Siracusa by Delia Ephron starts as an average saga of two couples on vacation telling their own account of the events unfolding during their holidays. Predictably, there is at least one break-up in sight, a cheat - or rather a cheater -, bedroom drama. However, what makes a story more readable than the other is the talent of the author to fill up an over-used matrix with quality writing. Skeptical to start it, although on my to-read list for this year, I hardly accepted it finished, as I got caught into the net of the stories and the diamond-shaped emotions.
Finn and Taylor Dolan and their daughter born during a blizzard, Snow, on one side and the childless - 'We didn't have children, our lies were our children' - couple Michael Shapner and Lizzie Ross, plan together a vacation in Italy. Lizzie and Finn were lovers 15 years ago, Michael is having an adventure with a Kat girl from a restaurant and Snow is bizarre soon-to-be teenager. In other words, two complicated - almost dying marriages, and one complicated kid, all you need to carry on in your emotional luggage to Italy.
Each of them - except Snow and Kat - are telling dairy-style their version of the events the day after. Sometimes the interpretations are different, sometimes the details are others. But, as Lizzie said: '(...) suppose you see the corner of a building at sunset and one side is beige and the other flamingo pink when both are in fact the same drab red prick? And a second later the vision is gone because the earth has moved infinitesimally. Was what you saw reality? Is there always more than one?'. For me, Lizzie is one of the most 'quotable', therefore interesting character, also maybe because she is the one strong enough to break up a marriage that was not going anywhere. Meanwhile, she was deeply analysing both at an individual and general level matrimony and its discontent, like this remark: 'There are some people who dump all their misery into marriage, make wedded bliss their neurotic nest, and the best version of them lives outside that 'ugly place''.
Tension is in the air all along the story, but is mounting following the sudden presence of Kat, a naive girl who dreamed about a happily ever after with a married man many years her senior. To have it all, there is also a bit of mystery thriller pinch, just to make the story even more interesting.
All the pieces of the stories are coming together very nicely, like pieces of a beautiful writing mosaique and there is a lot to learn and be delighted while reading Siracusa. Because it is good writing and such a delightful best case writing scenario is not a common occurrence nowadays, even there is an impressive amount of books on the market.
Rating: 4 stars
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review