Second Seskis novel explores ‘serpentine’ friendships

There is tension in the air when seven old friends get together for an annual reunion in the latest novel by Tina Seskis. As the wine flows, the old adage — “in vino veritas”– comes to mind or as Seskis puts it: “The alcohol had finally dislodged stuck feelings, like years-old plaque set free by mouthwash”.

Secrets, affairs, guilt, friendship and forgiveness are the order of the day along with a good measure of squabbling and bitchiness. The venue for the reunion is the Serpentine Lake in London’s Hyde Park where before the day is over one of the seven friends will drown.

The story is told by each of the seven women in relatively short chapters. Seven points of view is challenging for the reader and it takes a while to get a clear picture of which character is which. That said, summer is very much in the air in a novel that is centered around a picnic in the park. A Serpentine Affair is an easy summer read that should appeal to lovers of chick lit.

 A Serpentine Affair by Tina Seskis is published by Kirk Parolles. ISBN 9780957544376. [Disclosure: A free advance copy was provided by Netgalley for review.]


One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

When I came across a description of Tina Seskis One Step Too Far on Netgalley a couple of weeks ago I was sufficiently interested to request an Advance Readers Copy (ARC) and take a closer look. The well-written opening scene of this novel by Tina Seskis provokes curiosity and will keep you reading to find out what has driven the main character, Emily Coleman, to run away from home. Why has Emily become “good at crying silently” and why does her husband not love her any more?

Characterisation and plot are both strong and as the story unfolds  we learn more about Emily’s family — her husband Ben, her mother Frances who never bonded with Emily’s dysfunctional twin sister Caroline, her philandering father, Andrew. Emily is a complex character — sometimes likeable, sometimes hateful, often capable but also foolish. She’s running away but she finds that she cannot completely leave her former life behind.

Points of view and tense shift in One Step Too Far and time moves forwards and backwards which can be confusing for an inattentive reader but the plot, while it stretches belief at times, is compelling enough to keep you turning the pages. The final twist comes as a surprise that may leave some readers feeling cheated but overall I found this an entertaining and enjoyable read.

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis is published by Kirk Parolles. ISBN: 0957544324 (ISBN13: 9780957544321). An Advance Readers Copy (ARC) was provided via].