Emily Coleman has left home; we meet her first when she is catching the train from Manchester to go to London to start a new life. The whole premise of the book is why has she left husband Ben and Charlie?
Tina Seskis cleverly reveals all in separate narratives by Emily, her twin Caroline, mother Frances and father Andrew, which go back as far as the day Frances delivered the twins. Revealing a tale of a troubled and flawed family. For all that Emily has done well, she met and married Ben and had a child along with a lovely house. So what went so wrong and is it possible that Emily can have a new life as Cat Brown?
The themes in this book are strong touching on sibling relationships, guilt, and jealousy along with drug abuse with more than a touch of madness thrown in. The characterisation of the main and also the minor characters in this drama was well executed. It was good to read a book where all judgements about characters are left to the reader by the downplaying of others actions by the narrators, particularly Emily.
All in all a story with an original feel although the ending was a little too surreal for my liking. The twist in the tale is one of the best I’ve read, I literally gasped as I didn’t see it coming at all. I have added A Serpentine Affair: Are Friendships Ever Forever? to my wishlist ready for its release in September 2013