Skilsmässan The Divorce

Together for thirty-odd years, Bea and Niklas live a comfortable life in an exclusive Stockholm neighborhood. Following a trivial argument one evening, Niklas disappears. Bea expects him home with his tail between his legs as soon as he’s calmed down, but the hours go by and there’s no trace of Niklas. During the days that follow he ghosts her completely as her anger amplifies. This is unacceptable and inexplicable behaviour following a long, happy marriage and with two teenage daughters still at home. Not letting his apparent mid-life crisis wreck their summer holiday, Bea brings the kids to stay with Niklas’ family at their island summer house. When it emerges that Niklas has met someone else, everything is brought to a head nevertheless. Cold and unreasonable, he has no interest in talking through their sudden crisis, and callously insists on a divorce.

But is the divorce really coming out of the blue? Is the person who does the leaving always the bad guy? What emerges once you begin scratching the surface…?



Shortlisted for the Storytel Awards (Best fiction) Sweden 2023
Shortlisted for Book of the Year Award Sweden 2022
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  • “The dialogue and the protagonists’ inner thoughts flow in a well-written and accessible language that doesn’t shy away from gravity or humor, and that attains the reader’s presence in all goings-on and milieus. Through the achieved realism, the reader’s sympathies, denunciations and views on the twin daughter’s reactions can shift according to own experiences and imagination, in a way that serves to elevate the narrative a further layer.”

    BTJ, Sweden

  • “Highly convicing about divorce and unusual family constellations.”

    Vimmerby Tidning, Sweden

  • “In Moa Herngren’s The Divorce we get to see both sides of the coin, which is truly refreshing.”

    Uppsala Nya Tidning, Sweden

  • “Moa Herngren’s divorce novel finds just the right tone. /…/ Moa Herngren is skilled at creating recognition and portraying relationships, especially when they’re under strain.”

    Sydsvenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “Nervy divorce drama that is pitch perfect. /…/ Moa Herngren with her very unique (not to say perfect) pitch for conflicts in interpersonal relationships, shows how two people who’ve lived a long life together can have entirely different perceptions about what kind of life they’ve lived. Thrilling, and a little bit spooky! –”

    Femina, Sweden

  • “With fascination mingled with horror we get to follow the family when the existence and security they’ve built falls apart. Very well-written and engaging drama where no one is innocent.”

    Expressen Söndag, Sweden

  • “Herngren is masterly when it comes to writing about relationships and emotions we don’t speak of. /…/ That’s where Moa Herngren is so brilliant, in conveying how situations can be perceived so utterly different and how little everyday things can grow into unsurmountable obstacles.”

    Smålandsposten, Sweden

  • “In The Divorce the initial image of Bea as the abandoned victim is transformed, so captivatingly told that you hardly notice before it’s too late. She is talented, Moa Herngren, when she makes the reader’s sympathies shift.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “As with all break-ups: there was one love and in the end there are two truths, that is the center here. /…/ Really impressive.”

    Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Germany

  • “Moa Herngren proves to be a great storyteller in The Divorce.”

    Donna, Germany

  • “[Herngren] has a very accessible and pleasant writing style, even when the subject matter isn’t easy. It is not often someone accomplishes to write lightly and warmly about the breakdown of a relationship, about the lack of understanding, about the internal dilemmas of the parties involved. And yet she managed to do it. She explores an important topic and takes us through the entire path of adulthood leading to the divorce in an interesting way. It intrigued me, poked at me sharply and made me reflect. After reading this, everyone will definitely think about their relationship and do some internal research to see if we are at risk of the equivalent situation. /…/ An excellent read, full of emotions and drama, which encourages you to step out of your personal comfort zone and take another look at the person to whom you vowed love and infidelity many years ago.”

    Granice, Poland

  • “This novel is recommended to all those that once in a while believe the grass to be greener on the other side of the fence… /…/ [The introduction] makes the reader naturally curious. What has happened, what is behind it. Who is the snake in paradise here, if there even is a snake. (…) Moa Herngren is a clever writer. The reader also come to understand Niklas view on things once the famous snake in paradise appears. She has of course been lurking around for quite some time. But if sympathy is on his side now, it is not at all certain that it will last the book. The author has several cards up her sleeve and not everything turns out in Niklas’ favor. /…/ All divorce-candidates; run and buy [The Divorce]! And to those who are not thinking along those lines: the novel is incredibly worth the read.”


    Nettavisen, Norway

  • “An affecting relationship drama unfolds, where it’s hard to determine who’s the villain and who’s the victim.”

    Allas, Sweden

Moa Herngren
  • Fiction
Reading material

Swedish edition

English translation

Rights sold

Albania, Shkupi

Arab World, Al Arabi

Canada, HarperVia

Croatia, Znanje

Czech Republic, Metafora

Denmark, Grønningen 1

Estonia, Hea Lugu

Finland, Gummerus

France, Buchet-Chastel

Germany, Kein & Aber

Hungary, Libri/Helikon

Iceland, Ugla

Israel, Tchelet Books

Italy, Solferino

Lithuania, Tyto Alba

Norway, Kagge

Poland, Albatros

Slovenia, HKZ

Spain, HarperCollins Español

Sweden, Norstedts

UK, Manilla Press

Ukraine, Nora-Druk

US, HarperVia

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