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A Serpentine Affair

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  631 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
Six old friends. One annual reunion. Countless feuds. How do friends stay friends for more than 25 years when there is so much to feel aggrieved about? Juliette and Renee have never got over one of them sleeping with the other's boyfriend. Sissy secretly blames someone for the death of her husband. Natasha knows one of them is having an affair with her partner. Siobhan ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 2nd 2013 by Kirk Parolles (first published July 29th 2013)
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Sep 17, 2013 karen rated it really liked it
this was an interesting and suspenseful story about a group of friends, seven british women, who palled up at university in their youth and still, once a year, meet up to gossip and eat and pick at old wounds. this year, they have gathered by the bank of the serpentine to have a picnic.

but this isn't cozy chick lit.

because now that they are in their forties, many of them have husbands and children, and one is already widowed, and they know how much they have grown apart, and that their annual me
Apr 18, 2015 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Previously published as A Serpentine Affair, we have a group of six women in their forties who were best friends at university. Every year since graduating they have held an annual reunion and this year they are having a picnic by The Serpentine in Hyde Park. One of the first things you will realise about these women is that, even though they were best friends at one point, they don’t really like each other now and the evening is fraught with underlying tension and niggles, sniping and ...more

Well what a journey I have traveled whilst reading this!

We have six very different women, and from varying backgrounds, but all tied together from their University days, they had promised to meet up each year.

They are now in their 40's.

They meet up in Hyde Park, they get very drunk and you know what that means? People say and do stupid things. Things they wouldn't normally do and say things they wouldn't normally say.

Something happens which changes course of all of their lives.

We all like to ha
Patrice Hoffman
Jul 09, 2013 Patrice Hoffman rated it really liked it
After reading Tina Seskis novel One Step Too Far I was excited when I found that she had another novel available for my enjoyment. Thankfully Seskis did not disappoint with A Serpentine Affair. A Serpentine Affair is the story of seven women who were at some point very good friends but aren't so much anymore. They've made a tradition of meeting together yearly for 22 years. Their latest get-together ends in some closely gaurded secrets being revealed and the facade they all have built around the ...more
Beth Hall
I just couldn't get past how terribly written this book is. The overwhelming nature of the slathered-on descriptive language really turned me off the story, which to be honest wasn't that appealing to begin with. Perhaps if I were a Prosecco-drinking mother of two then this might hold more appeal, but unfortunately, I am not. Also, "delightful knees"? Really?
Cleo Bannister
May 16, 2015 Cleo Bannister rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I first read this book back in 2013 under its original title A Serpentine Affair but it has now been published by penguin and the number of friends reduced from seven to six. Since I enjoyed the story the first time around I was keen to see what difference the changes made, the result, the story felt much sharper while still retaining the original elements that made this such a good story.

This book takes a look at friendship, especially those that span the test of time. What happens when what or
Jun 12, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, net-galley, n
The books Is about a group of friends who met at University 25 years ago. They have an annual reunion and although they were best friends at Uni, over the years many niggles have arisen and they aren’t as happy together as they once were. They are very different women now.
The book weaves between characters and time scales and it takes a little time to get it all straight. Lots of trails are left in the story which keep you reading.
This year they have met for a picnic by the Serpentine and old gr
Take "One Step Too Far" - Seriously - Tina Seskis is giving away TEN copies at Tome Tender!
Click on Banner to Enter - Open to US Only - Remember, Books Make GREAT Gifts for YOU or your favorite reader!

I rearranged my reading list when I had the opportunity to read A Serpentine Affair by Tina Seskis! I had to read it, NOW, especially if it was as brilliant as her first novel, One Step Too Far!

Seven women are once again, gathering for what has become the dreaded annual reunion, and still they go
Aug 25, 2013 Anne rated it it was amazing
A Serpentine Affair is the second novel from Tina Seskis, and over the past couple of days I have just devoured it. Once again, this author has produced that tingly feeling and I'm just delighted.

"Seven old friends. One annual reunion. Countless feuds.
How do friends stay friends for 25 years when there's so much to feel aggrieved about, such a tangle of lingering resentments? So when their picnic in the park goes horribly wrong and someone ends up in the Serpentine, who knows what really happens
Rachel Gilbey
Jun 12, 2016 Rachel Gilbey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Juliette, Camilla, Siobhan, Sissy, Renee and Natasha have been friends since university. They met 25 years ago, and even though their lives have gone in different directions, they have stayed friends and each year make sure that the six of them get together for a reunion.

This year they were meeting up in Hyde Park, for a picnic, near the Serpentine. What they didn't know was this night was going to change all of their lives forever.

When We Were Friends is written in lots of short chapters giving
Bill Kupersmith
Aug 22, 2013 Bill Kupersmith rated it it was amazing
I finished A Serpentine Affair a few minutes ago and I am simply stunned at how much I enjoyed its varied cast of fascinating characters and how buried misbehaviour from their pasts returns to haunt the present. It is easy to sympathise with reviewers who gave up on this one. The temporal shifts and changes of point of view, along with the slowly revealed back stories that allow the reader to bring the different characters into focus, make the first half of the book heavy slogging. But trust ...more
Jun 07, 2013 Denise added it
I finished this last night -- I had to get up to make a 3:30 am airport run and should have been trying to nap a bit but I just could not put it down! I really liked the slow build as I got to know each woman. And those men!! The delicious shivers of finding out the details about each one's past and also their perspectives on situations and each other!!! Another fun and twisted novel with interesting characters and an unexpected incident on a nice evening by Serpentine Lake...old friends ...more

Originally posted on This Chick Reads

* Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

'When We Were Friends' is the second novel by Tina Seskis and it was previously published under the title 'A Serpentine Affair'. I haven't read Tina's debut, 'One Step Too Far', but after reading this one, I'm definitely bumping it up in my TBR pile.

'When We Were Friends' is a layered, complex story involving six main characters. Siobhan, Natasha, Sissy, Juliette, Renee and Camilla, but we also mee
A velvety dark fabulous novel by Tina Seskis. This is one of my best reads so far this year. I 100% recommend readers to buy it.

Six old friends who met at University twenty-five years ago. They all faced everything together from break-ups and marriages, motherhood and death.

When all six of them meet up for a picnic in Hyde park they all get very drunk, when bitching and friction roars out amongst them all. The picnic goes horribly wrong when one of them ends up in the serpentine, but who knows
Aug 02, 2015 Claire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I work night shifts and during the quiet moments I read. A lot. The problem is the further I get into a string of nights the more exhausted my brain becomes. This is where books like When We Were Friends are exactly what I need.

The writing isn't spectacular but that isn't what I was looking for anyway. The chapters are short, the storyline moves quickly, the focus switches between characters and it is FULL of twists. I read the entire thing in a couple of nights and was entertained and distracte
Mar 19, 2016 Kirstie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: competiton-books
Really enjoyable read. Lots of characters to keep track of. I wasn't sure where it was leading but enjoyed it. Final pages a bit of a damp squib but not horrendous
Aug 03, 2015 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, the lives of 6 friends and how secrets and lies catch up and destroy it all. great read!
This one is odd. It is poetically written and quite beautiful, but not remarkably memorable. I loved the mind-sketches of London throughout the book and it was interesting to keep reading and see how it all weaved into a story.
Aug 05, 2013 Marleen rated it it was amazing
I received my copy from the author and rated it 4.5 stars.

“The evening was set to be balmy, perfect for a picnic, even one destined to end in disaster.”

This quote perfectly describes the feel of this book. The story is told in a mellow and gentle tone with a constant threat of doom lingering underneath.

Seven women, Juliette, Camilla, Siobhan, Sissy, JoAnne, Katie and Natasha met and became close friends while in college in Bristol. Seven very different women with different personalities, backgro
Liz Barnsley
Jul 19, 2013 Liz Barnsley rated it it was amazing
Anyone who read my review of Tina Seskis’ first book “One Step Too Far” will know I was dying to get my hands on “A Serpentine Affair” so I was very excited to receive a copy via NetGalley – thank you so much, I’m not sure I would have survived my chronic impatience!

This tale follows seven friends at their annual reunion – this time a picnic on the banks of the Serpentine. Friends for over 25 years, they are all in a sense hanging on to the relationships formed in their younger years, despite th
Jun 29, 2013 Wanda rated it liked it
A Serpentine Affair is a very complex, multi-layered story, but the individual stories come together with an intricate plot that doesn't let go.

Seven friends come together for their annual reunion. They've been friends for over 25 years and this year they were having a picnic at Hyde Park. These occasions seem forced with unspoken rivalries and resentments. The day extends into hatred and envy, with poisonous secrets revealed, that causes a strong turbulence. And the story unfolds with startlin
Aug 20, 2013 Gabby rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, fiction, arc, womens-lit
I've read that a friend is someone who will lie for you in court.. A GOOD friend is someone who will help you bury the bodies. There are no GOOD friends in The Serpentine Affair.

After reading A Step Too Far, I was thrilled to see that Tina Seskis posted her latest novel at GoodReads for anyone to read. Even though my TBR pile approaches the height of the Empire State Building and has spawned little TBR piles of its own, I immediately started reading The Serpentine Affair, and I finished it the
Oct 11, 2015 Joodith rated it did not like it
If you're looking for a book that is “ Clever, Interesting, Chilling – and utterly impossible to put down........” this is not it. It is none of those things, and proving the last bit wrong, I put this down last night, a little over halfway through.

One of the most ridiculous books I've read in a while it concerns six horrible ex-uni friends, plus a seventh outsider whose reason for inclusion I have already forgotten, who meet for a picnic at the Serpentine in London. This catch-up is an annual a
Sep 22, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
I loved ‘One Step Too Far’ and was looking forward to reading this, the second novel from Tina Seskis. I’m pleased to say that it didn’t disappoint at all.

The story is about seven female friends whose friendships were formed in their university days over 25 years ago. They mostly now have families of their own however over the years resentments and tensions have built up between the women and although each secretly wonders whether there is enough friendship left between the group for an annual r
Sep 03, 2013 Sasha rated it really liked it
Five main women and two pointless ones have been friends forever. Twenty years? And they have this annual picnic that they want to attend less and less every year. This latest one is more than anyone can handle. Accusations of rape, murder, adultery, and other sordid affairs are abound, and one runs off into the night, sobbing. She ends up missing, of course.

But that's not the only mystery. There is also a secret witness to this whole ordeal, who may or may not know all the nasty details. There
I've had When We Were Friends by Tina Seskis sitting in my 'to be read' pile for a few months. As it's not due for release until late April I've delayed opening it until a time closer to its publication date. However, when I finally got around to reading it I discovered that the book was—in fact—released as A Serpentine Affair back in 2013.

Last year I read One Step Too Far (also released in 2013) by Seskis and enjoyed it. So... I was looking forward to my next outing with the English author.

Jo Barton
Aug 05, 2013 Jo Barton rated it it was amazing
When seven girl friends meet on a balmy summer evening for their annual picnic in a London park it should be an evening of shared memories and girly laughter washed down with copious amounts of prosecco. However, invariably, what happens is that old resentments float to the surface, and even before the petty squabbles appear, there are simmering undercurrents of discontent. What then follows is a story of how, over twenty five years, lies and resentment have festered until all the hurt surfaces ...more
Aug 30, 2016 Kelly rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed Tina Seskis' first book, One Step Too Far. When invited to read A Serpentine Affair, I expected the same engrossing mix of pathos and intrigue. I have a feeling these elements are there, but they're buried beneath seven muddied points of view.

If I stuck with the novel, I might eventually separate Juliette and JoAnne. I liked Sissy, I did not like Siobhan. I did not read far enough to get a good feel for the other women, but with seven of them, there seemed to be a little too muc
Debbie Krenzer
Jun 20, 2014 Debbie Krenzer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, on my best book list of 2013
I received this book free from Net Galley in exchange for a review.

A story of seven friends who meet for their annual reunion in Hyde Park for a picnic. The women met 25 years ago in college.

This is a story of their friendships, lives and what they have done and what has been done to and by each other.

There are several stories going on which is a little cumbersome at first, trying to keep up with who's who. However,once this story gets going, MY does it get going. Her second book I've read and f
Tellulah Darling
Aug 21, 2013 Tellulah Darling rated it liked it
I loved Seskis' book One Step Too Far so I was very excited to read this one. But it didn't grab me nearly as much as her other story.

I think that a big part of that was due to the fact that much of the story is told in flashbacks. For me, it meant the story lost a lot of tension and jeopardy. I didn't really worry about how these past events affected them because I could see who they were in the present storyline. The events of the past became interesting gossip, as opposed to gripping.

And the
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Tina Seskis grew up in Hampshire, the daughter of an airline engineer and a sales representative. She studied business at the University of Bath and then worked for over 20 years in marketing, advertising and online, with varying degrees of success.

Tina wrote the first draft of One Step Too Far in 2010 and then wrote her second novel A Serpentine Affair in autumn/winter 2011. Her latest novel (wo
More about Tina Seskis...

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“It was the scale, the extremity of things here that made an impression on her: the two beds in their double room that could comfortably sleep three people each; the throaty clunking of the machine down the corridor that ejected fat glinting ice cubes, tumbling like coins from a jackpotting fruit machine; the toothache temperature of the Cokes from the mini bar (she had never known drinks to be so cold); the improbable proportions of the cars on the freeway; the sleek gleefulness of the morning TV presenters with drawls so sassy they sounded put on; the enormity of the breakfasts and the people who ate them. America seemed souped-up to JoAnne, as though it had to be bigger, better, colder, hotter, cheerier, louder, just all-round “er” than everywhere else.” 1 likes
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