Sven Somme at Worcestershire Litfest

Recently I was reading and talking about What the horses heard at the lovely Worcester Literary Festival. The slot before me was a talk about the legendary Sven Somme by one of his daughters, Ellie Targett. Sven Somme was a member of the Norwegian Resistance against the Nazi occupation of his country during WW2 and as well as delivering an underground newspaper he managed to spy on Nazi plans and movements with incredible cunning and great courage. on one such mission the glint of his camera gave him away and he was arrested, facing torture and execution but somehow managed to escape and then had to trek alone for two months across the huge snowy mountains from Norway into Sweden: another feat of daring and strength and, thanks to his previous experiences as a spy and the brave, great-hearted people who lived there, survived.


His book Another Man’s Shoes also includes the story of the trek made by his daughters following in his footsteps and who found his shoes he had swapped for walking boots.

For many reasons, this story chimed with me, no less because my first novel, Liar Dice, has some resonances with this as it is about the Italian Resistance in the mountains during the war where my own father had been a partisan. Mine however is fictional. My Italian walk book around a valley in the Maritime Alps is called Footsteps…. Meant to echo ‘Following in the… ) The e-book of Liar Dice is currently on a discount of 2.99 at The Hive where you will find other titles.

For anyone interested, I shall also be talking about What the horses heard and about Historical Fiction as a genre at Ways with Words Festival of Words and Ideas at Dartington on Tuesday July 8th at 11.45 and running a poetry workshop for those who would like to find a way into poetry on Weds, July 9th at 2 (I think). For the period of this Festival, Amazon should be offering a special discount of £2.50 on the Horses e-book, too.


About Rebecca Gethin

Rebecca Gethin is a poet and a novelist. Cinnamon Press published her third collection, All the Time in the World in 2017. Another pamphlet is forthcoming with Three Drops Press. Her second novel, What the horses heard, was published by Cinnamon Press in May 2014. Her second poetry collection - A Handful of Water - was published by Cinnamon in 2013. Her first - River is the Plural of Rain - was published by Oversteps Books in 2009. Her novel Liar Dice won the Cinnamon Press Novel Writing Award in 2010 and was published in 2011. She lives on Dartmoor and writes occasional pieces about wildlife and nature. Her poems appear in a variety of poetry magazines and in several anthologies.
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3 Responses to Sven Somme at Worcestershire Litfest

  1. Stella Wulf says:

    Another Man’s Shoes looks like an interesting book, Becky. Thanks, I’ll be checking it out.

  2. E.E. Nobbs says:

    Interesting post. I love how you tie the various strands together — the different ways that we can look back at the past through writing; and mountain walking! Please explain to me what he’s doing in that photo: is he using the tree like Tarzan uses jungle vines?? Hadn’t heard of The Hive before – sounds like a great way to sell books online & still support independent book stores. Have a good session of July 8th – wish I was close enough to attend. Maybe you can do a podcast series for us at-a-distance folks? 🙂

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