# 1 on the Norwegian bestseller list
Nominated for Norwegian National Bookseller Prize 2018
A story of dark forces and new energies
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.
Lars Mytting, bestselling author of „Norwegian Wood„, brings his deep knowledge of history, carpentry, fishing, and stave churches to this compelling historical novel, an international bestseller sold in 12 countries. With its broad-canvas narrative about the intersection of religion, superstition, and duty, „The Bell in the Lake“ is an irresistible story of ancient times and modern challenges, by a powerful international voice.
Rights sold to: Denmark (Rosinante & Co), France (Actes Sud), Germany (Insel/Suhrkamp), Italy (DeAgostini), Lithuania (Alma Littera), Netherlands (Atlas Contact), Poland (Otwarte), Spain (Alfaguara) and for Catalan (Ara Llibres), Sweden (W&W), UK (MacLehose), US (Overlook Press)
originally published by Gyldendal Norsk Forlag (Norway) 2018
Rights available for: Worldwide
Lars Mytting, a novelist and journalist, was born in Fåvang, Norway, in 1968. In 2011 his non-fiction book "Hel Ved" ("Norwegian Wood") became an international bestseller and received the British Book Industry Award for non-fiction Book of the Year 2016.
In 2014 he received the Norwegian Bookseller Prize for his novel "Svøm med dem som drukner" ("The Sixteen Trees of the Somme") which was published in 17 languages and has been bought for film. In total his books have sold over one million copies in 18 languages.
Best-selling Norwegian author Mytting has created something beautiful, a perfect evocation of a place and a culture, a melding of old Norse tradition with the encroaching modern world. The cold, the smell of the tar on the church’s timbers, the dark resonance of the bells—every element of the setting and those who inhabit it is crafted with consummate skill. This first in a trilogy will have readers eagerly awaiting the next by this accomplished author.
– Booklist Review
“Rich, sinuous prose makes tangible the villagers’ gritty perseverance in the face of poverty, isolation and the unpredictable climate… The Bell in the Lake is a beautiful example of modern Norwegian folklore.”
– The Guardian
“Lyrical, melancholy and with beautifully drawn characters, this pitches old beliefs against new ways with a haunting delicacy that rings true.”
– Eithne Farry, DAILY MAIL
“Magnificent historical novel.”
– Stein Roll, Adresseavisen
“The Sister Bells is exciting. A real page-turner.”
– Cathrine Loraas Møystad, Østlendingen
“Lars Mytting’s historical novel is captivating and engaging. (…) With his powerful narrative style, intertwined story and detailed knowledge of carpentry, fishing and stave churches, there is reason to believe that this time he will again reach many many readers.”
– Marius Wulfsberg, Dagbladet
“He writes about silver sister bells, but one may well think Lars Mytting took home gold again with his new novel. From the first sentence the author is at his best and never releases the grip he has on his readers.”
– Arne Hugo Stølan, VG