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The Sixteen Trees of the Somme

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  3,577 ratings  ·  355 reviews
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 thi
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Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by MacLehose Press (first published September 26th 2014)
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Louise Jeg tror det må være Hanne. Det er i hvert fall det som slutten indikerer.
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,577 ratings  ·  355 reviews


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Paromjit
This is a stunning novel by Lars Mytting translated from the Norwegian. Edvard has grown up with his grandfather, Sverre, on a remote farm in the mountains. He has learned the family trade of potato farming and keeping sheep successfully. It is a lonely life, living in a small community where everyone is curious, know everyone's business and are unforgiving at times. Sverre's death hits Edvard hard as he ponders over his future and the mystery of the beautiful art deco coffin, handmade many year ...more
Paromjit
I am reposting this review as my original has disappeared on this site!

This is a stunning novel by Lars Mytting translated from the Norwegian. Edvard has grown up with his grandfather, Sverre, on a remote farm in the mountains. He has learned the family trade of potato farming and keeping sheep successfully. It is a lonely life, living in a small community where everyone is curious, know everyone's business and are unforgiving at times. Sverre's death hits Edvard hard as he ponders over his futu
...more
Miriam Smith
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely ADORED "The Sixteen Trees of the Somme" beautifully written by Lars Mytting and found it powerful, poignant, thought provoking and very rich in emotion.
'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 b
...more
Ingrid
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. A journey from Norway to Shetland and France to solve a personal mystery. Very well written, it felt like watching a film. Been to the area in France, been to the Thiepval Memorial. Lars Mytting described the haunting atmosphere very well. Read it in Dutch.
Jeanette Lewis
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes when a book is translated into English the music of the original language is lost. I feel that this read has been beautifully translated and the very essence of the original book is in tact. Lars Mytting is a master story teller, creating an intriguing, complex and beautiful read. He has woven different elements of time, people of different countries thrown together from life’s decisions, war and touching on events of history. Edvard, (Édouard, Edward) Hirifjell (the 3 versions are rel ...more
Zuky the BookBum
I’m going to start this review off with an apology at the quality of it. I’ve tried and tried to think of some things to say about this book but my mind is drawing a blank. I read this novel during a bit of a slump and I feel as though I just drifted through it.

I know I enjoyed it, not as much as I’d hoped, but enough to not dislike it. And I know that it got very emotional and I had a bit of a cry fest at the end. But from there, I’m a bit stuck… How do I do this review thing again?

Characters i
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Ann-sofie
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
En fantastisk berättelse som har hållit mig i ett hårt grepp sedan jag slog upp boken.Jag tänker på researchen som gjorts, resorna som måste ha genomförts. Att jag vill åka till Shetland, till Norge och kanske också till de där ställena i Frankrike.
Cathy
Find all my book reviews, plus author interviews, guest posts and book extracts, on my blog: https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/

The death of Edvard’s grandfather, Bestefar, and the facts that come to light as a result, change everything for Edvard. They see him embark on a journey that will take him away from the isolated Nowegian farm where he has grown up to the Shetlands and France as he searches for the truth about the cause of his parents’ death and the four days afterwards when he was
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Kylie H
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, netgalley
I started this book with no expectations and I am finding it hard to put into words how I feel about the book. The book moves from a remote farm in Norway to an isolated island in the Shetlands. It has a lot of beautiful prose and descriptions that made scenes vivid and real. In that respect the story was rich and wonderful.
The characters however were quite shadowy. Edvard the main character never really reveals himself and I felt as though information about him was being withheld. The other cha
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Karin Baele
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lang geleden dat ik me nog zó in een verhaal verloren ben. Gelukkig is in deze vroeghete zomer een snel slaatje uitstekend te verantwoorden en is nachtlezen evident bij de huidige slaapkamertemperaturen. Ik wil maar zeggen: meeslepend, goed geschreven verhaal maar hou rekening met kans op vervoering.
Fride
Dec 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over-hypa til de grader. En spennende fortelling, for all del, men karakterene mangler dybde og språket er til tider usammenhengende og klisjéfylt.
Roman Clodia
There's a good - if rather familiar - story here but my, Mytting takes his time telling it! It seems to be a Scandinavian thing to write in a loose, circulatory, baggy kind of way with lots of musings and maneuverings around the main thrust of the story. Add in some risible similes ('he sat there like a wax figure in a German fighter jet'; 'she was quiet and guarded like an old floor clock') and lots of inset stories prefaced by a 'she told me that...' and I was a bit hard pressed to stick with ...more
Calzean
The author can string together some beautiful words. He brings to life his love of wood and links this to a family mystery, Shetland Islands role as a WWII base for Norwegian operations, WWII concentration camps and the Battle of the Somme during WWI. That's a pretty interesting pot-pourri.
While the premise of the book is great, the various relationships and coincidences including kissing cousins, a lost toy dog and family connections were a bit clumsy for me.
 Sophia B
4.5 He is a great storyteller - Mytting! So what if Stockholm will never call him for his lack of experimentalism or poetic prose. This is a very good novel of a very good storyteller. When did being a good storyteller become something so negative.. I enjoyed this and I am not afraid to say so. Even though the lit-snobs say it is no good. Mytting and his book are "whole wood" - the real thing. "Whole wood" burns the best, who can say the same for the artistic kind..
Shawn Mooney
Dec 11, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Bailed after the first three chapters. It started out so good and seemed like it was going to be a lush, literary novel; unfortunately, it soon shrank down to a mere mystery story, with all that genre’s annoying conventions. No thank you.
Lisa
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Sixteen Trees of the Somme is a multi-textured novel: a coming of age story, a quest for identity, a family saga and an intriguing mystery.  It tells the story of a young man who wanted to be someone the dead could rely on but who ultimately finds himself wanting to be ‘normal’, to get on with his real life, and to belong in his community.
A mystery about his early childhood haunts Edvard Hirifjell.  In 1971 when he was three, his parents Nicole and Walter left the Hirifjell farm near the Nor
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Mieke Schepens
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een roman in vijf prachtige delen, waarvan elk deel begint met hoofdstuk 1.
Verteld door Edvard, geschreven in de ik-vorm.
In het eerste deel lees je iets wat ook later in het boek weer terugkomt;
'Voor mij was mijn moeder een geur.'
Een verwijzing naar de titel komt al snel in zicht: 'Mijn opa zei dat hij me ook niet meer kon vertellen, dus nam ik mijn vragen mee naar het vlamberkenbos op de heuvel achter de boerderij.'
De liefde voor hout en houtbewerking komt door het hele boek heen tot uiting. M
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Tanja Berg
This was a truly well-spun tale on family history and secrets. The main character Edvard decides to dig in his past after his grandfather Sverre dies. When Edvard was a little child, both his parents died in France and he disappeared for four days. No one knows what his parents were doing there, nor where he disappeared to. There is also Sverre's mysterious brother on Shetland, which is the first trail Edvard follows.

The story is layered and the truth of what really happened in France is buried
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Barbara
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gute Unterhaltung im besten Sinne: Eine Geschichte, die man am Abend ungern aus der Hand legt und sich am nächsten Morgen schon darauf freut, neugierig, wie's weitergeht. Dann ist einer der Schauplätze auf den Shetland Inseln und schließlich kommt auch eine Menge wunderschönes Holz vor, das man trotz oder gerade wegen der intensiven Beschreibung gerne auch in Natura anfassen und anschauen möchte. Ein Buch für fast jede/n.
metaphor
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lars-mytting
You cannot miss something you haven’t had, I told myself.
*
[...] these needs converged, so that it was just as difficult to leave as it was to remain, and from that day everything settled in the path I took, a path which gradually grew deeper and more habitual.
*
Let it go, [...] You’ll find nothing but old memories to torment you.
*
If you look at life as a whole, most of our conduct is second-rate. We are blind to the goodness people are prepared to offer us. We only half listen when someone tells
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Thebooktrail
description

A Norwegian- Scottish journey to the Somme - impressive!

Visit the locations and go on this amazing journey!

The Sixteen Trees of the Somme…wow, quite a novel and that’s in English so I can only imagine what it reads like in Norwegian. Hats off to the translator! Very impressive to get such lyrical and emotional language from the off and to keep it flowing so naturally throughout. It pulls on the heartstrings more because of this, and a fitting style for such a moving read.

Moving in every sense of
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Jennifer S. Alderson
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel-by-book
The Sixteen Trees of the Somme is a moving coming-of-age story about an orphan trying to unravel the mystery surrounding his parents’ death. The author successfully pulls you into the mind of this young man on a journey of self-discovery, love and loss. The descriptions of place – especially the Shetlands – are stark and harsh, yet intriguing.
Though this is not the type of novel I usually pick up (I’m more of a mystery/thriller kind of girl), this is an unexpectedly poignant novel, and one I am
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Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)
A slow start, but a book that captures you

It was the link to the battle of the Somme that brought me in. However, this is a small part of a moving and powerful story, of love, family loyalty and greed ranging across the First World War, into World War 2, 1971 and then to the present day.

I must admit I struggled with this book early on. I’m not sure if it’s the translation or the actual prose, but it did take some getting used to.

I stuck with it and was rewarded by an intense and cinematic story
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Ugnė
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norvegai
Nesu tikra, ar tik 4, ar visgi visos 5 žvaigždutės. Knyga įdomi (ir trileris, ir detektyvas, ir šeimyninė saga viename), tema man pačiai irgi įdomi (mama kartais juokais nusistebi, sužinojusi, kad mano skaitoma knyga yra ne apie karą ir/ar žydus), tačiau vietomis atrodė, kad skaitau lietuvišką filmą - veikėjas lyg ir galėtų veikti, tačiau užsiima visokiais niekais ir nesuprasi, ar laukia kažko, ar atidėlioja, ar tiesiog nenori.
Zai
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lecturas-2019
En el año 1971 una pareja noruego/francesa muere en extrañas circunstancias. Se sabe que iban en el coche con su hijo de tres años, y que estuvo desaparecido cuatro días, hasta que fue encontrado en una clínica a varias millas de distancia. Nosotros conoceremos a ese niño, Edvard, ya mayor, ha sido criado por su abuelo, siempre bajo la sombra de lo sucedido a sus padres. Cuando su abuelo muere a principios de los 90 a Edvard se le presenta la oportunidad de excavar en su historia familiar y tal ...more
Susana
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Una búsqueda de las raíces, las diferencia culturales, traiciones, secretos, un misterio cuya resolución no resolverá nada.

Altamente recomendable.
Encarni Prados
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ha sido una historia familiar llena de secretos, de heridas, de fatídicas casualidades. Un chico que busca la verdad del pasado. Me ha gustado mucho la forma de escribir de este escritor noruego que, en este caso, no se dedica a la novela negra. Os lo recomiendo a los amantes de la narrativa que, aparte buscan algo más, una buena historia, en este caso se aúnan las dos cosas.
Rachael
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm still slightly undecided on this book...
Mytting is a highly skilled writer (as is Garrett as the translator) and this was very evident right from the start of the novel when Edvard discusses his mother.
The reason I'm undecided is that I did not find Edvard very engaging and I found the character of Gwen particularly annoying. I wonder if it was because Gwen was written for a Scandinavian audience Mytting made her almost a caricature of how they see the British upper classes. The older gener
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Jan Koster
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinerende duik in het verleden. Laat de gevolgen zien van WO II die families heeft verscheurd en waarvan de gevolgen nog generaties later doorwerken. Zie mijn recensie http://jkleest.nl/2016/07/vlamberken-...
Leo
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gelezen-in-2017
een absolute aanrader, prachtig verhaal, bijzonder goed verteld.
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Lars Mytting er en norsk journalist og forfatter. Mytting har arbeidet som forlagsredaktør og journalist i Dagningen, Aftenposten, Arbeiderbladet og Beat.
Arbeidet senere som forlagsredaktør, før han fikk utgitt romanen Hestekrefter i 2006.
“Ik trok de kleren aan. Ging voor de open haard zitten. Legde mijn voeten op een poef. Keek in de vlammen. Voor mij waren werkkleren altijd het antwoord geweest als het leven me te veel werd. De werkdag binnenstappen, de schouders eronder zetten, volhouden, me afmatten. Op” 0 likes
“Si lo que tienes es un dos de tréboles y un tres de diamantes, eso es lo que hay. Ese día pierdes y se acabó. Lo único que justifica que te quejes es que te hayan repartido cuatro cartas si te corresponden cinco.” 0 likes
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