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Review: Siracusa by Delia Ephron

Blurb from Goodreads:
An electrifying novel about marriage and deceit from bestselling author Delia Ephron that follows two couples on vacation in Siracusa, a town on the coast of Sicily, where the secrets they have hidden from each other are exposed and relationships are unraveled. 

New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn, his wife Taylor, and their daughter Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage. 

With her inimitable psychological astuteness, and uncanny understanding of the human heart, Ephron delivers a powerful meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none can see coming.
My Review:
I really liked the set-up and build up of this one -- it's told in four alternating POV for each day of travel but told in the past tense, looking back.  So you know the narrators know what's coming but it doesn't feel like it.  The first 70% was brilliant.  So tense, so thrilling!  But then we get a bit of a sense of what's coming and I kept waiting for more . . . to be honest, the ending kind of peters out after the amazing set-up.  I kept thinking it would be something worse.  It's almost like the end scene of Rosemary's Baby where you can't see anything but your imagination is worse than whatever the reality is?  Like that -- my imagination was running away with all the possibilities, the horrors of what could have happened to ruin this idyllic vacation and the reality after the intense build-up was a bit of a let down.  I still really enjoyed this and it was unlike any other thriller I've read in its format; definitely a great summer read!

Siracusa comes out today, July 12, 2016, you can purchase HERE, and I definitely recommend this one if you're looking for a travel/adventure thriller.  I also recently saw that this is being made into a film and I definitely can't wait for that -- the story lends itself so well to an adaptation!!
Taylor mostly planned the trip, her thing, fine by me.  Michael normally scours travel books for weeks before we leave, hunting out the obscure and off beat -- on a trip to Paris he'd whisked me off to the Musee de la Vie Romantique to see a cast of George Sand's arm and her lover's too, Chopin -- but he was in the home stretch on a novel and utterly preoccupied.   
I'm used to this.  I've done it to him. I haven't written a novel, nothing major like that, but I write too, mostly articles for magazines and websites.  Writers have to allow each other a private world.  Finishing is always more compelling than anything else, than anything real.  A thrilling narcissism sets in.  It's so much fun.  I could never deprive Michael of that.  I was good about tolerating it. I took pride in tolerating it.


  1. I wish the ending had been more exciting for you but good to know about that going in. I'm saving my samples from First Look Book Club to read all together at the end of the week and hoping to win this one. It really appeals to me. Great review as always, Eva!

  2. Isn't it frustrating when the ending doesn't hold up? But, there seems like there was a HEAP of goodness in here otherwise to make up for it -- maybe a little?

  3. I really enjoyed this one too, but agree that I was slightly put off by the ending. Still, I loved how the story was told and how everything weaved together. Great review!

  4. Gah I hate when an ending lets me down!! Still sounds like you enjoyed it though so that's good. Great review!!

  5. Four point of views, seems like it could be really overwhelming! Bad endings are the worst, especially when you invest soo much time in reading it!
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

  6. I have been wondering about this one. and it all led up to nothing. I don't like those types of books because I get pissed off. Don't tease me, give me an explosion. Great review!

  7. Sorry the ending wasn't the best. This still seems like a good one. Excellent review!

    1. Also I had no clue it's going to be made into a movie! It sounds like a good one for a movie.


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