Publication Date: 22nd March from Little Brown
Source: Review Copy
The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends—once inseparable roommates—haven’t spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy—always fearless and independent—helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.
But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice—she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.
I really fell into Tangerine – a tautly plotted purely character driven psychological drama where the setting is one of those characters – haunting and highly engaging, this is the story of a toxic friendship playing out against the backdrop of Tangier in a time of turmoil..
The imagery in this novel is astounding – you really feel like you are walking the streets of Tangier with our main protagonists – but it is so simply done, with no need for exposition or endless descriptive passages, the place is just there, underneath the actions of the characters and you sense it on every page. Then we have Alice and Lucy – told in alternating chapters from their points of view, these girls met at Bennington, a finishing college if you like and became close friends fast. But a tragedy separated them and put Alice into a dark place, from which it seems she has still not emerged. Lucy has followed her across continents, but is it loyalty or something more sinister? As their tales are told, there is a distinct and urgent sense of menace about it, the author drawing the reader into this vivid, vibrant world where there is danger at every turn..
Tangerine is unsettling, unexpected at times, plays on different versions of events but eventually the truth emerges – taking us into an ending that is razor sharp and emotionally disturbing. A clever, layered novel that will appeal to fans of the literary psychological thriller and readers like me who love a classic unreliable narrator done in old school style.
We are all unreliable narrators of our own realities…