|THE BELL IN THE LAKE
Lars Mytting (www.larsmytting.net)
Translated by Deborah Dawkin
MacLehose Press (www.maclehosepress.com)
Norway, 1880. Young, inquisitive Astrid is unlike the other girls in the secluded village at the end of the valley. She dreams of a life that consists of more than marrying, having children, and eventually dying from hard work in the fields. And then the young pastor Kai Schweigaard comes into her life.
Kai Schweigaard has taken over the small parish of Butangen, with its 700-year-old stave church and its legendary bells whose history is tied irretrievably to Astrid’s ancestors. It is said that the bells ring when danger is imminent.
But Pastor Schweigaard wants to tear down the church and to replace it. So he invites a young, talented architecture student Gerhard Schönauer from Dresden to oversee the removal of the church and its reconstruction in the German city. For Astrid this is a provocation too far. She is determined that the bells must stay in her village.
But Astrid falls in love with Gerhard. He is so different from the young men in Butangen: modern, cosmopolitan, elegant, he even smells different. And she must make a choice: for her homeland and the pastor, or for an uncertain future in Germany. Then the bells begin to ring…