In Reznik’s debut novel, a woman confronts long-buried secrets when an old college friend commits suicide.
Laila Levin, a Long Island expatriate living in Texas, is struggling to keep her high-powered job when she receives unsettling news: her college roommate, whom she hasn’t seen in years, has killed herself. Laila recalls her wild college days in Bridgeport, Conn., during the late 1960s, a time when she shook off the expectations of her provincial parents and ventured into a fast-paced world of sex and drugs. Laila and a tight group of college friends bonded over their shared hatred of the Vietnam War and their love of a good time. Carefree Laila eventually found herself entangled with two mysterious men, which led to a scandalous story of deception, betrayal and, ultimately, tragedy. She left Bridgeport behind, switching schools and, later, getting married—without telling her husband about the scandal that occurred. However, when she learns of her friend’s suicide, she finds that she can’t escape her past: Due to her friend’s incriminating suicide note, she stands to lose the life she has created. In this fast-paced and intriguing novel, Laila’s secrets and lies unfold slowly and tantalizingly, with sudden surprises and perplexing clues scattered throughout. Although readers may occasionally find the writing pedestrian and the characters flat, they will find the plot intense and compelling. While effective as a page turner, the novel also tells a timeless, universal tale of a woman’s journey toward self-acceptance.
An exciting tale of past crimes and dangerous friendships.