- Also check our best rated Travel Book reviews
The Sixteen Trees of the Somme Hardcover – 10 Aug 2017
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
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 2017-08-20)
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 2017-08-18)
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 2018-01-26)
A 20th-century family saga of epic scale, by the author of Norwegian WoodSee all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
‘Because there was something about Mamma and Pappa’s story that was stirring, quietly, like a viper in the grass.’
As is often the case when unearthing secrets from the past, Edvard is forced to confront unwelcome possibilities and make agonising choices. Edvard’s search reaches back in time to WW1 and WW2, bringing to light painful facts from the past – death, injury, separation and betrayal – but also revealing stories of courage, determination and devotion. It provokes questions such as whether it is better sometimes not to know the truth, to be careful what you wish for, that actions have consequences even if unintended, and the fulfilment you seek may be closer to home than you think.
I found the story absolutely enthralling and I loved the fantastic sense of place created in each location. From the author’s beautiful, heartfelt descriptions, I felt as if I could look out my own window and see the farm in Norway laid out before me.
‘Redcurrant bushes dense with berries, the flag-stoned path leading to the swimming hole at the river, the creek which cut through the potato fields and disappeared from sight behind the barn. The fruit trees, the pea pods that dangled like half moons when we got close to them, so plentiful that we could fill up on them without taking a step. The dark-blue fruit of the plum trees, the sagging raspberry bushes just waiting for us to quickly fill two small plates and fetch some caster sugar and cream.’
In particular, I loved the way the author captured the remote beauty of the Shetlands and the sense of a community where everyone knows what goes on, who’s arrived on the ferry, whose car has just passed them on the road. The author roots the various parts of the story each in their distinct time, in particular, using popular music as the background to Edvard’s journey. (I get the impression the author is a bit of a music fan, perhaps attracted at some point in his life to a girl by the way she browses in a record shop.)
At times, Edvard feels as if he has come to a dead-end in his search but still he continues searching for clues, motivated by curiosity but also by a sense of obligation to the dead – those known to him and those victims of two world wars unknown to him: ‘I wanted to be someone the dead could rely on.’
As the author of the left-field hit, Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way (now also an activity book), it’s no surprise that wood is at the heart of the story. It is part of the plot in a number of ways – in fact, more and more ways as the story progresses – but it is also celebrated in the book for its form, history and beauty. Similarly, there is real regard for the craftsmanship that can fashion a piece of wood into an object of beauty, utility or religious symbolism.
The Sixteen Trees of the Somme has a compelling, enthralling story line with wonderfully atmospheric settings and well-developed characters. I was completely immersed in Edvard’s search for the truth about his parents’ death; like him, all the time fearing the dark secrets he might uncover but compelled to find out nonetheless. A fantastic book, highly recommended.
All a bit silly and utterly contrived.
This writer should stick to non-fiction.
PS. I read "The 16 Trees of the Somme" in english and I am totally at awe how a translation, a translator, can capture such a story, its essence and beauty of language ... kudos to Paul Russell Garrett for his excellent Norwegian into English transcription ...
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Brought up in Norway by his grandfather on his farm, he needs to know more...Read more