Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publishing Date: January 6th, 2011
Pages: 336 pages
Summary from GoodReads:
It is the sweltering summer of 1997, and Karen is a strait-laced, straight-A university student. When she meets the impossibly glamorous Biba, a bohemian orphan who lives in a crumbling old mansion in Highgate with her enigmatic brother Rex, she is soon drawn into their world - but something terrible is about to happen, and someone's going to end up dead .
I received this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program. This book jumps between the past and the present but is told from the perspective of Karen. Karen is currently the mother of Alice and is anxiously awaiting the return of her boyfriend Rex, who is serving time in jail for murder. It is not explained who Rex killed or why he did so. In the past Karen is a soon-to-be college graduate who has never really lived on the edge. She has travelled and studied but she has never done anything against the rules. She then meets Biba and Rex and is drawn into a summer of partying and sex. I have to say I was instantly drawn into Karen's world. I wanted to know more about her and I couldn't stop reading to find out more. As you read further there are several mysteries. Not only are you wondering who Rex ended up killing but you also want to know more about Biba and Rex's family life. I don't want to give away any spoilers but you will be blown away by the ending; the twists just keep on coming. Throughout the entire novel there is quite a bit of foreshadowing so you know the novel won't end in the way you think it will but I never really guessed what did happen in the end. I wasn't sure what to think when I was done reading. The entire time I had felt one way about a character and then at the end I started to rethink the way I felt about that character. I won't tell you who or why but this will become apparent once you read the novel. I found myself really frustrated wth Biba from the very beginning. Even when we first meet her I can tell that she is a destructive force and while this may be alluring it is only fun for a short time. This may be the reason many people live with Biba and Rex for short periods of time and then leave. To be honest Biba reminded me of someone I used to know and be friends with. Needless to say I am no longer friends with them because I found it all to be too much. Anyhow, overall I give this book 5 out of 5 and highly suggest you read this book.