The Trio

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Pub Date 7 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 8 Jul 2022

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Sophisticated, mature and richly atmospheric, a debut novel about three young people navigating the risks and possibilities of intimacy

For fans of André Aciman, Deborah Levy and the Penguin European Writers series

'The Trio is like the love child of Normal People and Brideshead Revisited. A sublime and elegiac mediation on love, intimacy, freedom and jealousy... Staggeringly beautiful' Francesca Reece, author of Voyeur

Thora, August and Hugo come from different worlds - one an art school dreamer, one a wealthy scion of the old elite, and one an ordinary boy from out of town. But over the course of two sky-blue summers in Stockholm, they are drawn together magnetically.

The novel opens years later, when Hugo, long estranged from Thora and August, is visited by their daughter - who has questions about her parents which she believes Hugo can answer - and the memories of those luminous days come flooding back.

Modern yet timeless, poignant and euphoric, The Trio is a novel about the path not taken, the people we might have become, and the relationships which shape and haunt us long after they come to a close.

'An international success before even being published, The Trio is a novel that stands well above the hype... Elegiac, bittersweet, [with] the golden shimmer of nostalgia' Gefle Dagblad

'Mature and confident, delicate and eloquent, a study in intimacy... The Trio creates a greedy sensation within the reader of constantly wanting to pick up a book and read just a few more pages... Timeless and universal' Kult Magasin

'Johanna Hedman should definitely expect to win prizes' Upsala Nya Tidning

Sophisticated, mature and richly atmospheric, a debut novel about three young people navigating the risks and possibilities of intimacy

For fans of André Aciman, Deborah Levy and the Penguin European...

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780241551660
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

Swedish writer Johanna Hedman’s The Trio follows three young people, two already intimate friends, who form a close bond when Hugo becomes a lodger in Thora’s house, a friendship that throws a long shadow.

The child of academic parents, Hugo is a little disorientated by the Stillers’ privilege and wealth. A recent book about the source of that wealth has caused quite a kerfuffle in this household labelled ‘bougeois bohemian’ by August, Thora’s dearest friend and sometimes lover. Hugo remains outside the orbit of these two for some time, observing their intimacy with fascination and a tinge of envy, gradually drawn into it until he’s unsure whether it’s Thora or August he loves. When he and Thora eventually begin a relationship, it’s barely acknowledged by either of them except when they’re alone and even then, only with ambivalence. Decades later, Thora and August’s daughter rings the bell of Hugo’s New York apartment asking questions about her mother.

The complicated relationship between Hugo, Thora and August is beautifully portrayed, full of tensions and competing dynamics yet intensely intimate. These are complex characters: Thora, distant, cold and self-contained yet deeply dependent on August’s affection; August, warm, open and loved yet given to episodes of depression and Hugo, fascinated by the bond between these two yet unable to quite shrug off his habitual role as an outsider. Very much a novel about relationships, it’s underpinned by a political awareness of privilege, morality and the power that springs from wealth. The only part that didn’t quite work for me was its bookending by two short sections set in New York. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this accomplished novel, full of complexity, which leaves much for readers to infer.

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