I’m jetting off for some sunshine but still dropping by to share my review of The Reunion.
Welcome to a school reunion you won’t forget
FRENCH RIVIERA, WINTER 1992
On a freezing night, as her high school campus is engulfed by a snowstorm, 19-year-old Vinca Rockwell runs away with Alexis, her philosophy teacher.
No one will ever see them again.
FRENCH RIVIERA, SPRING 2017
Formerly inseparable, Thomas, Maxime and Fanny – Vinca’s best friends – have not spoken in twenty-five years. But when they receive an invitation to their school reunion, they know they must go back one final time.
Because there is a body buried in that school…
…and they’re the ones who put it there.
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I’ll be honest I picked this book up and was a bit unsure about it at the beginning, it was taking me a while to get into and I started to think that maybe it wasn’t going to be for me. Luckily I stuck with it because once I got a bit further into the book I was completely hooked by this tense and unpredictable story.
There was so much that I liked about this book but I think the thing that really struck a chord with me was how much the author played with perception. There is a quote in the book that definitely summed it up perfectly…
Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life and a secret life.
This duality between what the characters know of each other and what they come to find out about each other definitely keeps the suspense throughout the story. It has you constantly questioning each of the characters that are introduced wondering how they have impacted the story.
Another impressive quality that this book has was that I was always kept guessing and even when I thought I was having a lightbulb moment and that I might have figured out where the story would go next, I then realised that the author was just playing with me. He has crafted this amazingly clever plot that puts new obstacles up at every turn and can easily create the obsessive quality that you can see in some of the characters as we try and discover what happened to Vinca.
I especially liked the fact that none of the characters were perfect, everyone had a little good and bad in them and even though there are some awful things that happen, I found myself rooting for certain characters even though I knew they had done a terrible thing. I think it’s when you grasp the passion, manipulation and deception throughout the story you start to understand where the leniency comes from.
The story is mostly told from Thomas’ point of view and in varying timelines but occasionally we get a glimpse into another character that adds another dimension to what is happening and also helps to keep the mystery alive. I think maybe the switching narrative at the start didn’t help with my understanding of the book but once I got used to the format it really helped to keep the thrilling pace that kept me turning the pages eagerly.
I’m exceptionally glad that I didn’t give up on this book because it is definitely a contender to be a favourite for the year.
One of the most popular authors in France today. From his early childhood with reading books and plays, Guillaume Musso became convinced that one day, he too would write novels. After finishing high school in France, Guillaume Musso left for the United States at the age of 19. He spent several months in New York City, living with other young foreigners and earning his money by selling ice-cream. He came home to France with his head filled with ideas for novels. The readers can easily see the influence his time in the United States has had on him, as the action in his books takes place overseas.
He currently teaches in a high school in the south of France, all the while working on his novels. His first published novel was with Editions Anne Carriere in 2001: Skidamarink, this novel did not reach out to the masses however, but his following novels published on XO Editions have all been hugely successful, some of them translated into 20 languages. His novel, Afterwards, has been adapted to the big screen and was in cinemas January 2009, starring John Malkovich, Evangeline Lily and Romain Duris.