A truly memorable read!

  • Book: The Sixteen Trees of the Somme
  • Location: Norway, Shetland Islands, The Somme
  • Author: Lars Mytting

Review Author: MiriamSmith



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 brother, Einar, is somehow bound up with this mystery. 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.’
Excellently translated from the original Norwegian writing by Paul Russell Garrett, I personally felt nothing was lost in translation and the atmospheric feel of the haunting battlefields of the Somme years after the war and the WW2 concentration camps couldn’t have been better described, moving and emotional and vividly brought to life to show the horrors and devastation of war.
The weaving together of the connecting chapters was second to none and I really felt I went on an epic journey following Edvard as he discovered family secrets and the truth of his ‘missing’ few days. Truly brilliant, I devoured every word and followed every sentence. The depth of the writing showed a talent by an author that deserves the highest praise. Although I do believe this book won’t be for everyone, if you do however love literary, historical sagas with a mystery and suspense element, you should fall in love with this book as much as I did. I’d happily recommend this stunning story, its a one that will resonate with me for a very long time!

5 wonderful stars!

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition! Entries close 6th November

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media