SIRACUSA Breaks Through

9780399165214_5f0e8Delia Ephron’s latest, Siracusa (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) may bring her to a new level of popularity. The novel is getting strong media attention and is rising on Amazon, currently just outside the top 100. Deadline Hollywood reports a film deal is in the works.

In a review titled “Delia Ephron writes her own version of Heartburn” referring to her sister Nora Ephron’s famous novel, The Washington Post summarizes the plot, “The story centers on two couples vacationing together in Italy. The four of them take turns telling the story, and their views of events rarely coincide.”

However, says the reviewer, “Siracusa takes a more expansive look at matrimony and its discontents,” adding,

“For much of the way, Siracusa is a sophisticated, elegantly written, delightfully cynical look at four middle-aged Americans, not unlike people most of us know, as they struggle to make sense of their lives. Then, abruptly, the story darkens. All readers may not share my admiration for its shocking conclusion, but it’s that sudden glimpse of tragedy, even of evil, that gives Ephron’s novel the feel of a classic.”

The LA Times says it is “skillfully wrought,” comparing it to “Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film Rashomon … Ford Madox Ford’s 1915 modernist masterpiece The Good Soldier and Showtime’s ongoing dramatic series The Affair. There’s even an echo of Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel, Atonement about passion, guilt and how writers distort lives for literary ends.”

However, the review adds a note of caution, saying “In the end, Siracusa, like life, is a tad disappointing, its culminating disaster coming as something of an anticlimax.”

The book was featured on multiple summer reading lists. Ephron was recently interviewed on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show.

Holds are spiking at the majority of libraries we checked, some topping 7:1 ratios.

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