BookBrowse Reviews The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting

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The Bell in the Lake

A Novel

by Lars Mytting

The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting X
The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting
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  • Published:
    Sep 2020, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
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In this first book of a magic-fueled historical trilogy, progress, religion and superstition are three forces fighting for the soul of a late-19th-century Norwegian village.

A legend from Lars Mytting's Norwegian hometown tells of two centuries-old church bells that, like conjoined twins, were never meant to be separated. Inspired by that story and by the real-life move of a stave church from Norway to what is now Poland (see Beyond the Book), he embarked on a set of three novels in which history and myth mingle to determine the future of the isolated village of Butangen. "Change came slowly," Mytting writes. "The village was twenty years behind its neighboring villages, which were thirty years behind Norway's towns and cities, which were fifty years behind the rest of Europe."

In Butangen in 1880, ancient stories still wield great power. Christianity and local superstition rub shoulders at the village's 12th-century wooden stave church. Along with a crucifixion scene and a tapestry of the Day of Judgment, the church features carvings of Norse myths and ...

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