October Book Club: The Bell in the Lake

Nordiska’s Book Club

To all of you who are new, welcome! Nordiska has launched its own book club for fellow Nordic reading enthusiasts to connect and be in community with one another virtually during these unique times. We invite you to expand your Nordic reading repertoire and discuss a variety of written works with us the last Thursday of each month.

To returners, welcome back! Last month we had a great discussion about Icelandic history from the Viking Age to the present, and for this month we will be traveling to Norway. I am excited as always to continue our Nordic reading group this fall!

Originally published in Norwegian in 2018 (Goodreads)

October’s Pick: Søsterklokkene

A best selling novel in Norway, The Bell in the Lake (Søsterklokkene in Norwegian) by Lars Mytting promises readers a well researched immersive thriller that combines modern fiction, Norwegian folklore and history. Mytting is a journalist and novelist from Fåvang, Norway. The first in a trilogy, The Bell in the Lake takes place in rural 19th century Norway and depicts the village of Butangen in a moment of transition. The English version was translated by Deborah Dawkin in 2020, and the back cover description reads:

As long as people could remember, the stave church’s bells had rung over the isolated village of Butangen, Norway. Cast in memory of conjoined twins, the bells are said to ring on their own in times of danger. In 1879, young pastor Kai Schweigaard moves to the village, where young Astrid Hekne yearns for a modern life. She sees a way out on the arm of the new pastor, who needs a tie to the community to cull favor for his plan for the old stave church, with its pagan deity effigies and supernatural bells. When the pastor makes a deal that brings an outsider, a sophisticated German architect, into their world, the village and Astrid are caught between past and future, as dark forces come into play (Skandisk).

The combination of folklore, the supernatural and the rural Norwegian countryside seems to be a perfect pick for the month of October!

Stave Church in Winter (Times)

Virtual Book Club Meeting Information

We will be meeting to discuss our summer read on Thursday, September 30th at 6:00pm PST via Zoom. You can find the Zoom invitation link here to register for the meeting ahead of time and/or keep a look out on our social media sites for an invitation.

You can purchase The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting on Nordiska’s website or come and visit us in store in downtown Poulsbo.

Published by nordiskapoulsbo

I write for, edit and maintain this blog about celebrating and being inspired by Scandinavian cultures for the Nordiska store in Poulsbo, WA.

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