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The Bell in the Lake


The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose ...
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At what moments did you feel the characters were most challenged individually and collectively?

Created: 09/28/22

Replies: 10

Posted Sep. 28, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3096

At what moments did you feel the characters were most challenged individually and collectively?

At what moments did you feel Astrid, Kai Schweigaard, and Gerhard Schonauer were most challenged individually and collectively?


Posted Sep. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pauj's Gravatar
pauj

Join Date: 04/26/14

Posts: 56

RE: At what moments did you feel the ...

Astrid was most challenged in trying to choose between Kai and Gerhard and again in how to deliver her babies. Kai was challenged with the strong personality of Astrid and the regret he felt at losing the sister bells. Gerhard came to be challenged as he grew to understand the church and what it meant to Astrid and the villagers.


Posted Sep. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Dianelouise

Join Date: 07/15/21

Posts: 27

RE: At what moments did you feel the ...

I felt that Astrid was most challenged by her fear of childbirth, and by the decision she had to make between staying in Butangen where she would be most certain of her own survival, and traveling to Kristiana, where she would have a better chance of ensuring the life of her twin boys, even at the sacrifice of her own life.

Gerhard and Kai were most challenged in the working out the disposition of the church and of the Sister Bells in a way that would be least hurtful to Astrid. Kai is challenged by his jealousy of Gerhard and succombs to spite in his spur of the moment revelation of the Bells’ whereabouts to Ulbricht and Kastler. Gerhard is most challenged by his position as an essential part of the plan to remove the church and its bells to Dresden in the face of the pain it causes his beloved Astrid.


Posted Sep. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 317

RE: At what moments did you feel the ...

I feel Astrid’s greatest challenge was losing her husband and having to make the decision where to give birth, knowing it could be a difficult one—she had to choose between the old way and the modern way, and she chose the way she thought would save both her babies instead of her own. For Schönauer, it was the decision to protect the bells, for the sake of Astrid, despite his desire to take them along with the church (and his drastic effort almost cost him his life). For Schweigaard, I think the biggest challenge was opening his house to his rival after the accident, and ultimately performing the wedding of the woman he loved to the man he resented. In each case, the character had to overcome his or her own wishes or self-interest, out of love for another. Each of these decisions led to more challenges for each character, and in Schönauer’s case, he did not survive them… But Astrid and Schweigaard each grew and learned from their hard choices, and ultimately resolved their differences.


Posted Oct. 02, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jenbrinkley

Join Date: 04/05/16

Posts: 15

RE: At what moments did you feel the ...

Kai Schweigaard was in love with Astrid, but struggled with the social unacceptably of her in the role of preacher’s wife. By the time he was ready to declare his true feelings to Astrid it was too late. She had given up ever being allowed to marry him and fallen for Gerhard Schonauer. The resulting triangle of love, loss and disappointment made a difference in all of their lives profoundly.


Posted Oct. 02, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 338

RE: At what moments did you feel the ...

I agree that Astrid's biggest challenge was dealing with her pregnancy and worry about the foreshadowing of conjoined twins. Kai's challenge was bringing modernity to a village in a way that would not alienate the villagers. Gerhards' challenge lay in the realization that despite all his hands-on study and work in salvaging stave churches in Norway that none of the acclaim would be directed toward him.


Posted Oct. 02, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickic

Join Date: 09/15/14

Posts: 84

RE: At what moments did you feel the ...

For both Schweigaard and Schonauer I believe they were most challenged by their love for Astrid. Schweigaard was challenged by her but loved her and with that love came the difficulty of imagining her in the life he saw for himself. For Schonauer the acceptance of the differences was easier to overcome but his challenge was to be able to meet the obligations he had with his professional life and still be able to have the relationship with Astrid that he wanted.


Posted Oct. 07, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
randih

Join Date: 08/14/11

Posts: 8

RE: At what moments did you feel the ...

I think Kai Schweigaard was most challenged by his love for Astrid. Whether it was his overcoming his initial predisposition that she was unsuitable as a wife or later when he married her to another man. Schonauer was challenged by his mentors and his desire to be known in the architectural world. He thought he was making a name for himself, and then realized that his teachers were going to take all the glory.


Posted Oct. 08, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Patricia Ann

Join Date: 05/24/21

Posts: 44

RE: At what moments did you feel the ...

I think Astrid was most challenged by seeking a safer birthing option. Gerhardt was challenged by the difficulty of figuring out how to rebuild the stave church and by working in the bitter cold while he was in poor health. Kai was challenged by his expectations about how he should live his life as opposed to how he wanted to life his life. At the end of the story, serving as a Pastor while he struggled with his belief in God was a challenge.


Posted Oct. 12, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 496

RE: At what moments did you feel the ...

Aside from Astrid's obvious birthing-location challenge (already mentioned by several readers above), I felt that Astrid had to make a major decision on pages 142-143 when her brother was bossing her around about pails of water. That would be a great scene in a film adaptation of this book.


Posted Oct. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 149

RE: At what moments did you feel the ...

Each character was challenged many times in this story.
Clearly to me Astrid's challenge was her pregnancy & impending birth.
Gerhard, who loved Astrid, was challenged by his professional life & leaving her to do his mentors' bidding.
Kai, the priest, who also lived Astrid, was challenged with his vision of his advancement & a "backward" village wife. He also had to acknowledge Astrid & Gerhard's love for each other. He definitely stepped up to the challenge at the end of the book when he goes to the town where Astrid went for the birth and in the years that follow.


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