Clementine and Erika have been friends since childhood but Clementine, a successful cellist, has always seen Erika as needing the friendship more than she does. One evening, Erika and her husband Oliver, invite Clementine and her husband and children, to join them at a barbecue next door. Suddenly, tragedy strikes and nobody is sure who is friends with who any more.
I found this story very predictable. The incident at the barbecue is built up to be something it definitely is not, and from “the reveal” which is about halfway through the novel, absolutely nothing more is accomplished until the second to last chapter.
The relationship between Erika and Clementine is a complicated one, and the “question” that Erika and Oliver ask Sam and Clementine a very interesting one which I think would actually make a much more interesting story. This novel, which is over 400 pages long, can really only sustain a story for about half of that time and is much the poorer for too many irrelevant and unrelated back stories.
This should have been an “easy read”, but it wasn’t because it was far too long. I didn’t really enjoy it and I can’t say that I would recommend it, even as a holiday read.