The Thirteenth Summer

The Thirteenth Summer

Gabriella Sköldenberg

Original Title
Trettonde sommaren
Natur & Kultur, 2018
Young adult
Rights Sold
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The Thirteenth Summer

Gabriella Sköldenberg

Cousins Angelica and Sandra are born on the same day and inseparable, during the summers. Which they always spend at Grandpa’s idyllic place in the countryside. And together with Ruth, grandpa’s neighbour, who bakes cinnamon buns almost every single day.

On the thirteenth summer, things change, and Sandra, who’s always been the wild and untameable one, is suddenly quiet, neat, and kind. But what does that make Angelica, who’s always been praised for being kind and calm? And how far is Angelica willing to go to be Sandra’s friend? Sandra pushes the boundaries by challenging Angelica to prove her friendship, and eventually disaster is a fact.

In a lush-green summer idyll, a suggestive and frightening story of suffocating, immersive friendship unfolds. Under the quiet surface, a drama of life and death takes place, a game always on the verge of getting out of control.

It’s a story about being drawn to the dangerous, about not being the nice girl anymore, about shame and excitement. About going from child to teenager.

Gabriella Sköldenberg makes her fiction debut with the YA novel The Thirteenth Summer. She works as a freelance writer.

Nordic Council Prize 2020, Nominated. The jury’s praise: “With nerve and drive, Sköldenberg tells a story that grabs hold of the reader. She employs poetic precision in her language, nuanced environmental descriptions, and imaginative imagery. The portrayal of the interaction between the two cousins is especially worthy of mention, as well as the way she skilfully foreshadows what is to come. As Sandra swings between provocation and indifference, psychological abuse and a search for connection, we as readers can only continue to turn the pages and, with the same horror-filled delight as Angelica, let it happen.”

Press voices

A hair-raising story about a summer break of life and death” Gotlands allehanda

A magical summer book with room for a lot of afterthought” Paula Högström, P4 Stockholm

Really wellwritten and exciting at the same time as the story is both considering and scary for real. What a debut!” Sarahbabblar