Pinterest tracking pixel
If you are having difficulty navigating this website please contact us at accessibility@bookofthemonth.com or 1-833-959-2686.
Oops! The page didn’t load right. Please refresh and try again.
Siracusa by Delia Ephron
Thriller

Siracusa

by Delia Ephron

Quick take

The fun...is trying to predict what deceit could be lurking as the vacationers sun, drink and quarrel on the eastern coast of Sicily.

Why I love it

Kim Hubbard
People Magazine

"Travel rocks your perspective," says Finn, one of five characters vacationing together in this delicious new novel. That's putting it mildly: by the time Finn, his wife Taylor, their daughter Snow and their friends Lizzie and Michael are back home in the U.S. , their worlds will be turned upside down. This much is clear from the outset, so half the fun here is trying to predict what deceit could be lurking as the vacationers sun, drink and quarrel in Siracusa, a down-at-the-heels seaside town on the eastern coast of Sicily.

The novel is a stew of domestic intrigue. Will Lizzie, a New York magazine writer with dwindling assignments, rekindle her romance with Finn, the grizzled Maine restaurateur? Will Finn's wife Taylor, the frosty privileged beauty from NYC's Upper East Side, even notice? Could Michael, Lizzie's successful-author husband, be harboring secrets of his own? And what's the deal with nearly-silent 10-year-old Snow, who's constantly glued to her smothering mom and exudes an obscure air of menace?

Told rashomon-style, with chapters alternating among the four adults' viewpoints, the story moves at a satisfying clip. But it's more than suspense that makes the book such a treat. Delia Ephron, a playwright and screenwriter as well as a novelist, excels at spritely dialogue and has a keen eye for the pleasures and pitfalls of long marriages. Her observations on that score are hilarious. "I joke that sex is rhubarb," Taylor confides at one point. "Something I forget I like and then I taste it and remember, I like this, but then I forget all over again."

The violent denouement, when it comes, feels both shocking and utterly believable. Knocked off balance by their foreign surroundings, the characters fall prey to their darker impulses, and the consequences aren't pretty. You'll finish Siracusa with a delighted shiver, a hankering for gelato--and no desire to plan a double-date vacation anytime soon.

Read less

Member thoughts

All (708)
All (708)
Love (168)
Like (413)
Dislike (127)
740 ratings
  • 23% Love
  • 56% Like
  • 17% Dislike
  • San Diego, CA

    This book had some unexpected twists and turns. It was such a good read that I finished the entire book on a 5 hour flight from Los Angeles to Toronto. I recommend this easy & though-provoking read!

  • Memphis, TN

    Loved the changing of POVs throughout the book. Left me wanting to know more about what happened after they got home and thinking about how far we'll go to protect someone we love and ourselves.

  • Robbinsdale, MN

    This book was a slightly slow start but quickly wrapped me up in the love, lust and suspense! I was not prepared for how this novel was going to end but man did it whack me rit upside the head!

  • San Antonio, TX

    I really enjoyed this book, it's a thriller in a beautiful place, I envisioned this playing out in my mind like a movie and really liked the way each character had their own perspective.

  • New York, NY

    Maybe I loved this book because I read it while traveling the Italian countryside last summer. Or maybe it was the characters with their secrets and lies. Either way, I enjoyed it!

  • San Francisco, CA

    A completely enthralling study of marriage and relationships. This book makes you think about relationships and the lengths people will go to keep them alive or destroy them.

  • Rock Port, MO

    I loved the hidden love triangles, the mystery and the beautiful descriptions of the setting. It made me feel like I was in Italy. The twists and secrets were a great bonus!

  • Cleveland, OH

    Two highly unlikable couples & one possibly sociopathic 10-year-old travel to Italy together, & significant drama ensues. I loved this in-your-head psychological novel.

  • Wauwatosa, WI

    I was fascinated by the characters and pulled in by each of them at different points throughout the book--essentially building up to an ending that I didn't see coming

  • DALLAS, GA

    This book was so interesting to me. I enjoyed the differing perspectives, and I particularly liked the lack of introspection when it came to Snow. Great book.

  • New York, NY

    Very thought provoking. I was a little annoyed with how Snow's parents treated her, especially her mom. I liked that we got to read all of the adult POVs.

  • Miami, FL

    I loved how it doesn't reveal until the very end what happened in Siracusa, instead building up to it making you wonder what could have possibly gone wrong

  • Chattanooga , TN

    Honestly, when I chose this book, I thought it would be just a fun beach read. In actuality - a stunner of a book, one of the best on BOTM yet.

  • Dunedin, FL

    I found the multiple perspective writing to be interesting. Things did not end the way I thought they would but I was satisfied with the ending.

  • Safford, AZ

    I loved this book!! Such a fast read. I loved the different points of view and how they all tied everything together. Snow is such a creepy kid!

  • Portland, OR

    I was completely engrossed by these characters. They were incredibly well written and flushed out, making the story all the more engaging.

  • Portland, OR

    You know a book will haunt you when the most disturbing character is a child. I don't think I'll be forgetting this story anytime soon.

  • Kennesaw, GA

    No character became beloved to me, but the book is only better for it. Adultery among a group of friends gone so wrong.

  • Warwick, RI

    GREAT read. I didn't know what to expect from it, but I was pleasantly surprised. A well-written page-turner for sure!

  • Davis, CA

    Wow! What a thriller. Fast-paced, easy to read, and lots of drama. Ideal for reading on the beach with a cold drink.

Thriller
  • The Maidens
  • Not a Happy Family
  • Razorblade Tears
  • The Last Thing He Told Me
  • The Wife Upstairs
  • Too Good to Be True
  • The Push
  • The Last Flight
  • 56 Days
  • The Damage
  • Rock Paper Scissors
  • Survive the Night
  • The Woman in the Window
  • The Hunting Party
  • The Silent Patient
  • Goodnight Beautiful
  • Winter Counts
  • The Hunting Wives
  • Pretty Little Wife
  • The Guest List
  • Invisible Girl
  • Girl A
  • Behind Her Eyes
  • The Girl in the Mirror
  • The Night Swim
  • Before She Knew Him
  • Then She Was Gone
  • You Are Not Alone
  • Sharp Objects
  • The Family Upstairs
  • The Wife Between Us
  • Into the Water
  • Gone Girl
  • Dark Places
  • The Alienist
  • Since We Fell
  • The Blinds
  • Cross Her Heart
  • The Chestnut Man
  • The Winter Sister
  • The Other Woman
  • Necessary People