The year 1968 was one of global turmoil, a terrible hangover after the revelries of the ‘summer of love’ the previous year. The ongoing war in Vietnam, the riots in Paris and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy – all of these rumble in the background of William Boyd’s sixteenth novel, Trio. But its three main characters, temporarily living in Brighton during that troubled year, have many other things on their minds. American actress Anny Viklund is shooting a film called Emily Bracegirdle’s Extremely Useful Ladder to the Moon, the producer of which, Talbot Kydd, is increasingly beleaguered. Elfrida Wing, the wife of the film’s director, is a novelist who hasn’t written anything for ten years.
Each of them is nursing a secret life. Talbot, married with two children, is firmly in the closet but wondering if now would be a good time finally to come out of it. Elfrida is an alcoholic, keeping her stash of vodka camouflaged in a bottle that