Publish Date: July 21, 2020
“The whole truth and nothing but the truth was a little more complicated than that.” – The Vacation
It was supposed to be the perfect vacation, dreamed up by Kate as the ideal way to turn 40: four best friends and their husbands and children, spending a week in a luxurious villa under the blazing sunshine of Provence.
But there is trouble in paradise.
Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair—and that the other woman is one of her best friends. One of these women is willing to sacrifice years of friendship and destroy her family. But which one?
As Kate closes in on the truth in the stifling Mediterranean heat, she realizes—too late—that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined. And someone in the villa may be prepared to kill to keep their lies hidden.
This book is about 4 college BFFs and their families getting together for a summer vacation on the French Riviera – Kate, Izzy, Jennifer, and Rowan. This quad friendship is like family, and they have a long history standing by each other through weddings, divorces, kids, work, and family.
I loved the descriptions of the Mediterranean coast, the breathtaking villa, the quaint nearby village, and the beaches – it made me yearning for travel, given our current COVID situation. The atmosphere was described beautifully, and I could practically feel the heat and humidity from the blazing French sun.
The story is built around Kate’s suspicion of her husband Sean’s extramarital affair with one of her best friends that are on vacation with them. She finds cryptic clues that lead her to believe that Sean is cheating on her, and she is intent on finding the truth. Which friend is it? Everyone one of them is a suspect.
For almost the entire book, I was led down the path of the cheating friend & husband story. I thought to myself – this is the oldest story in the book, I can’t believe that I’m reading this – but then the last 20% happened and WOW the twists and turns started and jerked me around until the big reveals at the end.
My favorite quotes:
“I’m going to smoke you out, find out which one of you has betrayed me, which one of you is trying to break my family apart.”
“In that moment, it was as if I didn’t know my own history anymore, my own story. We’d had one life, our life together, and within a second it felt like fiction.”
“The truth is simple. Lies are complicated.”
“First impressions can be misleading. Look harder. Follow the evidence.”
“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”
“Awe and fear. It was a dangerous combination.”
This book is about family, friendship, marriage, motherhood, mental health, murder, social media, betrayal, lies and secrets. The story is a slow burn to start, but I loved the surprises and how this book turned out nothing like it seemed. I wish that the plot twist at the end started earlier in the book, but maybe I just need to go back and re-read the clues.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley exchange for an honest review.