“A psychological thriller set in the Luberon, a touristic French region that evokes holidays in magnificent pool-adorned villas. For those who live there year-round, it often means stifling poverty and boredom.
Two teenage sisters have grown up in a world where the main distractions are hatred of Arabs and booze. When Celine, 16, discovers she is pregnant and refuses to divulge her lover’s identity, her father embarks on a mission of revenge. A dark and upsetting account of an ailing society, filled with silent and murderous rage.”
What an engrossing read! Marion creates a vivid story centred around two sisters, Céline and Jo, and their parents Manuel and Séverine. There is tension right from the first chapter and this builds steadily across the novel complementing the stifling heat of the French summer. Céline’s pregnancy adds shame to an already unhappy family atmosphere. Her refusal to disclose the identity of the father adds further fuel to the fire and drives a bigger wedge between her and her parents.
This is not a comfortable read, there is a lot of unhappiness and plenty of traumatic scenes played out over the pages. However the story is compelling and hard to set down. For me, Jo is the star of the book. She is considered to be slightly odd by her friends and family but this stands her in good stead and gives her strength of character that others lack. Whilst Manuel and Séverine are difficult to warm to, getting to know them through key events in their past helps to understand, if not necessarily condone their attitudes.
So much happened that I find it hard to believe this is only 219 pages long! It really packs a punch and leaves the reader wanting more. I would highly recommend for readers who want something a little more challenging and satisfying to read. This is a raw and gritty read and very much worth getting stuck into.
Thank you to BitterLemon Press and Anne Cater!