Let's Hope for the Best (Hardcover)
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"A moving and tender work of autofiction that depicts the obsessive interiority of grief."--Kirkus
In her debut novel, Let's Hope for the Best, Carolina Setterwall recounts the intensity of falling in love with her partner Aksel, and the shock of finding him dead in bed one morning. Carolina and Aksel meet at a party, and their passionate first encounter leads to months of courtship during which Carolina struggles to find her place. While Aksel prefers to take things slow, Carolina is eager to advance their relationship -moving in together, getting a cat, and finally having a child.
Perhaps to impose some order on the chaos, Carolina devotedly chronicles the months after Aksel's passing like a ship's log. She unpacks with forensic intensity the small details of life before tragedy, eager to find some explanation for the bad hand she's been dealt. When new romance rushes in, Carolina finds herself assuming the reticent role Aksel once played. She's been given the gift of love again. But can she make it work?
A striking feat of auto-fiction, written in direct address to Setterwall's late partner, LET'S HOPE FOR THE BEST is a stylistic tour-de force.
About the Author
Carolina Setterwall was born in 1978 in Sala, Sweden. After studying Media and Communication in Uppsala, Stockholm, and London she has worked within the music and publishing industries as an editor and writer. Setterwall lives in Stockholm with her son.
"Carolina's sentences are spare and
simple, and they reveal a portrait of anxiety and control, grief and
abandonment, that lasts for many painful years. "How can I hold onto you
when you're not here?" she asks. "How can I move on without the
approval of the people in our life who matter the most to me? The equation
seems unsolvable."A moving and tender work of autofiction that
depicts the obsessive interiority of grief."—Kirkus
"Confessional and shockingly honest
about desire, love, and loss...utterly compulsive."—Marian Keyes, bestselling author of The Break and The Woman Who Stole My Life
the most compelling book I've read in years."—Times
and relentlessly navel-gazing, this debut by 40-year-old Swedish writer
Carolina Setterwall may be billed as an autobiographical novel but is quite
simply one of the best bereavement memoirs I've read... It's impossible not
to draw comparisons with Karl Ove Knausgaard, who must surely have been an
inspiration. But there is a unique voice here, a style of disclosure all
her own, incidentally beautifully translated. It's an emotional battering ram,
I thought, and I absolutely loved it."—Evening Standard
Scandinavian bestseller was based on tragic real events, so it's not surprising
that every spare, controlled sentence has the ring of truth. (...) This
painfully clear-sighted, unsentimental novel is in two alternating parts; one
detailing the years leading up to Aksel's death, the other everything that
comes after. It's about grief in all its raw messiness, but it's also (as how
could it not be?) about time ... Setterwall's refusal to impose twists or false
neatness is at first admirable then, as a fragile new love begins to blossom for
Carolina, gripping."—Daily Mail