please all the gods just in case Odin and Tor were still active". This was rich in detail and had many touching moments. As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to... To see what your friends thought of this book. The church was completed in 1170. "Love, suspense, nature and superstition are woven together in this powerful novel" MAJA LUNDE, author of The History of Bees"An exquisitely atmospheric novel . situation. Norwegian Wood: The guide to chopping, stacking and drying wood the Scandinavian way, Iris Ohyama Extendable Telescopic Clothes Airer Without Drilling, White, 5 x 65/95 cm, GREAT ART Poster - Pirates - (59,4 x 42 cm) Mural Decoration Adventure Pirate Ship Sea Treasure Island Animals Treasure Children Boys Girls Illustration Comic Wall Decoration Picture - DIN A2, Arlent Transparent 1008pcs (504pairs) 1cm Diameter Sticky Back Thin Clear Dots with Adhesive Hook & Loop Coins Tapes. It all centers around a small town and a stave church, and if you don't know what a stave church is - look it up quick! Set in a small remote poor farming community in Butangen in the frozen far north of Norway around 1880, The Bell in the Lake is the first book of a proposed trilogy that it would appear is going to develop into a grand family saga. Not so Astrid Hekne, a spirited young girl who dreams of ‘more’, but isn’t sure how to get what she dreams of: travelling beyond her small village, and most of all avoiding the fate of all young women there: becoming a wife and bearing children to carry on the burdensome toil of farming. Booktopia has The Bell in the Lake, The Sister Bells Trilogy Vol. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness. The new pastor, Kai Schweigaard, wants a new church for his community and to raise the necessary money he decides to sell the old stave church to Germany for re-erection in Dresden. a beautiful example of modern Norwegian folklore" GUARDIANTranslated from the Norwegian by Deborah Dawkin. All rights reserved. Well-paced, well-written and well-crafted, this lyrical and atmospheric tale of life in a small farming community in rural Norway in the 1880s is a real delight. Astrid Hekne dreams of a life beyond all this, beyond marriage, children, and working the land to the end of her days. Buy The Bell in the Lake: The Sister Bells Trilogy Vol. Quick and inquisitive, Astrid hungers for the outside world; she is not like the average Butangen girl, who will marry, bear children and return to care for the livestock “with the afterbirth still steaming behind her”. . He plans to build a new church replacing the old.
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