A Trio of Sophies, Eileen Merriman

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

Brilliantly constructed for the upper age range of YA readers, A TRIO OF SOPHIES reads like a perfect tale for teenagers - female and male. Engaging and cleverly plotted, there's a depth to the characterisations and the manner in which some very current day issues are explored.

Many of us have been in the situation where our name was obviously popular at the time we were christened, and you suddenly find yourself in a school class, or social situation with an urgent need for a system of distinction. In this case, it's a trio of Sophies (Sophie A, Mac and Twiggy) who all met up at primary school - remaining friends right through high school, until Sophie A goes missing. Told in the form of Sophie MacKenzie (Mac's) personal journal, the story starts 64 days after the disappearance, with Sophie A still missing, despite police investigations, working it's way back to the day that she vanished.

An interesting structure that works incredibly well, the voice of Mac is the main viewpoint of the entire book - she's the quiet one, the diligent student, the girl who wants to make something of herself. She's also the one that readers have to believe, but there's something in her telling that doesn't quite add up, and it's up to the reader to decide what to believe and why. The Sophies aren't the only characters here though - there are other teenagers, parents, and is teacher James Bacon. The cast is all pretty well drawn out, remembering always, that everyone is seen via the view of Mac and what she wants you to know.

The clever construction of A TRIO OF SOPHIES comes with the way that this singular, insulated viewpoint, is interwoven, without the hint of a lecture or preach, with a heap of real current day problems for kids - jealousy, longing, awakening romantic and sexual urges, forming and holding onto friendships, and most devastating of all, adults who groom young people.

The pace remains high, the style of dialogue feels exactly right, and the relationship between the teenagers, and the adults in their lives was utterly convincing. Could not recommend A TRIO OF SOPHIES more highly - for adults and older teenager readers alike.


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Secrets, lies and love.

Mystery and unsettling revelations keep up the suspense in this page-turning novel.

The last time I saw Sophie A, she was kissing James Bacon. She could have any guy she wanted, but she was kissing an English teacher who was eight years older than her.

Right back when Sophie MacKenzie started primary school, she was befriended by Sophie Twiggs and Sophie Abercrombie. Although they developed different interests, the threesome have stuck together through high school. But now Sophie Abercrombie is not just The prettiest Sophie, she is also The missing Sophie. As Sophie MacKenzie confides to her diary, Sophie A went missing sixty-four days ago and, despite police investigation, she has not been found.

The Trio of Sophies is no more. 

Review A Trio of Sophies, Eileen Merriman
Karen Chisholm
Friday, November 12, 2021

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