“Tangerine” by Christine Mangnan

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3 out of 5 stars

There seems to be a trend in novels about psychotic female friendships this year. This is the second book I’ve reviewed in less than a month where the characters seem to cross a line into unacceptable behaviour that should quickly send them into frenemy territory. Maybe we need to start a trending hashtag #psychoticfemalefriendships and then really get some help for these people.

“Tangerine” is set in 1956 and follows the story of two women, Alice Shipley and Lucy Mason, inseparable friends in college before a tragic accident occurs, and their tenuous reunion in Tangiers, Morocco a year later.

The novel bounces back and forth between the two friends and there are moments where it’s not always easy to know who to trust with their account of their relationship. Lucy, in particular, has some interesting notions about where to draw the line between friendship and obsession.

The story begins with a body washing up, which sets the mood to keep you on your toes the whole time you’re reading, thinking that danger is lurking around the colourful souks that weave through the narrative of this book. The atmosphere is taut throughout and makes up for some of the plot line, which I had a few issues with. But overall this is an interesting look at how obsession can overtake a person, and the lengths some people will go to get what they want.

The details of life in Tangier during the country’s uprising, work nicely alongside some of the turns the novel takes, and contrast with the cooler more tranquil descriptions of the beginning of the women’s relationship at the idyllic Vermont college. This is a fast-paced novel with lots of twists and turns that will make for good poolside reading.

“Tangerine” is available from the Bermuda Bookstore for $23.00.

Here are some more suggestions from the staff at the Bermuda Bookstore:

If you’re looking for another good summer read, “The Summer Sail” by Wendy Francis not only fits the bill but also uses Bermuda as the backdrop to this story about a trio of college friends who reunite aboard a cruise ship.

“The Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin asks the question, “Would you want to know the date of your own death and how would you spend your days if you did know?” The story follows four siblings, who, knowing their prophecies, live their lives through the lens of destiny and choice.

Next up in the Joe Pickett series, is “The Disappeared” by CJ Box, which follows Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett as he investigates the case of missing British executives from a high-end guest ranch, but is there a force that is trying to stop him from solving the case?

Anyone looking for more insight into the unraveling of Tiger Woods will find plenty to linger over with the biography “Tiger Woods” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian. Billed as part myth, part Shakespear, part Jackie Collins, this book includes years of interviews with 250 people from every corner of Woods’ life.

Fans of Wilbur Smith will relish the autobiography “On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventure”, as the author is known for his meticulously researched novels on his many worldwide expeditions.

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