Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting

The bells in the historic stave church in the village of Butangen, Norway, have legendary powers: They ring when danger lies ahead. What will happen when the church, as part of a preservation project, is dismantled and moved to Dresden, Germany? The descriptions of rural Norway in the nineteenth century, as well as the stave church, are spellbinding. Less riveting is the narrative around the humans: the dashing pastor Kai Schweigaard, Gerhard Schönauer, the German architect tasked with the disassembly of the church and Astrid Hekne, the strong-minded young woman from the village. Enchanting Norwegian folklore makes this a winner.

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