A Serpentine Affair – Tina Seskis

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Publisher: Kirk Parolles

Synopsis from Amazon:

Seven old friends. One annual reunion. Countless feuds.

How do friends stay friends for more than 25 years when there is so much to feel aggrieved about? Juliette and JoAnne have never got over one of them sleeping with the other’s boyfriend. Sissy secretly blames someone for the death of her husband. Natasha knows one of them is having an affair with her partner. Siobhan annoys everyone. Katie is annoyed by everyone. Camilla desperately tries to keep the peace.

So when their picnic in the park goes horribly wrong and one of them ends up in the Serpentine, who knows what really happened? And just what secrets from the past are about to unfold, changing everyone’s lives forever?

My thoughts:

 
I loved ‘One Step Too Far’ and was looking forward to reading this, the second novel from Tina Seskis. I’m pleased to say that it didn’t disappoint at all.

The story is about seven female friends whose friendships were formed in their university days over 25 years ago. They mostly now have families of their own however over the years resentments and tensions have built up between the women and although each secretly wonders whether there is enough friendship left between the group for an annual reunion, they are still drawn to attend. Their friendship is tested to the limit when at this particular reunion, an evening picnic by the Serpentine in Hyde Park, hostilities rise to the surface and the atmosphere becomes toxic.

We learn a brief history of each character; however the story focuses mainly on just three of them. From flashbacks told over the years, we learn of the reasons for the tensions and feuds and it seems it would take a miracle for them to ever recover the friendship they once had.

I really like the way this author tells the story. The narrative is very skillfully written with short chapters which end on a kind of cliffhanger and although I thought I knew which way the story was going, I was constantly surprised by the twists and turns that unfolded. The personalities are so realistic – these could well be people that you know. Some of the characters I didn’t like at all, whereas others I could feel empathy for.

I was slightly confused at first trying to get to grips with the histories and who was married to who but I was very soon drawn into the story completely and I couldn’t put it down. The story moves back and forth in time but it is done seamlessly and the timeline is easy to follow.

This was a hugely enjoyable read and I can highly recommend it. I’m now eagerly awaiting the next read from this author.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Kirk Parolles for the digital copy to review.

My rating: 5/5

author website: www.tinaseskis.com

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