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?
The moment you start reading this book, you start wondering why are these people meeting each every year when there is so much ill feeling going between them…When you read further you understand that the connection between these 7 friends are much much deeper than what you initially think to be. The underlying need for everyone to be loved, understood and accepted by each other drives all these 7 people to come together, even when they know that it could be another disaster. Things go from bad to worse within few hours, but no one is ready to let go and go home because deep inside all of them know that this could be their last meeting. This love hate relationship between all these friends are the central theme of the story.
The narration moves back and forth between present and the past and this happens for all seven characters and this actually creates a lot of confusion. It takes some effort to remind yourselves the individual story of the each of them. I think 7 was too many characters for this style of story telling.
There is too much bitchy behavior happening between these 7 friends that the reader wishes that they will just end the get together and go home.
A Serpentine Affair is a basically about 7 friends who are totally mean to each other and yet still want to keep in touch…The motives are entirely different – few for nostalgic reasons, some to flaunt their life in front of others, some for becoming cry babies, some just to spit out some venom.
My biggest issue was not that they behaved badly to each other. Tina Seskis slowly unravels the past experiences and feuds between them to explain most of these foul moods. But are bad experiences the license to take out the frustrations on someone else? There was nothing positive existing between these 7 friends which required that they meet up.
The ending was heart breaking indeed and I was not expecting it and that is where Tina Seskis really scores some points. But I do wish that there were lesser characters and change of perspectives which could have made this a better read.
Other books by Tina Seskis:
One Step Too Far
Publisher: Kirk Parolles
First Release: Sept 2013
Note: I received an ebook copy of this book through netgalley in return for my honest review.