Anyone who read my review of Tina Seskis’ first book “One Step Too Far” (if not see here http://lizlovesbooks.com/lizlovesbooks/liz-currently-loves-a-step-too-far-by-tina-seskis/ ) will know I was dying to get my hands on “A Serpentine Affair” so I was very excited to receive a copy via NetGalley – thank you so much, I’m not sure I would have survived my chronic impatience!
This tale follows seven friends at their annual reunion – this time a picnic on the banks of the Serpentine. Friends for over 25 years, they are all in a sense hanging on to the relationships formed in their younger years, despite there being undercurrents of hostility and a huge backlog of undeclared resentment. They all secretly wonder why they all still attend these functions – but attend them they do. This one is destined for disaster and through real time and flashback we get the story of their lives…and their friendship.
This is brilliantly done. Slowly but surely leading us through the events that have lead up to the picnic, we discover many hidden depths to the relationships and oh so many twists and turns in the lives of these seven fantastic women! You won’t like all of them. You might not like ANY of them. If you are like me you will love each one and equally be frustrated at what they get up too – oh how many things could have been different if only words had come out of mouths at any of several points in their existence. But of course thats life isnt it?
I love the authors writing style – it flows so well and is imaginative and emotive. Her storytelling skills are second to none – often a follow up novel to one you have loved is a disappointment but not here. I was enthralled, unreachable while I was immersed in the story and immersed I was. The “time slips” are perfectly executed – done in “no particular order” they ensure that the developing tale stays right on track…and keeps you turning those pages.
Now “One Step Too Far” was marketed on the marvellous twist in the tale that no-one I know has so far worked out. With “A Serpentine Affair” Ms Seskis has gone down an equally compelling route. The twists come during the course of the story – with all the different events marking the run of the friendship you are never really sure who has been doing what to who and why until she tells you. And saving the best for last, you will not be sure at all about what actually happened that night on the banks of the Serpentine until the very last few words. Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Clear your reading Diary for August!
All in all it is a story of friendship – of the hidden depths that all such relationships have – of the resentments that lie hidden and often buried by time. Realistic – with of course dramatic license to ensure a terrific read – I’m now wondering how many of my friends look at me occasionally and mutter under their breath about some faux pas I have made – Hmm. Friendships are the most important relationships you will form in your life – they are just as difficult to upkeep as any marriage – this novel looks at that. I loved it. Sigh. How long am I going to have to wait for more? Yep. I feel that old chronic impatience coming on once again…. Happy Reading Folks!
Find out more about Tina Seskis here : http://tinaseskis.com/
Follow her on Twitter here : https://twitter.com/tinaseskis