Definitely worth reading for the extraordinary sense of place.
- Book: The Sixteen Trees of the Somme
- Location: Norway, Shetland Islands, The Somme
- Author: Lars Mytting
To give an adapted summary of the blurb, the novel follows Edvard, a young man who has grown up in a rural environment in Norway with his grandfather, Sverre. The death of Edvard’s parents when he was just three has always been somewhat of a mystery, with the details of the actual event being concealed. He knows however, that his grandfather’s brother, the master craftsman Einar, is somehow involved in this mystery so Edvard travels to Einar’s home in Shetland.
I did not find Edvard or the character of Gwen particularly engaging or authentic – there seemed more depth in the characters of the older generation, Sverre and Einar, and I would have enjoyed reading more of them.
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.
So, although undecided on the characters the book is still well worth reading.