The #TFBookClub reads ‘The Sixteen Trees of the Somme’ set in NORWAY, SCOTLAND and FRANCE

10th September 2018

Thank you for joining us as we read The Sixteen Trees of the Somme by Lars Mytting set in Norway, Scotland and France (September/October 2018).

The Sixteen Trees of the Somme

We hope you enjoy reading this beautifully crafted novel, sprawling across times – from WW1 to the present day – and places, and a book which TripFiction’s Tony rates very highly indeed.

We will be chatting about the book throughout September and October 2018, so if you are reading it with us, please come and join the dialogue!

The #TFBookClub is your book club – we are here to help you discover new titles that will transport you to interesting locations via top literature for some exceptional #literarywanderlust.

As you read, please come and chat and share your thoughts in several ways:

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  • And once you’ve turned the final page, we’d love it if you could write your own review, which you can do on tripfiction.com using the Add A Review tab. Help us to build the #TFBookClub and the TripFiction website!

REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO READING THIS BOOK TOGETHER!

Andrew and Tina for the TripFiction Team

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Replies

  1. User: Beverley Bookless

    Posted on: 10/09/2018 at 2:42 pm

    I have just started reading and already enjoying the style. So far the translation is excellent and the narrative has a lovely flow.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 19/09/2018 at 6:45 am

      It is so well written, one can appreciate the original, I imagine which is a real skill of a good translator…

      Comment

  2. User: Harriet Steel

    Posted on: 13/09/2018 at 6:45 am

    I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks of this one although I may not embark on it for a while. I’ve just returned from a trip to Córdoba and Seville keen to explore some more of the history of Spain’s golden age, so I plan to read Jean Plaidy’s Spanish trilogy about Ferdinand and Isabella next. I’ve heard very good things about this Norwegian author though and the Shetland Bus is a fascinating subject. A while back, I read a book I can recommend called Dreaming in Norwegian where it featured.

    Comment

    2 Comments

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 19/09/2018 at 6:46 am

      Oh my goodness, Jean Plaidy…she was so popular at one time, I remember reading her books!!! Totally took me back in time!

      Comment

    • User: Harriet Steel

      Posted on: 23/09/2018 at 6:34 am

      I’ve just finished number one and thought it stood up well to the test of time and was a good page turner. I like my history in easy to read form!

      Comment

  3. User: leilajay

    Posted on: 16/09/2018 at 1:20 pm

    A good start to the book, beautifully written. It is quite intriguing from the first chapter.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 19/09/2018 at 6:46 am

      It does start out really well, doesn’t it….

      Comment

  4. User: Janine Phillips

    Posted on: 17/09/2018 at 8:57 pm

    I have just finished this and to be honest I’m not sure what I thought. Whilst I enjoyed it, it didn’t really grip me and I found some parts confusing.

    Comment

    2 Comments

    • User: Bev Bookless

      Posted on: 18/09/2018 at 2:28 pm

      I had to re read the beginning, as I too was getting confused, I think around Nicole and her different names. I am finding it interesting though now I’m clear, at the moment, who is who but I’m only a quarter of the way through.

      Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 19/09/2018 at 6:48 am

      It is a book that does need concentration, agreed! The writing eventually won me over, though….

      Comment

  5. User: leilajay

    Posted on: 18/09/2018 at 9:26 am

    I am really enjoying it, especially about the mystery life of Einar and the Winterfinch family.

    Comment

  6. User: Bev Bookless

    Posted on: 18/09/2018 at 10:08 pm

    So, I am wondering what you think about Hanne?

    Comment

  7. User: Sara Hill

    Posted on: 24/09/2018 at 10:05 am

    I thought this book was wonderful. I have finished reading having stayed in bed late this morning to reach the end! I have been to Shetland and Lars Mytting’s description made me feel as if I was there again. (We did not make it to Unst because the weather was too bad but I remember Lerwick and the ferry).
    I loved the way the story slowly unfolded with many unexpected twists and turns. I will not spoil the ending but admit to quite a few tears whilst reading the last few pages.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 28/09/2018 at 3:50 pm

      It is quite a slow burner of a book, beautifully constructed and written….

      Comment

  8. User: lapsapchung

    Posted on: 26/09/2018 at 12:24 pm

    I took a while to get round to reading this book as I wanted to take it on holiday where I knew my husband and I would both read it and discuss it. We’re home now and our view? We both loved it! Talking about it afterwards, we agreed that the story contained rather a lot of unlikely coincidences and almost inexplicably irrationally impulsive actions, and yet at the time the story was moving along so beautifully neither of us noticed, it was only hindsight that made us think things like, “Hang on, isn’t it a bit far fetched that he walks into a random garage and the man there knows a man who knew Einar?”, or “Why on earth did Hanne go and stay in his house when he’d told her it was better if she didn’t?”. It all seemed to make sense at the time!
    I’m familiar with Orkney but not Shetland, there must be a lot of similarities though because the descriptions brought back a lot of memories for me. I know little about the other regions visited in the book but I’m guessing they came over just as well to anyone familiar with them.
    We both agreed that the translation of this book was simply brilliant. So many books lose some of their beauty when translated, leaving a very slightly stilted flow, the sort of thing that makes you think something is slightly off-kilter but you are not sure what it is. There was none of that here, the text and descriptions flowed beautifully and contributed a lot to our enjoyment of the book.
    One of my favourite reads of the year so far.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 28/09/2018 at 3:49 pm

      So glad to hear that it made a positive impression, the writing is so good….

      Comment

  9. User: Bev

    Posted on: 27/09/2018 at 7:43 am

    I have eventually finished the book and it has taken me some time, mainly I think because I had to concentrate on the storyline. I’m not sure what I think about it, I enjoyed the middle once I had got used to the characters, but then wanted to finish it. There were aspects that did not really work for me. As lapsapchung has commented, how likely is it that people remember events, decades back and visitor books were readily to hand. The characters were well crafted and I did not really get to grips with either Hanne or Gwen. I was unsure about Hanne, I was wondering about her motives with comments she made about ‘our farm’, ‘now we have a summer home’.
    Gwen started to irritate me and of course distrust was a big theme through the book.
    In terms of sense of place, I have not visited Norway or the Shetlands. The description of the Shetlands has inspired me to visit. It felt so at the mercy of the elements with well established communities.
    The writing was good with an excellent translation.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 28/09/2018 at 3:52 pm

      It certainly was an intense read… and I think it was important to read it without too much of a break (I did and had to back track….)

      Comment

  10. User: REO

    Posted on: 02/10/2018 at 8:19 am

    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 generation of characters, however, seemed more authentic and I would probably have been interested in reading more of their stories, The brothers Sverre and Einar were very interesting and the personal toll that the war exacts on them both would have born more narrative.
    The sense of place in all the locations was wonderful, the descriptions were mesmerising and made you feel as though you’d been dropped right into the area. I felt fully immersed in the story when the environments were so fully visualised.
    Definitely glad I read it despite my indecision.

    Comment

  11. User: Jennifer S. Alderson

    Posted on: 05/10/2018 at 10:15 am

    I just started reading this (20% in) and am really impressed. It’s not normally a book I would have picked up, but the author’s style pulled me in quickly. Lovely descriptions of place and hints of a mystery to come…

    Comment

  12. User: Bonnie K.

    Posted on: 09/10/2018 at 4:50 am

    I finally finished reading this book. It took me awhile as I was reading it on my desktop computer, and I really needed to concentrate. It really got interesting towards the middle but then I had a little trouble with the character, Gwen. This doesn’t mean I didn’t like the writing. I thought it was beautifully written, and I was fascinated by this time period between WW1 and the present time. I loved the descriptions of the locations in Norway, Scotland, and France. I found the story mysterious and really wanted to know what happened to Edvard’s parents and with Einar. This isn’t light reading–very intense.

    Comment

  13. User: Andrea Hedgcock

    Posted on: 22/10/2018 at 1:42 pm

    I got my copy late as 2 postings by publisher failed to arrive and Andrew of tripfiction kindly arranged to send me a copy – thank you! I really enjoyed The Sixteen Trees of the Somme. Loved the style of writing, the small details, the description of wood grain. My one mistake was to stop and start at the beginning so I forgot briefly who was who. Edvard, though 23 at the start of the book, is more like a boy but by the end he is a man. Yes, there were some ‘coincidences’ that you could say were a little far-fetched but as in real life these do sometimes exist. Will keep an eye out for Mytting’s other novel, Norwegian Wood.

    Comment

  14. User: MAUREEN JULIAN

    Posted on: 07/11/2018 at 1:47 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this book – not my usual choice and the wording slowed me down considerably – I felt I couldn’t rush or miss anything out. Very interesting and informative story. Thanks for letting me read it.

    Comment

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