A group of friends travel to Italy together. Michael, a Pulitzer-winning author, and his wife Lizzie, a journalist, together with Finn, a restaurant owner, and his wife, Taylor, and their 10-year-old daughter, Snow. Taylor has a quite odd relationship with her daughter and interprets shy Snow’s weird clucks and grunts and speaks for her. Finn and Lizzie have a past history together as they were once lovers. Taylor is enamored with Michael and is thrilled when he starts to show Snow special attention. She feels he will help Snow out of her shyness. Snow is pulled into the drama going on between the four adults and their lies and secrets with catastrophe inevitable.
The book is told by each of the four adults in alternating short chapters, which I enjoyed as it gave the reader an excellent understanding of each character’s view of events as they unfolded. It’s a sinister, dark read with some light touches along the way. The author knows how to entangle the reader into her story’s web and keep you there. The writing reminded me of Patricia Highsmith.
The added attraction of this story is that it all happens in Italy, far from the characters’ safety zone of home. The lack of familiarity of the area adds to the vulnerability of the characters. Michael in particular longs to sort this all out when they get home rather than have it all unravel in a strange place. I loved the authors’ description of Rome and Siracusa and felt that I was there with them all, enjoying the food and the sights.
There’s a good buildup of tension and suspense; unfortunately, I did figure out where the book was headed well before I think I was supposed to, so no surprises for me. But it was still a fun read to see how the author would plot it all out and I had a hard time putting it down. Recommended.
This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.