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Let's hope for the best / Carolina Setterwall ; translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel.

By: Setterwall, Carolina, 1978-.
Contributor(s): Wessel, Elizabeth Clark [translator.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London, England : Bloomsbury Circus, 2019Description: 379 pages ; 23 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781526604910; 1526604914; 9781526604927; 1526604922.Other title: Lets hope for the best.Subject(s): Couples -- Fiction | Death -- Fiction | Bereavement -- Fiction | Life change events -- Fiction | Families -- Fiction | Grief -- Fiction | Autobiographical fiction, SwedishGenre/Form: Autobiographical fiction. | Psychological fiction. | Domestic fiction.DDC classification: 839.738 Summary: "One day while nursing her young son, Carolina receives a strange email from her boyfriend Aksel, detailing computer passwords and other instructions in event of his death. She grows worried at first, then irritated - this is so typical of her unsentimental partner. Aksel ends the message: Let's hope for the best! Five months later, he is dead. 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?"-- Provided by publisher.
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due
Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Fiction Collection (New)
Fiction Collection (New) SETT Checked out 01/11/2019

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

'This book! Swedish, confessional, shockingly honest about desire, love, loss. I've read it twice now and can't stop thinking about Carolina. Utterly compulsive' MARIAN KEYES 'Brutally candid. The most compelling book I've read in years' THE TIMES 'Quite simply one of the best bereavement memoirs I've read. It's impossible not to draw comparisons with Karl Ove Knausgaard, but there is a unique voice here, a style of disclosure all her own, incidentally beautifully translated. I absolutely loved it' EVENING STANDARD 'Every spare, controlled sentence has the ring of truth. Gripping' DAILY MAIL THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER The last night, I fall asleep believing we have thousands of days ahead of us. We don't. This night is our last night. One evening, Carolina says good night to her partner, Aksel. Things have been tough for both of them recently, especially with an eight-month-old son to raise. So when Aksel dies unexpectedly in the night, Carolina's world is turned upside down.Based on the author's own experiences, Let's Hope for the Best details the small moments of life before and after tragedy. It's a story about motherhood, family and the difficulties of loving someone who is distant, and then who is gone. Brave and unsparing, packed with emotion and humanity, it is about how the life we envisage for ourselves can be altered in an instant.What if one moment changed everything you've ever known?

Translated from the Swedish.

"First published in 2018 in Sweden as Låt oss hoppas på det bästa by Albert Bonniers Forlag"--Title page verso.

"One day while nursing her young son, Carolina receives a strange email from her boyfriend Aksel, detailing computer passwords and other instructions in event of his death. She grows worried at first, then irritated - this is so typical of her unsentimental partner. Aksel ends the message: Let's hope for the best! Five months later, he is dead. 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?"-- Provided by publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Setterwell's austere, quietly disturbing debut traces the years from 2009 to 2016 in the life of a narrator who shares the Swedish author's name. The novel's journal-like entries are directed to the narrator's partner, Aksel, who died suddenly in his early 30s of cardiac arrest while Carolina was sleeping on the floor of their infant son's room in their Stockholm apartment. The story at first follows two timelines, with one set of journal entries beginning just before Aksel's death and moving into the weeks that follow, and another beginning the day that Carolina and Aksel met and moving forward to eventually catch up with the first timeline. The second half of the novel follows Carolina for two more years as she struggles with grief and meets a potential new partner. The plot is driven not so much by suspense, of which there is little, as it is by an unwavering gaze at the minutiae of the narrator's often grim life. While her relationship with Aksel had a few moments of joy, it was in trouble before his death, and Carolina documents her sessions with a therapist as she attempts to make peace with her conflicts about staying at home with a demanding infant. While it's easy to admire Carolina's scrupulous self-analysis, her consistently melancholy disposition, however well justified, becomes a slog for the reader, and it's hard not to long for a few moments of humor or lightness. Nevertheless, this is a starkly unsentimental depiction of the difficulties of life after the death of a partner. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

When her domestic partner, Aksel, dies suddenly in his sleep soon after their son is born, Carolina comes undone. Written to the deceased in the second person, this literary debut burrows into the intricacies of love and the devastation, guilt, and paralysis of grief. Like in Tom Malmquist's In Every Moment We Are Still Alive (2018), another feverish work of Swedish autofiction about loss, time seems to collapse. In this book's first half, chapters after the tragedy are interspersed with those recounting the trajectory of Aksel and Carolina's relationship, rich with passion and then compromise. In the second half, Carolina falls in love with a new man, and, though desperate for a second chance at a full family, she struggles with reticence and doubt akin to that which Aksel felt in their relationship. Both of the book's halves are narrated in an intensely felt present. Tying them together is Ivan, Carolina and Aksel's son. Alongside grief, this book is about the profundity of maternal love and the desperate desire to protect, even and especially after tragedy.--Maggie Taft Copyright 2019 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

In this debut from Stockholm-based writer Setterwall, a real-life relationship becomes the basis of a novel about anxiety, motherhood, and trauma.Carolina is an adventurous concert promoter who falls fast and hard for quiet Aksel, a freelancer. "I'm thirty, and my love life is a mess," she admits, detailing her failed relationships and attempts to address bad romantic patterns in therapy. An anxious but eager girlfriend, she pushes the two across milestone after milestone while circumspect Aksel agrees to be pushed. "If I just wait a few hours, you come back," she muses. "I'm starting to learn your patterns. I'm starting to figure out how to exist in your world." But things shift when the new couple moves into their suburban Stockholm apartment and Carolina admits to wanting a baby. Despite Aksel's hesitations, Carolina resolves to find a way to both have a child and keep Aksel in her life. "Our negotiations are not beautiful," she recalls. "Neither of us ever leaves the kitchen table feeling good." Then, when their son, Ivan, is only a few months old, Aksel dies suddenly in his sleep. To cope with her grief, Carolina chronicles their relationship, from the day they first met until their son turns 2 and romance finds her yet again. Addressed directly to Aksel, the twin narratives of excitement and grief depict Carolina's obsession with both being and having this particular partner. Like grief itself, the narrative is exhausting and exhaustive, as Carolina accumulates details to learn more about her need to control relationships in the face of real or manufactured chaos. Her 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."An occasionally moving and tender work of autofiction that depicts the obsessive interiority of grief. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.