I love a good revenge story.
Egotistical Arts professor, Max Durant, ends up on a weekend getaway with his student (and object of his affection), Audra. What starts as the start of a romantic relationship turns into something very different because Audra’s intentions are not what he suspects. Max has skeletons in his closet and Audra plans on making him pay….
The novel is told through multiple perspective narrations through past (Juniper) and present (Audra and Max). And, initially, this book had me very confused. It opens in the midst of the action and made me feel disoriented and uncomfortable. As I continued reading, I realized how brilliant this introduction was. I was drawn in trying to navigate this puzzle. What appears to be a pretty thick novel, ended up being a page turner and I was easily able to get through with it over the course of a few sittings. Lattari’s writing style is easy to sink into.
The book has various vignettes throughout the writing that highlight’s Audra’s art piece. These I found to be another really smart play by Lattari. While I was reading, I kept trying to understand how these were going to play into the plot and how they would eventually link the past and the present. Once the big reveal happened- which was clear about half way through the novel- I was able to appreciate them so much more. I could have kicked myself for not paying closer attention initially.
One of my small nit picks with this story was the use of nicknames in Juniper’s storyline. I was really confused trying to decipher who was who. I know that the nicknames were there in order to keep the timelines separate, but I found myself consistently cross referencing the names which brought me out of the story.
I also didn’t agree with the comparison to Gone Girl. Gone Girl’s giant second half twist was mind blowing. This novel didn’t have the same twists and turns, which I felt worked, but I don’t think the comparison is fair. Instead, this one reminded me more of a novel like The Whisper Network- a novel that has surface tension and demand for redemption. Unlike Amy Dunne in Gone Girl, I was routing for Audra. Get that revenge, girl.
On another sidenote, a serious shoutout to the cover art. This cover screams fall.
If you are looking for a straightforward burn to cozy up within an afternoon, this is the perfect pick!