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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tangerine by Christine Mangan

Title:  Tangerine
Author: Christine Mangan
Publisher: 27th March 2018 by Hachette
Pages: 320 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: mystery, thriller
My Rating: 3 crowns

The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends—once inseparable roommates—haven’t spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy—always fearless and independent—helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.
But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice—she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.
Tangerine is a sharp dagger of a book—a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless.
My Thoughts

‘Tangier covered you—smothered you, according to some, though I found only comfort in it, pride even. Tangier had left its mark on me, claimed me as one of its own.’

‘Tangerine’ is an intriguing little book and one I have mixed feelings about. This is the story of the friendship between two women -  Lucy and Alice were roommates and friends at College until tragedy struck and the ensuing falling out. A few years later, Lucy turns up unannounced at Tangiers, where Alice is living with her husband. The story then moves back and forth in alternating chapters told from the viewpoints of both women as tensions build and ultimately, things go awry.

The first part of the book is very slow - a lot of detail and whilst I enjoyed some of the descriptions of Tangiers (at times it was overwritten), you found yourself wishing the plot would move along faster. At about the halfway point, the story really starts to get going with the disappearance of Alice’s husband and then events move very fast. Unfortunately however, the plot seemed somewhat predictable with many reviewers aligning it with Patricia Highsmith’s ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ of which I tend to agree. Yet the story did hold my interest to the end, with just the pacing of events and cumbersome descriptions being its downfall. Also, the voices of Lucy and Alice are very similar to each other and, never really liking either character as both could be described as high maintenance (but in different ways) it became, at times,  confusing and I had to read back as both Alice and Lucy were so alike in their voice. A lot of narrative with not a great deal happening all up.

‘Now was the time to rectify it, I knew. The final chance to make things right. To leave the past in the past. If it meant making Morocco my own, I was prepared to do just that. I was a Tangerine now, after all.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

1 comment:

Mystica said...

I read this one and enjoyed it. I liked the descriptive details of Morocco.