The Sixteen Trees of the Somme

Written by Lars Mytting Paul Russell Garrett (trans.)
Overview by Valerie Adolph

Norwegian writer Lars Mytting presents a narrative of a younger man looking not just for his id however for the true which means of the few reminiscences of his early childhood. He remembers the love of his mom in her blue gown and his small wood toy. He has been advised his mother and father had been each killed in woodland close to the Somme battlefield in France and that he was lacking for 4 days after that. He was then despatched to Norway to reside with aged family members.

The younger man—his identify in English is Edward—searches for the reality of his household’s story in Norway, the Shetland Islands, and France. His search takes the reader again to the battles of WW1 and its aftermath and to WW2. He faces conflicts not solely along with his emotions for the 2 younger girls he finds engaging but additionally with the completely different tales and views he hears about his household’s historical past. The one fact seems to lie within the stunning wooden and the grasp craftsman who carved it.

Conceptually this novel delves into deep themes of affection and revenge, and these are represented by the bushes, their wooden, and the craftsmanship that produces objects of nice magnificence.

The plot is advanced, with twists and sudden instructions. The characters Edward meets are rigorously drawn, but the novel lacks a lot of the immediacy and intrigue one would possibly anticipate from the themes which can be developed. Equally, the settings, from the storm-swept Shetland coast to the war-devastated woodlands of France, might be filled with affect; as a substitute, they’re as flat as Edward’s potato subject.

The various aspects of this wide-ranging literary novel will give pleasure to the conscientious reader.