August 2 2013
“The evening was set to be balmy, perfect for a picnic, even one destined to end in disaster.
When seven girl friends meet on a balmy summer evening for their annual picnic in a London park it should be an evening of shared memories and girly laughter washed down with copious amounts of prosecco. However, invariably, what happens is that old resentments float to the surface, and even before the petty squabbles appear, there are simmering undercurrents of discontent. What then follows is a story of how, over twenty five years, lies and resentment have festered until all the hurt surfaces and long buried secrets, are revealed.
This is a cleverly controlled narrative which allows the story to be revealed in tantalising layers and which skilfully manoeuvres around past and present without ever losing control. The characters are so realistic, they could be people you know, and even their petty slights and squabbles, which threaten the equilibrium of the group, are situations all too easily experienced.
There is no doubt that this author has started to develop a niche for this slightly edgy contemporary story. In A Serpentine Affair, she shows that she isn't afraid to reveal the darker side of friendship, and yet at the same time she sensitively explores the consequences of revealing long buried secrets which may well have been better left private.
A good read and highly recommended.
My thanks to NetGalley and Kirk Parolles for my ecopy of this book.