The Bell in the Lake

The Bell in the Lake

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 19/03/2020
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Bell in the Lake
Ancient traditions and modern changes...
The book opens with the story about how the stave church in Butangen in Norway got it’s twin bells and the bells are said to ring on their own when there i... READ MORE
Emine at Bromley


"Love, suspense, nature and superstition are woven together in this powerful novel" MAJA LUNDE, author of The History of Bees "Lars Mytting writes with an insight, empathy and integrity few others can match" JO NESBØ "An exquisitely atmospheric novel . . . 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." DAILY MAIL THE TIMES' "Historical Fiction Book of the Month" The first in a rich historical trilogy that draws on legend, by a literary craftsman and the author of The Sixteen Trees of the Somme Norway, 1880. Winter is hard in Butangen, a village secluded at the end of a valley. The lake has frozen, and for months the ground is too hard to bury the dead. Astrid Hekne dreams of a life beyond all this, beyond marriage, children, and working the land to the end of her days. Then Pastor Kai Schweigaard takes over the small parish, with its 700-year-old stave church carved with pagan deities. 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. They are said to hold supernatural powers. 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. And then a stranger arrives from Dresden, with grand plans for the church itself. For headstrong Astrid this may be a provocation too far. Talented architecture student Gerhard Schönauer is an improbable figure in this rugged community. Astrid has never met anyone like him; he seems so different, so sensitive. She finds that she must make a choice: for her homeland and the pastor, or for an uncertain future in Germany. Then the bells begin to ring . . . Translated from the Norwegian by Deborah Dawkin Deborah Dawkin originally trained in theatre at Drama Centre, London, before turning to translation. Her translations include The Blue Room by Hanne Ørstavik and Buzz Aldrin: What Happened to You in All the Confusion by Johan Harstad, shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Awards in 2012. She is the co-translator of eight plays by Ibsen for Penguin Classics. With the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing
  • ISBN: 9780857059376
  • Number of pages: 400
  • Weight: 620g
  • Dimensions: 236 x 162 x 36 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Bell in the Lake
It was en excellent read, highly recommended
I found this story enthralling and atmospheric, one those story that makes you wonder and think. The plot, the historical background, the great cast of cha... READ MORE
The Bell in the Lake
Norwegian Historical Fiction
In a remote rural village in 1880s’ Norway, Astrid Henke dreams of a better life. The new pastor, Kai Schweigaard, intends to sweep away old superstitions ... READ MORE
Amanda Read
The Bell in the Lake
A very immersive story
Rich with Norwegian folklore, myths, local dialect and traditions, The Bell in the Lake starts with the first story which is the birth of the legend of "Th... READ MORE
Sarah Burton
The Bell in the Lake
A beautifully atmospheric read that ensnared me from the very beginning.
A beautifully atmospheric read that ensnared me from the very beginning. This book was that wonderful blend of historical detail, traditions and folkl... READ MORE
Rowena Andrews
The Bell in the Lake
Beautiful read
Such beautiful story telling. This story is told with a real sense of warmth and reminiscent of how stories have always been told and passed down through ... READ MORE
Lynne Packer
The Bell in the Lake
A wonderfully told Nordic folk tale
I loved this story set in a region of Norway that I visited in 2006. I didn't know that until I looked up Gudbransdal and realised that we drove through th... READ MORE
Sharyn Farnaby
The Bell in the Lake
Beautiful Historical Setting
This story is about the legend of the sister bells in a small town in Butagen, Norway. It follows our three main characters - Astrid Hekne, Gerhard Schonau... READ MORE
Josie-Leigh Crampton
The Bell in the Lake
Wonderful storytelling
This is a beautifully written and plotted historical novel (set in the late 1800s) which is well paced and full of wonderful descriptions of people, places... READ MORE
Shirley Williams