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.
"An intricate story about war, family, secrets and, yes, wood ... An engaging, satisfying read" The Times
"So cleverly plotted, and it builds up such effortless dramatic momentum as it zeroes in on its conclusion" Scotsman
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.
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
Translated from the Norwegian by Paul Russell Garrett
Lars Mytting, a novelist and journalist, was born in Fåvang, Norway, in 1968. His novel Svøm med dem som drukner (published in English as 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.
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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