The Holiday - T.M. Logan, Laura Kirman

I'm distracting myself from obsessing about all the things in the current crisis that make me angry and afraid but which I can't change by starting lots of books in parallel so I can flip between them like TV channels.

 

Of course, what I'm really looking for is a book so absorbing that I abandon all the others and my thoughts on anything else for it.

 

So maybe it's me, not the book, but I'm an hour in and so far this seems like an intriguing idea that is thinly written.

 

 

 

The premise is potentially an explosive one: four long-term friends and their partners and children gather in a luxury villa in France to celebrate their fortieth birthdays but, on the first day, one of them reads her husband's phone and discovers he's having an affair with one of her friends, although she doesn't know which one.

 

The book has one of those prologues that promises a violent death in the near future without disclosing who died or how. This is not a tactic that endears the book to me. It seems to be saying: "Don't worry if the start is a bit boring or slow, we'll get to the violent part soon.*

 

Then the characters are introduced and the shocking discovery of betrayal is made. It works well enough but it seems to me that I can see the mechanics of the plot more clearly than the people. Perhaps it's just that the woman who believes herself betrayed is still in shock or perhaps it's my lack of empathy for her but it feels thin.

 

I might have decided life was too short and thrown it on the DNF pile by now but life being too short is something I'm trying, unsuccessfully, not to think about and my wife read this one and tells me it's worth sticking with because all is not what it seems.

 

SO, I'll keep this channel open for another day and see what happens.