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Based on a true story - Arne and Trine Hansen lived on a small farm Birkevold in the Kjellsdal Municipality in southern Norway in the years before the Second World War. Arne made a living as a skilled sea captain, sailing loads of coal from England to Halifax, Nova Scotia while Trine remained at the farm to raise three small children until tragedy struck when Arne was never heard from again. Trine managed to raise the children on her own with the help from her mother-in-law, Lena, as the farm at Birkevold was sold and the family moved into a new home in town. During the Nazi occupation of Norway in the Second World War, the Hansens along with the other townspeople as well as throughout the country were faced with shortages of basic necessities, forcing the family to seek alternative ways to provide food on the table when Norway was occupied by the Nazis and Trine having to work to earn a steady income before purchasing her own shop once the occupation ended. The story focuses on Trine's oldest son, Thorvald, as the main character and the narrator of the story.