By Christine Mangan
A review by one of our Instagram followers!
Reading this in the heatwave made the pressing heat of 1950’s Tangier, the backdrop of the novel’s events, feel all the more real. The heat is not the only pressing thing in the novel, however. Tangerine is a story filled with anxiety, suspicion and second-guessing reminiscent of Du Maurier’s Rebecca. Mangan creates unease from the very beginning, when Alice Shipley is brought a piece of her past she’d rather not remember. Old roommate and former best friend Lucy arrives unexpectedly at her flat in Tangier and the two women begin to grapple with their uncomfortable history under the Moroccan sun.
These two women are defined by their traumas, however, which hinders their realism. Every action, it seems, is powered by a motive that can be linked back to a fateful night that ripped their friendship apart. John, Alice’s husband, is flatly untrustworthy and the reasoning behind their partnership – while constantly questioned by Lucy - is never explained in either side of the dual narrative. Perhaps in a novel that thrives on secrecy, the unknown is apt.
Qualms aside, “Tangerine” is a fantastic summer read (and was hard to put away in my bag after my lunch break) You can buy it in all good bookshops and shop independent if you can – my copy is again, from the lovely @booksonthehill