The Sixteen Trees of the Somme
By Lars Mytting
A 20th-century family saga of epic scale, by the author of Norwegian Wood
By Norway's bestselling novelist and the author of NORWEGIAN WOOD, a family story of epic scale.
Edvard grows up on a remote mountain farmstead in Norway with his taciturn grandfather, Sverre. The death of his parents, when he was three years old, has always been shrouded in mystery - he has never been told how or where it took place and has only a distant memory of his mother.
But he knows that the fate of his grandfather's brother, Einar, is somehow bound up with this mystery. One day a coffin is delivered for his grandfather long before his death - a meticulous, beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Perhaps Einar is not dead after all.
Edvard's desperate quest to unlock the family's tragic secrets takes him on a long journey - from Norway to the Shetlands, and to the battlefields of France - to the discovery of a very unusual inheritance. The Sixteen Trees of the Somme is about the love of wood and finding your own self, a beautifully intricate and moving tale that spans an entire century.
Translated from the Norwegian by Paul Russell Garrett
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- Publication date:
10 Aug 2017
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Mytting's book is as much a romantic historical thriller as it is a book of promise, a page-turner as it is a reflective journey into selfhood, history, life's meaning and individual moral responsibility — Mika Provata-Carlone, Bookanista
Mytting follows up Norwegian Wood with a mystery that fits together like a piece of fine marquetry — Christian House, Observer
The Sixteen Trees of the Somme is so cleverly plotted, and it builds up such effortless dramatic momentum as it zeroes in on its conclusion — Roger Cox, Scotsman
The tug of this book on the heart and mind is irresistible . . . And you will, I think, struggle to find a modern novel in which the emotional, imaginative lure of trees and wood is as powerful. — Michael Duggan, Catholic Herald Books of the Year.
Though the twists of discovery drive the plot, it is the intimacy with the natural world - as we might expect from the author of the phenomenally successful Norwegian Wood - that most compels us: potato-flowers, islets, storm petrels, walnut trees and walnut wood. — Paul Binding, Times Literary Supplement