Book Jacket


rank 861
word count 59353
date submitted 01.12.2009
date updated 05.07.2011
genres: Romance, Non-fiction, Travel, Harpe...
classification: universal

Letting Go, a true story

Agneta Mills

Romantic, emotional, with adventure and trauma, you are taken on an eventful journey to the beautiful city of Stockholm.


Agneta's story is a real lesson in life, love, travel and personal growth. Very effective in learning how to let go and move forward!

She moved from Sweden to England in 1972, to be with her boyfriend. They married, had children and she settled into the culture.

Many years later, and now on her own with the children, she eventually meets up with a group of ex-pats.

An uncertain love story commences at this vulnerable point in her life. She focuses on an already planned trip to Sweden.

Sailing on ‘Princess of Scandinavia’, was almost the best part of a journey home. Agneta and teenage son, Tom, spend three weeks visiting family and friends.

Drama starts on the very first morning; she has left their medical cover behind!

Stockholm is alive with performing arts and music, as it hosts a ten-day long ‘Water Festival,’ celebrating the ecology and waterways in and around the city.

A visible solar eclipse also adds an awesome input.

Then we are back in England, and how will the confusing relationship unravel?


I can't believe this is not fiction. It's compulsive. It's sad. It's happy. It flows.
Richard P-S

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cruise, dentist, england, ex-pat, family, friendships, love, non-fiction, parent, romance, single parent, sweden, teenager, true story

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Letting Go, a true story






Chapter One            Spring Moments


Chapter Two            Fellow men


Chapter Three            A Date   


Chapter Four            Exeter to Newcastle


Chapter Five            Princess of Scandinavia


Chapter Six                Earache   


Chapter Seven            Stockholm


Chapter Eight            Friends and Family


Chapter Nine            Back home in England







Chapter One






It is not going to be easy, but getting obsessed is dangerous. Heather is still in hospital after 15 years. Getting obsessed is easy, not being able to let go, until your mind rules your spirit.

  I am a long way from there, but today it got too much. I want it to stop, not get stuck in a daydream where every scene keeps repeating.

  Today it is Jasper's birthday, 26, it is four o'clock in the afternoon and everyone will be here by six. The cake is made and the food bought. I'm going to have a quick bath now, and will write more tomorrow, maybe.


I had toothache, and after four days it felt like the beginning of an abscess. The last time I had been to my dentist was more than five years earlier, and he was not there that day. His wife could see me instead. She gave me the injection, her hand was not steady, it didn't hurt, but when she came towards me with the drill I started to panic. She said this was not going to work, I would have to come back and see her husband. I never went back.

  So I phoned the surgery, and was told I was no longer registered with them. The receptionist gave me the phone number to a contact service, where they could find an emergency dentist for me.

  There the receptionist asked if it hurt, I thought that was sweet. She said I could see Mick, that afternoon at 5.40. I thought, Mick, for some reason that felt nice.

  The surgery was on the outskirts of town. On the way there, sitting on a bus, somehow the name Mick made me feel quite calm, it made no sense so I stopped wondering why.


In the waiting room I had to fill in some forms, before I had finished my name was being called. I looked up and this guy stood in the doorway. He surprised me, he looked at me, he had nice smiling eyes. I thought; he is so good-looking. He kept smiling at me, I felt as if he knew me. I thought, are dentists allowed to look at people like that?

  We went to go to his surgery. I watched him walk before me, every now and again he turned around, looked at me and smiled. His eyes were grey-brown, clear and warm. He had fine long auburn hair, kept in an untidy ponytail, his dark green shirt was un-ironed and he wore black jeans. He didn't look anything like a dentist to me, more like one of my friends.

  Mick asked what sort of pain it was, and I tried to describe the feeling. He smiled and said: right we know what sort of pain it is now. He put his finger in my mouth, touched where it ached, and asked if it hurt.

  ‘It feels tender.’ I felt tender all over.

  ‘You think I'm going to suddenly do something that is going to hurt, but I'm not. I'm gentle,' he looked into my eyes.

  I relaxed.

  ‘There is a small infection on your gum. I will give you some antibiotics.'

  I asked him if I could register at the surgery. He told me that I could register with him or one of the other dentists, it didn't matter.

  ‘I think I want to stay with you.'

  He smiled.

  Mick went to a desk to write out the prescription. I got off the couch and went to stand next to him. He turned around holding the prescription.

  ‘I think I could fall in love with you already,' he suddenly said.

  My head buzzed, I reached out and nearly touched him. I wanted to say, I think you are really nice too, but said nothing.

  He gave the prescription to me, and I stared at it not knowing what to say or do. He told me how many tablets to take and how often.

  ‘If it is still bothering you in a couple of days give me a ring.'

  At last I looked at him.

  He laughed. ‘And then I will think of something wonderful. We've got off to a good start, at least.'

  He gave my notes to me, to take back to the reception.

  ‘Make an appointment for a check-up.'


Coming out of the surgery it was after 6.00 p.m. and the late night chemist was in Heavitree next to Rebecca's. I handed in the prescription which would be ready in 15 minutes, and went to see Rebecca. I told her what had happened at the dentist's, she could hardly believe it.

  ‘He was only joking but it was nice.'

  ‘Well, don't brush your teeth and eat loads of sweets!'

  I laughed.


Three days later it was the Saturday of a Bank holiday weekend, and my tooth was still bothering me. I worried that it might get worse over the long weekend, and decided to phone the surgery. A man answered, I wondered if it was him? I explained who I was, and said the tablets did not seem to be working.

  ‘You'd better come and see me then. How long will it take you to get here?'

  ‘About an hour.'

  ‘OK, I'll see you at three o'clock.'

  The surgery was shut and looked deserted, the opening hours written on the front door were between Mondays and Fridays, there was an emergency number to contact at other times. I was confused, he had said three o'clock, but everything was definitely locked up and it was ten minutes to three.

  There was a petrol station next door, they probably had a phone. Having walked over, I saw their phone-box only accepted phone cards. I bought a three pound card. An answering machine repeated the opening hours and the emergency number. I tried that number, got cut off, and even more confused.

  I walked back to the surgery, no one was there. I began to feel wound up and annoyed. It seemed pointless but I went back to the phone-box, tried again, and got the same response.

  I could not understand this, before going to wait at the bus stop to go home, I checked the surgery one more time, still no one there. I gave up.

  Sitting at the bus stop I thought, this is mad, we had arranged three o'clock, he had to be there. You don't arrange to see a patient and then not be there. I got up, crossed over the road towards the garage to try the phone again. A man came walking out of the garage towards me, it was him. His clothes looked as if they had been slept in, the same green shirt and black jeans as the other day. Hair fell out of his ponytail, and he hadn't shaved.

  ‘Is it you who's come to see me?'

  ‘Was it you who answered the phone?'

  He brought out some keys from a pocket and started to unlock the front door of the surgery.

  ‘Did you phone about an hour ago?'

  I realised then that he had come out especially. My tooth did not hurt that bad and I felt a bit guilty. But when he had answered the phone and said that he would see me at three, I had just assumed the surgery was open on Saturdays.

  I told him my tooth did not really hurt too bad. We walked to his room, everything was quiet and seemed dark. He turned on a light.

  ‘Let's have a look then.'

  I got up on the couch and he looked in my mouth.

  ‘It still looks a bit infected. I'll give you these other antibiotics to take as well and that should clear it up. If it still hurts in a week we have to think again.'

  ‘I don't know where your notes are,' he said, as we walked out of his room and into the waiting room.

  ‘We'll have to fill in a new form.’

  He got the papers from a drawer and sat down at the desk. He asked the questions needed to be ticked off on the form.

  ‘Is anyone else coming to see you?'

  ‘No, I just came to see you.'

  He had such nice eyes. He winked. I smiled, the atmosphere seemed to lift.

  ‘Just sign there,' he said, and I did.


Stepping out of the surgery and into the bright sunshine outside, right opposite in the same yard, a woman sat in the front of a parked car, with a small child about three or four years old, in the back. Obviously his girlfriend or wife, and child, I thought. Well, at least I know straight away that he is not free, then I can't start dreaming impossible dreams. It will just be nice to see him.

  I would see him again soon, at the ‘check-up', which was next Thursday, only five days away. There were two things I wanted to say to him, first; to thank him for seeing me this Saturday, and also to ask if it had been his child in the car.


Thursday arrived. Sitting on a sofa in one corner of the waiting room, I felt a bit nervous. I wondered how he would be this time. Suddenly he appeared through the door, he had seen me as he walked towards the receptionist sitting behind the desk. He looked a little uncomfortable and did not look over to say hello. I picked up a magazine lying in the windowsill next to me, and started to glance through the pages, while waiting for my turn.

  He appeared again in the doorway, calling my name as he looked over. He smiled. It's going to be OK, I thought, and put the magazine back in the window. I got up to follow him through the corridor to his room. He asked how my tooth was, I told him that it was better, but still hurt at times.

  Coming into his surgery, I went to sit on the couch, and he sat down on a chair behind. It was a small room, with just enough space for the couch, a couple of chairs and a desk beside the door.

  ‘Thanks for seeing me the other day.'

  ‘That's OK.'

  ‘Was it an emergency number that I called?'


  ‘I didn't realise someone would come out especially.'

  ‘That's because I love you,' he looked at me.

  I looked at him, not knowing what to say for a second.

  ‘That's nice,' I then said.

  ‘Did you have a nice time, the rest of weekend?' he asked, and told me he had been to the beach.

  ‘Was it your little girl or boy, I saw in the car outside, the other day?'

  ‘What kind of car?'

  I tried to think.

  ‘What colour was it?' he then asked.

  ‘Grey, I think.'

  He told me that he had a yellow van and a French car, if it had been a French car it would have been his.

  ‘I've got a little girl.'

  So it had been his child.

  I fidgeted on the couch, he looked at me questioningly, I said: ‘OK, I'll calm down.'

  ‘Yes, nothing exciting is going to happen. Well, maybe later, but not here, not at the dentist's.'

  I know nothing exciting is going to happen, I thought.

  ‘We're going to take some X-rays now,' he went to pull the X-ray machine closer to me.

  He adjusted the machine, put a small card into my mouth, tilted my head in the direction of the wall, and asked me to try to keep that position still. He walked backwards out into the corridor, holding the X-ray gun in his hand. He held it up and it flashed. He came back, changed the position of the card in my mouth slightly, moved my head a bit more to the right and said: ‘keep still like that.’

  I looked at the wall. The gun flashed again.

  ‘Just one more time now,' he said as he came back.

  ‘Is that it?' I began to get up, not thinking quite straight.

  ‘No! I said one more time, you're not listening are you?' he pretended to be annoyed.

  ‘No,' I agreed.

  The last flash was over and he came to take the card out of my mouth. I could feel him looking at me and looked up, straight into his eyes. His face was quite close and his eyes were almost laughing. I smiled, and felt all warm.

  He said that was it for now. By next time we should know from the X-rays, what the problem was with the bad tooth. There were also a few more teeth that needed treatment.

  ‘Make an appointment for half an hour with Mick, and also book time with the hygienist.'


Anette sent an e-mail saying spring certainly had arrived for me. I had written a long letter telling her all about my first two visits to Mick. “Shame he is not free, but enjoy all these flirtatious spring moments,” was her advice.

  She had moved back to Sweden, with partner Graham and two daughters, a couple of years ago. I missed our talks.


As I worked at home on the computer in my bedroom upstairs, I listened to songs being played on Virgin radio and thought about Mick.

  I was looking forward to seeing him again, but a little nervous of half an hour of treatment. Half an hour is a long time. Apart from the injection and the drilling, there would also be the embarrassment of lying there, mouth wide open, with him doing whatever he had to.


Sitting on the bus on the way to the surgery, I felt cold and my stomach turned. I had cancelled the appointment with the hygienist. The infection and bad tooth still hurt at times, it seemed best to leave that treatment for now. So I would just have half an hour with Mick.

  ‘Have you been looking forward to this?' Mick asked with a smile, as I got up on the couch.

  ‘No,’ I replied, ‘this is going to be painful.'

  ‘I don't like this,' I added.

  He turned to look at the lamp above me, and started to adjust the light settings.

  ‘Well, you don't have to stay. You can just leave, just walk out of here and never to come back,' his voice sounded uninterested.

  I don't want walk out of here, never to come back, I thought and felt a bit upset.

  As he gave me the injection he asked if it hurt, and it didn't. I glanced into his eyes, they looked friendly.

  ‘You can go and sit in the waiting room for a few minutes, for the injection to take effect.'

  ‘Jump off,' he then said suddenly. He sounded impatient.

  ‘Jump off where?'

  ‘To the waiting room.'

  I could almost hear him thinking: ‘where else?'

  This is not going at all well, I thought, as I walked through the corridor. Oh well, at least my teeth are being seen to.


  ‘Tell me if it hurts,' Mick said as he started drilling.

  I concentrated on staring at a spot on the ceiling. After a while he said: ‘that's right, just ignore me then.'

  I moved my eyes to look at the ceiling a little closer to his head, and tried to breathe calmly.

  Keeping my mouth wide open was getting hard. The drill was noisy, and I tried not to swallow water the dental nurse sprayed into my mouth. I could smell burned tooth. Glancing over at her, she smiled sympathetically. Mick asked if I was OK, and I said yes. Eventually the drilling came to an end. The nurse passed the filling to him, which he pressed tightly into the hole in my tooth with an instrument, and then it was all done.

  ‘That's you all done. Off you go then.'

  He sounded relieved.

  ‘It might take two months for the tooth to settle down, and it will probably hurt a bit when it gets hot or cold. Make another appointment for half an hour.'

  I looked at him, and said bye. He looked at me, but did not say anything, or smile.

  My coat and bag lay on the floor, I bent down to pick them up. As I straightened up, and started to turn to open the door behind me, my eyes suddenly looked straight into his. I felt a bright flash. We both smiled and I backed out of the door. Closing the door, with my heart thumping, I went to make the appointment.

  Sitting on the bus on the way back into town, I wondered why he had been so different. Almost a bit irritated a couple of times, and wanting me to go quickly. But I kept seeing his eyes, as I had turned to go, and I could still feel that flash. Now I wouldn't see him for nearly a month. Maybe that was just as well, to get a bit of distance.


A week went by, my tooth was aching and felt sore, it wasn't getting any better, I decided to phone Mick. The receptionist answered and said; ‘he is right here,' then told him I was on the phone.

  ‘What is it about?' she asked me.

  I told her that it was either the filling hurting, or the infection had come back.

  ‘It is still not right,' I heard her tell Mick.

  ‘He can see you at 3.40 this afternoon.'

  I worried in case he thought I had phoned unnecessarily. But as we walked to his room, he told me that he had thought this might happen. The tooth was dead, and it was possible that he would have to redo the filling with a root filling.

  Having looked at my tooth, he told me he would give me some more antibiotics. Hopefully the tooth would settle down. He went to sit down at the desk to write out the prescription, while I stayed sitting waiting on the couch.

  ‘There is a lot of work to be done on your teeth. But that's good, it means we can spend more time together. It's quite romantic. I think I'll wear my little black top next time,' he turned around, looked at me and grinned.

  Then he turned back to the desk, and I said: ‘ it's nice.'

  ‘Your teeth are not in a really bad condition, just worn. That's because you're getting old. You are older than me.'

  ‘How old are you then?' I asked.

  ‘I was born in ‘57.'

  ‘I'm three years older than you,' I said.

  He turned to look at me again.

  ‘Well, what conclusions have you come to at your great age?'

  I didn't know what to say, so I said: ‘I don't know.'

  ‘You don't know! You must know,' he exclaimed.

  ‘I don't know.'

  ‘Yes you do, tell me.'

  OK then, I thought, what is important to me? After a few seconds of thinking quite hard I told him: ‘try to be happy.’

  ‘And another?' he asked.

  ‘Oh no!'

  ‘Come on now,' he demanded.

  I was racking my brain.

  ‘Don't take things too seriously,' I told him at last.

  ‘Don't take things too seriously,' he repeated and I said yes.

  ‘OK, one last one.'


  ‘Come on, tell me,' he demanded again.

  ‘I won't let you have this prescription if you don't tell me,' he held it up tight in his hand, and laughed.

  ‘See what happens,' I then said and looked at him.

  Laughing he gave me the prescription.

  I held on to it, laughing too, and suddenly noticed the dental nurse, who was standing beside us smiling.


The waiting room was full of people, I waited in a queue to hand my notes back to the reception. Mick suddenly appeared at my side, and said: ‘I've thought of another one.’

  He said something into my ear, which I couldn't quite understand, but I said: ‘that's a good one.’

  ‘It is, isn't it,' he replied as he carried on walking towards the desk. Standing beside the receptionist he started to turn the pages in the appointment book, then he looked up and said to the whole room:

  ‘We're in love.’

  He looked at me. ‘Aren't we?'

  All I could see was his eyes.


  The person in front of me had gone and I moved up closer to the desk. Mick was looking in the appointment book, ‘you have an appointment on the 10 of June,' he said to me and then gave the book to the receptionist.

  ‘Yes, to see the hygienist at 4 and Mick at 4.15. Do you want me to write the times down?’

  ‘No, it's OK, I'll remember.'

  I said bye to her, and looked at Mick. His eyes were warm and smiling.


As I walked to the bus stop I felt like I was floating, I had to carry on walking to the next stop before I could stand still, and then my head was still spinning.

  On the bus as I calmed down, I thought, he is only having fun, don't take it seriously, and he had said he had a little girl, and he is probably married. I would see him again in just over two weeks. I decided to just enjoy him being my dentist, and not read anything into anything he might say or do.

  I wrote to Anette, but I didn't tell her everything that Mick had said. I could not have described the feelings I had felt.

  He seemed out of this world to me, a joker who could lift me to another place. High up, out of myself. I had never met any person like him.


It was the 10 of June. The hygienist had worked hard at cleaning my teeth, but I had to come back once more. Now I sat in the waiting room, waiting to see Mick. I felt nervous and my heart was beating fast, I concentrated on breathing slowly.

  The room was quiet, with only another couple of people waiting. A phone rang, the receptionist answered. I picked up a magazine, and then he was there. He looked at me and said: ‘Agneta.’

  I stood up and walked towards him. His eyes were soft.

  ‘Hi babe.'

  I felt almost calm.

  We walked to his room, he asked how I was and how was the tooth. I told him the antibiotics must have worked, because it had stopped hurting a week ago.

  After he had given the injection to me, and I sat in the waiting room, waiting for it to take effect, I thought, I can't think of anything to say to him. I felt kind of numb all over. Mick came to get me after a few minutes.

  ‘Does it feel numb?'


  He drilled, asking every now and again if I was OK, or that it was not hurting. Otherwise he was quite quiet too, which made me feel more relaxed. I thought, it's OK, there is nothing that needs to be said.

  ‘That's you all done, little one,' he said, when it was all over.


Now I didn't know when I would see him next. He had told me that first time, when I asked if I could register at the surgery, that he was only there two months at a time, then he was away for a month. As it was coming up for two months since then, I guessed that now he would be away for a month. I would make an appointment to see him when I saw the hygienist. I wondered what he did when he wasn't there.

  I had been right, and Mick would be away until the second week of July, the receptionist told me, when I made the next appointment to see him. Which would be on the 14 July. That was the day after my friend Eva would visit him for a check-up.

  She didn't like her dentist she had said, when I told her about Mick, after my first visit to him. Well, why don't you change dentists then, and make an appointment to see Mick, I had said, and gave her his name and the phone number to the surgery. So she did. I wondered what she would think of him, and I was a little nervous in case he fell in love with her, but then again he saw hundreds of people all the time that he could fall in love with.

  I had told Eva how my first couple of visits to Mick had been, but not the rest. Describing how he had been, and what he had said, to someone who had not met him, would give them the wrong impression I felt.

  ‘How did it go?' I asked Eva, when I phoned her, after she had been to her appointment.

  ‘Well, he wasn't anything like how he's been with you. He was just polite and friendly, just like any normal dentist.'

  ‘Oh good,' I felt relieved. ‘That's OK then, I don't mind sharing him with you now!' I laughed.




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Pia wrote 1534 days ago

Agneta -

Letting Go - A True Story ... Are dentists allowed to look at people like that? ... 'He seemed out of this world to me, a joker who could lift me to another place.' ... Dentists all round the world will start feeling inflated if they read your romance, which is strangely addictive and surreal, like the real experience, I guess. Tom, bless him, got it right - 'He's a kid.' You got a remarkable talent for suspense.

On my shelf, although I may have backed this before. Pia (Course of Mirrors)

Raven Scott wrote 1533 days ago

When faced with non-fiction I try to concntrate purely on the style of writing, use of paragraphs and dialogue. Your book has made me ignore my normal approach. It is a wonderful story, gentle yet realistic, told with a sharpness that grips better than many novels. Your style is a breath of fresh air and the dialogue absolutely spot on.

backed with pleasure.

Rev Raven Scott Love is a colour too.

Anthony Brady wrote 1563 days ago


You weren't in ABBA were you? I really fancied her. Your book made this old man very happy. Nothing nasty or sordid here, in a delightful blend of all the best ingredients of this genre. It is a kind of counterpoint to the lietmotif of many of that Swedish Group's memorable songs. What a heady diet of romance in all its apects is relished: intrigue, liaison, passion, adventure, charm, colour, glamour, sentiment, fantasy, melodrama, tenderness and ultimately enduring love. Some of the opposites of those romantic delights too: sadness, rejection, misunderstandings skillfuly combined.

The scenes between your heroinne and Mike could be a primer for any person inexperienced in the banter of the infatuated: a text book in Chat Up. Agneta, I'm taking up dentistry after this. I'll let you know when I qualify. You control most delicately the erotic and the sexual chemistry between Mike and Yourself (sic) and in this reader's view, balance the teasing tilt neatly between the naughty, suggestive provocative dynamic of a bonk buster and bodice ripper.

I Watchlisted, Shelved, Backed your book and now am pleased to make a Comment. Perhaps you might read: An Ocassion of Sin - in my Book 2. Also "Unsafe in the arms of Bertie!"


Steve Merrill wrote 1651 days ago

The hardest part of writing a memoir, I believe, is knowing what to include and what to exclude. I don't believe there is anything here that doesn't belong to a cohesive whole. You have a sense of life's small absurdities, and express it in a very subtle way, and in a way which any human who has lived long enough can identify with.

Adeel wrote 845 days ago

The book is on my WL and i will come back with my comments in next couple of days.

johnpatrick wrote 850 days ago

Hej Agneta!
As promised a review of 'Letting Go, a true story.'
Overall I am engagaed...and I can't put my finger on the reason why.
The story is dialogue driven mostly, which I like, and the style is breezy but conspiratorial. The MC strikes me as slightly amazed and dizzy at the sequence of events happening around her and this generates the same feeling in the reader.
The budding romance with the dentist is at times surreal, at times very sweet but overall effective in holding the readers attention.
I like the titles at the start which are also intriguing.
The memoir itself is authentic as it smacks of real life-how very like a bunch of Swedes not to call over or say anything in the first unsuccessful meeting with the group.
One thing-dialogue wise: it's unclear when you begin a new line of dialogue for the same speaker eg 'We'll have to fill in a new form..' Could be wrongly interpretted as MC saying this.
I'm engaged as I say and enjoyed the firts three chapters. Will return if time permits. High stars and on WL.
Lycka till och soliga vårhälsningar från Åhus!

Wanttobeawriter wrote 926 days ago

I liked this story. When I was a teenager I had a crush on my dentist so I really related to you in the first chapter (he moved to Cincinnati when I left for college so I never saw him again but sometimes wonder . . . ). Anyway, I like your writing style. It’s clear and simple; makes this easy to read. I’m adding it to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

GILLIAN.M.H wrote 1044 days ago

I started reading chapter one, but had to skip a large part - not because of any fault with the writing. Just dentist phobia. This reads more like chick lit - than true life.

Fischier wrote 1057 days ago

I like the blogg-like beginning. Everyday chores and everyday problems, told in a simple, and effective prose. But the story is by no means uninteresting. Your writing has a nice flow which makes an easy, pleasant even read, and the conversations runs smoothly through the pages.

I do have a hard time with your tendency to repeat some words. In my opinion, you'll need to cut down on the verbs, or at least try to vary them. After a short while I begin to get irritated and the repetitions pulls me away from the story itself.

"Nice smiling eyes" "He kept smiling at me" "He smiled and said.."

"I looked up and this guy..." "He surprised me, he looked at me." "He's so good looking" "Alloweed to look at people..." "I watched him walk before me..." ""He turned around, looked at me and smiled." "He didn't look anything like..." "He looked into my eyes."

These examples are from four paragraphs only.

All in all I enjoyed the chapters I read, and of course the Swedish connection makes it even more interesting for me, as a Swede. Good luck here at Authonomy!

lizjrnm wrote 1114 days ago

I am sure I read and backed this before but it seems you have done a decent amount of editing to make it shine even more. Im backing and starring this again.

The Cheech Room

Kari2010 wrote 1142 days ago

Letting Go by Agneta Mills

I had this on my WL for some time and only now just go to it ... but I'm glad I did. Right from the onset this is a captivating read. First, I'd like to comment on your stlye/ use of language which I found simple and straightforward. This I believe made it easier for me to be drawn into Agneta's story.

Chapter One:
I was totally hooked on this. I was rooting for a kiss to occur in the dentist's office (LOL) but it didn't happen. This is one of the few reads that I just whizzed through ... I guess we all love a good romance and the anticipation of something occurring during one of those visits kept my eyes roving all over the text. but of course, it didn't happen. You definitely know how to tell a story and I'm sure the rest is just as catchy as what I've read. There are some sentence construction issues that you might need to work out during editing, but the story was so interesting that I managed to gloss over some without jarring the read. Wonderful read.
Highly starred for now .. I really want to get back to see what happens later.

Some (teeny-weeny) corrections that I thought I'd point out.

I had toothache.
(I had (a) toothache.)

We went to go to his surgery
(We went to his surgery)

"It feels tender" I felt tender all over.
(I don't think you need to explain that given that you've already said it in the dialogue. So I would just leave the dialogue to do the telling.

All the best with this! Kari

EltopiaAuthor wrote 1143 days ago

Read first chapter. Nice, romantic, story starter.

Hey, here's an author who can give the illusion of romance to a session in the dentistry chair! Nice opening.

Tom Bye wrote 1158 days ago

Hello Agneta --'Letting go, a true story'

I have read the first four chapters of this delightful memoir, and i am totally wrapped up in this romantic story.
That dentist of your was, as they say here, something else, How did you fall in love with a dentist, and the thought
of living (perhaps) with that drill you hate, buzzing in the next room.
joking aside; it is a very captivating tale and written in an easy flowing style. For me it sits up with the queue of one of the better books in its genre. Stockholm now sounds as a place to see, and must put on my short list./
it would the perfect holiday read

good luck with it
Tom Bye Dublin Ireland ' from hugs to kisses;
obliged if you could glance at mine, thanks

Intriguing Trails wrote 1163 days ago

Letting Go - A True Story
Non-Fiction Romance, 1st person

Premise: Who doesn't love a romance? This is so intriguing! When an author can write a compelling story about going to the dentist, I know that I've found a truely wonderfully talented writer.

Through Ch 1 the tension is maintained. It keeps coming back, like a toothache to pull the reader into the story.
Will the tooth get pulled? Or will the reader just keep feeling the ache?

Marvelous! The mechanics are sounder than the tooth, and I saw nothing needing surgery.

The characters have a few caveties which make them more believable but not rotten!

Great hooks, too!

All in all, this is a wonderful read and I've filled in the gold stars. Will hold on my WL until a space opens on my shelf.


Walden Carrington wrote 1171 days ago

I'm amazed by all the details you can remember from years ago. Letting Go, A True Story is a truly poignant account which has been crafted in a readable and pleasing style. Six stars and it's going on my watchlist.

Walden Carrington
Titanic: Rose Walsh McLean's Story

RonParker wrote 1261 days ago

Hi Agneta,

Sorry about the repeated messages. I tried to send my comments, but repeatedly got the message 'an error has occured' so I didn't realise the original message had been accepted.


RonParker wrote 1261 days ago

Hi Agneta,

This is a very easy to read tale and written in a nice style. There are very few errors in the writing aside from an occassional missing word.

One problem you do have, though, is that you mention the names of characters without saying what their connection to the narrator is. This is particulry noticible in the first few paragraphs of chapter one.

Similar;ly, we are not given the name of the narrator herself until well into the chapter. This is always difficult when writing in first person but in yourcase you can easily fit it in when the name is called at the dentist for the first time.

Good luck with this.


RonParker wrote 1261 days ago

Hi Agneta,

This is a very easy to read tale and written in a nice style. There are very few errors in the writing aside from an occassional missing word.

One problem you do have, though, is that you mention the names of characters without saying what their connection to the narrator is. This is particulry noticible in the first few paragraphs of chapter one.

Similar;ly, we are not given the name of the narrator herself until well into the chapter. This is always difficult when writing in first person but in yourcase you can easily fit it in when the name is called at the dentist for the first time.

Good luck with this.


RonParker wrote 1261 days ago

Hi Agneta,

This is a very easy to read tale and written in a nice style. There are very few errors in the writing aside from an occassional missing word.

One problem you do have, though, is that you mention the names of characters without saying what their connection to the narrator is. This is particulry noticible in the first few paragraphs of chapter one.

Similar;ly, we are not given the name of the narrator herself until well into the chapter. This is always difficult when writing in first person but in yourcase you can easily fit it in when the name is called at the dentist for the first time.

Good luck with this.


silvachilla wrote 1275 days ago

Hi Agneta

Sorry it's taken a while to respond, it's different to what I normally read so required a bit more concentration! Having said that, I loved it. You write really well and very convincingly, it was so easy to actually see things in my mind as I read which is always a great sign for me.

Natalie (and backed)


curiousturtle wrote 1308 days ago

I started reading your story and the first thing that impressed me is the style: bare...functional...a total absence of ornamentation....just the facts.

The dialogue in the jewel in your glows,,,it flourishes.

then came this:

"that's because I love you"

to dump that phrase in the middle of the dialogue without any warning.....nice. What it does is the equivalent of placing a pink square in the middle of a says to the out. .And by doing so, stylizes the narrative.

So my advice is: why not do that more....?

Finally, a minor point, I never saw the dentist's office or the place where the summer coffee break happened

you wrote: "At a summer coffee break:"

I would have liked a phrase that opened up a mind picture, for ex: "table tops disseminated along the room in needlepoint formation. It was time for a coffee break"

Hope it helps,

I am giving you 5 stars


minx2minx wrote 1315 days ago

Backed and rated with pleasure.
Lizzie Scott :-)

Mollie Orange wrote 1319 days ago

Dear Agneta,
As someone who is fascinated with the Swedish Language (you can blame Wallander and Beck - which I have on DVD) I was drawn to your book. I see you are published and on-sale - so I just wanted to say "Congratulations". I will buy your book - it somehow doesn't see fair to read it for free. I can share it with my Swedish speaking Norwegian friends. I hope one day to get to Sweden. I randomly chose six chapters, only intending you read a few lines but quickly got drawn in.

With very best wishes

(The Tale of Mollie Orange)

Elizabeth.NYC wrote 1352 days ago

I've been a fan of Agneta's romantic memoir since I first read it a year ago. It was so great to revisit the dentist scene. It's priceless. There's so much feeling here, and those feelings are passed on to the readers. I want to do my share to give his story high stars. Fans of romance, especially real-life romance, will eat this up.
(Out of Sync)

lavery51 wrote 1358 days ago

Agneta, You have written a book worthy of publishing. It is polished, suspenseful and holds the readers attention. It is also about what I consider to be the most interesting part of life, peoples relationships. Good luck with it. If you can, could your take a second look at Your Turn which you seemed to like the first time around, thanks and good luck Lynne

HannahWar wrote 1359 days ago

Agneta, I find the first chapter unsettling although I don't know why. You have a talent for memory, all the little details of things that happen in your life you are able to put down on paper. I think that is a very special gift and gives a great insight in your life and that of those around you. Sweet and true! I've starred your book. Hannah

nana wrote 1365 days ago


Dear Agneta

Congratulations on reaching the HarperTrue Top Ten reads last month and apologies for the delay in responding to your manuscript - many thanks for your patience.

Letting Go is a beautifully written and, in many places, poetic story. I like the fictional feeling that you bring to your writing, and the calm, easy pace that makes it feel so real to the reader, allowing them to live your experiences as you do. I also find the combination of your personal life and the mystery of your relationship with Mick against your vivid descriptions of Stockholm and Sweden an interesting contrast.

My only comments would be to watch out that your 'markers' for time and place are clear for the reader, and to ensure that your conversations flow easily - sometimes they feel rather too 'complete' or formal - as when we write down speech as we think it happened, not remembering that so much of what we observe from a conversation is non-oral, and the reader will pick up exactly what is being communicated very easily.

We wish you all the best with finding a publisher for your work, and thank you for submitting your manuscript for HarperTrue.

All best wishes
The HarperTrue Team


Swedish ex-pats roll up!

As a half-Swede who grew up in England this book touches me more than most. I found the writing well-crafted, the mixture of narrative and descriptive prose well-balanced and the story itself touching. The dialogue is deftly handled too. It is emotional and evocative; for me, oozing nostalgia.

An enjoyable read with a strong flavour of reality, I'd recommend this anytime.

5.0 out of 5 stars, 17 Jan 2010
By F. Nath "fn21" (UK)


I can't help thinking that you're as much a philosopher as you are a chronicler. There are little pearls of wisdom and poetic observations dotted around amongst the crisp dialogue and engaging scenes, that make this a beautiful and often poignant study of what it is to be human. Shelved.

Drew X

Agneta, one of the finest things about this is how understated is your description of being an ex-pat. Those who have not lived that life cannot understand the solitariness--it's not exactly loneliness is it--that is part and parcel of the situation. Nor can they understand that it takes many many years to form understanding friendships. So I really appreciated that aspect of this.

I also really appreciated the distinction you made between a grown-up and a kid, because that's a thing which few people want to grapple with--and yet it's vital isn't it?

I very much appreciated your willingness too to be so honest about having been in love, having been spun along--possibly not out of any kind of malice--because it all came straight from the heart. And your Tom sounds a very good egg, from beginning to end!

MM (Of Honest Fame) – Authonomy

Dear Agneta - Here's what caught me immediately: "(obsession)...until your mind rules your spirit." I knew I would find treasures in your work, and I do. You write beautifully, thoughtfully, and reading Letting Go is a delight. Now - the story. I adore this story. I felt every flutter, every bit of nervousness, every euphoria in this strange and wonderful love story with the dentist. I love that you weren't overly descriptive of Mick, let us imagine him. Their almost-awkward teasing was so sweet, and every time she called for another appointment I was as breathless as she was! It was kind of cat-and-mouse, written so innocently, and yet I felt the attraction and sexual tension building. It was wonderful! Then, when Eva went to see him - that was priceless.
You make me feel all warm and romantic...thanks.
Lizzi (Dionysus) - Authonomy

They say truth is stranger than fiction - but in this case, a true romance is better than fiction. The tension you build between Mick and yourself caused knots in my stomach.
I found myself absorbed into your story. Loved it.
KJKron - Authonomy

I'm here for our trade.
I find that I like this - as a woman I can relate to your story - this really sparkles with warmth and charm. I like how you mix up the story with dialogue - some people don’t do that in a memoir and I find this a much more enjoyable read with it - and everyone can relate to the dentist story!
Karen Carr - Authonomy

Everyone enjoys reading passages like this:

“The sun was bright on a clear blue sky. I looked across at the Princess of Scandinavia. The ship looked beautiful, large but streamlined at the same time. Gleaming white in the sunlight, with its orange coloured lifeboats and light green decks. My heart surged, happiness and a sense of achievement suddenly filled me.”

And this sort of composite travelogue/personal remembrance is what carries this autobiography:

“Sitting on pendeltåget coming into Stockholm, I looked out of the window as we went over a high bridge. Here was a good view of the islands, below I could see on the right the small marina where Tom and I had stayed on my father’s boat. To the left we soon passed ‘Tanto’. My grandparents had had an allotment here with a little red and white cabin, amongst hundreds of similar plots of land also with small dwellings....We came closer to the Central Station. I could see Gamla Stan (the old part of the city) on the right, Riksdagshuset (the old parliament) in front, handsome large old buildings, and sun reflecting everywhere on shallow waves.
I felt a pang in my heart. It was good to be home.”

And of course all the time as a backdrop is this:

“‘Have you fallen in love yet?’ Stefan asked me nosily.
‘There is someone,’ I said. ‘But nothing has happened yet and I don’t know if it will.’ Stefan leant forward.
‘Who is it?’ he asked.
‘My dentist.’”

And as for the dentist:

“I looked into his eyes.
He looked into mine.
His eyes were so clear. I wondered what he was thinking, I wondered what it would be like talking to him outside of here.”

Odysseus - Authonomy

'Letting Go' is a touching and gentle tale of friendship and magical coincidence.
The reader is lifted by the storyline and taken on an emotional and geographical journey through close and caring relationships.
Sarah Lennox-Hilton

Jack Hughes wrote 1369 days ago

Hello Agneta. This is a story very close to my heart. I've been to Sweden several times and have friends there but this story is more than simply a nostalgric trip down memory lane for me. Looking at the work from the pespective of a reader and an author, it is a beautifully written and very evocative story with very well defined characters. A friend in my MA class is writing a similar story about her experiences travelling to Naples and, if you don't mind, I will tell her to have a look at Letting Go in order to see how she might go about composing it.

I have no hesitation in backing a book of this quality and would like to wish you all the best of luck.

Backed wih my compliments.

Jack Hughes
Dawn of Shadows

JPR wrote 1376 days ago

Backed with pleasure

James David Audlin wrote 1377 days ago

Detta är mycket bra faktiskt!

To me - and I have begun in the last year to draft my own - the memoir is a very tricky genre to write in. One must, of course, be selective; one cannot include every last little dull, ordinary episode, for even the lives of great people are mostly (as experienced) composed of hum-drum events. But at the same time, one must be honest, unflinchingly so, and not fall into the trap of selectivity turning into avoidance of self-embarrassment in favor of self-aggrandisement. This can only be done if one can be objective enough about one's life to detect a theme, a path as it were, and then a good enough writer to describe it through the mosaic of day-to-day events.

Agneta hs succeeded well at this task. I approached her story - as I do all memoirs - with a certain trepidation, but I am happy to report that my fears were in vain. I very much enjoyed reading it. She brings us gently into her story with clear simple description and an honest recall. I am considerably impressed and hope that this will some day be published.

lavery51 wrote 1379 days ago


celticwriter wrote 1381 days ago

Hi Nana.....I've already read and commented on your book :-) Perhaps it didn't come through? Backed, too. However, if it didn't register, I do apologize. I will certainly back again! If the comment didn't make its way to you - (I'm still learning this site!) I had written that I enjoyed your nice, flowing style. The honesty of your writing. Make a terrific movie, too. :-)


celticwriter wrote 1381 days ago

Hi Nana.....I'm already read and commented on your book :-) Perhaps it didn't come through? Backed, too. However, if it didn't register, I do apologize. I will certainly back again! If the comment didn't make its way to you - (I'm still learning this site!) I had written that I enjoyed your nice, flowing style. The honesty of your writing. Make a terrific movie, too. :-)


celticwriter wrote 1383 days ago

Hi Agneta - I'm not a critic, just a mere scriptwriter who enjoys a good structured story. Yours is terrific. And, as I have a heart for single parents (I raised 3 sons on my own), I can relate to you...and to where your heartfelt writings can spring from. Your sentences follow naturally one into the other...enjoying the journey.

jack & charmian london (a true adventure, love story)

lavery51 wrote 1393 days ago

Hi Agneta: Your book caught my eye because I spent a summer in Sweden and Finland. I loved Stockholm. Your book is very good and has a special appeal to those of us who have a picture of beautiful Scandinavia in their minds. I will continue with pleasure.
IF you have time, please review You-Turn and if you feel its worthy, back it, thank you, Lynne

GK Stritch wrote 1394 days ago

Dear Agneta Mills,

There’s something about Letting Go that makes me want to let go and run off to Sweden. What’s more romantic than cruising on a beautiful ship in bright clear weather with a fresh breeze and strong salt air? I’m positively drooling reading this, and all those gorgeous Swedes for scenery! Bring on the Nords.

Best and backed.

GK Stritch
CBGB Was My High School

chuckylivesinme wrote 1397 days ago

i read a few chapters of this and it a compelling story. I like the style, clean and easy to read however i do think the first paragraph sticks out, as theres no mention or expansion further along,l by then you've moved on to the fledgling flirtation with the dentist.

You have nice flowing dilaogue but I would be tempted to read it out aloud, sometimes its a little too formal and not as you would actually speak. having said that, its probably because of the dual languages.

But on the whole its a very sweet read

Backed - Clair

Justis Call wrote 1399 days ago

Looks like quite a journey of self-discovery. Compelling.

Justis Call

Jehmka wrote 1407 days ago

I’m sorry, but I have to be honest.
The very first sentence… “It is not going to be easy, but getting obsessed is dangerous.” I don’t understand what this means. It sounds like something one might tell you in a dream. “Getting obsessed is easy…” Becoming obsessed… Being obsessed… Losing one’s self is easy… Just about anything is better than get, getting, and got. “…not being able to let go…” No! “…until your mind rules your spirit.” I like that. Losing one’s self is easy—desperately holding on until your mind rules your spirit.

“I am a long way from there, but today it got too much.” but today was too much. today was almost too much. “I want it to stop, not get stuck…” not get stuck? Doesn’t that feel backwards, or somehow awkward? I want it to stop. I want to avoid the daydream where every scene repeats itself. Look at how many times you use “not.” “not being” “not get stuck” “he was not there” “her hand was not steady” I would strongly advise replacing as many of these “nots” with a positive equal, wherever possible. Her hand was shaking… or, her hand shook like the hips of drunken go-go dancer. (Maybe not.)
Anyway… I’m done picking on your word choices and sentence structure. I very much like the premise of your story. I appreciate the massive amount of effort that brought it to this point... believe me, I know. I think it needs a bit more… and deserves a bit more.
Dear Lord, strike me down if I’ve offended, for that is in no way my intent.
The very best to you…
Rodney Jones
The Father

lj reads wrote 1416 days ago

Your book is well written Agneta. I could learn alot from your style. Thanks for acknowledging me.

homewriter wrote 1422 days ago

Hi Agneta. A tremendous idea fot a book. I'm not sure whether to say a novel or not. Anyway, I enjoyed what I read which I thought was brilliant. Gordon - The Harpist of Madrid.

Vall wrote 1427 days ago

A charming book, beautifully observed and written. Pleased to back

Kevin O'Donnell wrote 1427 days ago

This is good writing. It feels well paced, laid back, relaxed like sinking into a warm bath. Not my usual genre, and different from the many stories of agents, conspiracies, orcs and the like I have been reviewing. Nice change. Well done.

tisseurdecontes wrote 1441 days ago

I've read the first chapter and I will say that you are ambitious. I can think of fewer places less romantic than the dentist's office. So if you manage to pull this off you will have quite an accomplishment.

I would encourage you to work some more on your pitch. The purpose of the pitch is to convince a potential reader to read the book. You want to give some information, in a way that will catch the interest, but you don't need (or want) to give a synopsis of the whole plot. You might start something like this:

It all began at the dentist's office, the most unlikely of places for romance. The very first time that they met, Mick's eyes rested appreciatively on Agneta and she felt that they had known each other forever. . .

Best Wishes

Steven Lloyd

Ann Mynard wrote 1443 days ago

Agenta, I have a fascination for true stories and this one doesn't disappoint. In fact, there is much here that is engaging in its life-account. Then there's the background of Stockholm - somewhere I've never been, but I was happy to learn. I wish you the best of luck with the future of Letting Go.
Ann Mynard (Windshadow)

Romilla wrote 1446 days ago

Hi Agneta,
This is a very warm and delightful read - your narrative style helps foster a close relationship with your reader - that's not easy to do! I like your honesty and openness in your story, willingness to share - only thing I would suggest is that you tighten the story line so that the language flows smoothly - otherwise I would think is beautifully written; the kind I could roll up on my soft and spend my quiet afternoon with.

Hoping you got a chance to look at Forgetting Sally - anything helps!

Kind Regards,

rab14 wrote 1450 days ago

I have relatives in Sweden and loved hearing the Swedish place names as it reminded me of an old aunt who told me many tales of her young life. You have approached Agneta's story in a very unusual way - the conversations between Mick and Agneta have a slightly fey feel. Dental visits suddenly take on a whole new aspect. Having had a lifetime of dental work I must admit to never having been in such an unusual situation although I do remember once wishing that I had. Yours is a compelling story made all the more real by the sentence structure. Good Luck.Backed K.J. According to Olwen.

scorselo wrote 1452 days ago

A very good read and a good story



nsllee wrote 1452 days ago

Hi Agneta

It is a lovely romantic story - such a contrast between the prosaicness of love developing around a dental abscess and the emotions of the people involved. And I like the way you get straight to it. Backed.

Nicole (Chosen)

name falied moderation wrote 1457 days ago

Dear Agneta,
the book cover GREAT, the pitch GREAT and of course i just love a true story who does not? i have not finished this read yet but will continue
..I have already commented and backed your book a while ago, but cannot see the backing anywhere. So i am taking the time to back it again because I believe your book is WORTH IT


Balepy wrote 1461 days ago

Agneta - I have just written a comment though it seems to have disappeared! I omitted to say that I have backed Letting Go with pleasure - sorry! Balepy (Freckles the Fawn)

Balepy wrote 1461 days ago

Agneta - Letting Go is so easy to read, I agree your style is like a breath of fresh air. Well done! Balepy (Freckles the Fawn)

Lisa Scullard wrote 1464 days ago

Great stuff, Agneta - very moving and an example of real life being more than art could ever be.

Best wishes, Lisa (Death And The City)

Johanna Kern wrote 1472 days ago

Agneta is a truly powerful woman, with a lot of wisdom and kind heart.

A beautiful life. A beautiful story. Crafted with great writing skills, and pulling the reader right into its depths.

Backed from the bottom of my heart.

Johanna Kern
Master and the Green-Eyed Hope