The Bell in the Lake

The Bell in the Lake

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 01/10/2020
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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 Schoenauer 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.

  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing
  • ISBN: 9780857059390
  • Number of pages: 400
  • Weight: 276g
  • Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 28 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Bell in the Lake
A delightful 1880s tale of life in remote valley village in Norway
Astrid Hekne has already declined two proposals of marriage. Having been raised in the remote village of Butangen in Norway in the 1860s, she believes life... READ MORE
Robert Parkhouse
The Bell in the Lake
I was sent a copy of The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting to read and review by NetGalley. This is quite an extraordinary book! I was totally transported... READ MORE
The Bell in the Lake
Atmospheric read, full of love, hardship, sadness, happiness and legends.
Set in a small village in Norway from 1880, we follow the life of Astrid Hekne and the history of her family as it relates to the village church and the Si... READ MORE
Julie Friar
The Bell in the Lake
Clever and gripping once you get into it
Set in a cold Norway, this story starts off a bit slowly in my opinion, but bear with it, it gets really good. The new pastor, Kai Schweigaard looks set t... READ MORE
Lucy Williams