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A Serpentine Affair

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  904 ratings  ·  170 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 ann ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 2nd 2013 by Kirk Parolles (first published July 29th 2013)
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Jane Lewis The ebook version is called When We Were Friends. It’s definitely worth reading.

Community Reviews

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3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  904 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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Aug 15, 2013 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

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
Apr 12, 2015 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 backbitin ...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?
Patrice Hoffman
Jun 25, 2013 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
Cleo Bannister
Aug 10, 2013 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
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The title is appropriate and a delicious pun. Think of a bunch of newly born snakes all intertwined yet separate. Or the serpentine belt on your car. Or an affair that goes sour. It's the name of the river where the women decide to have their annual picnic.

Everyone has had the experience of watching how friends from school evolve as their lives become more complicated with children, one or more spouses, and jobs.

In this very entertaining novel, (thanks, Karen for the heads up) seven British wom
Feb 01, 2015 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
Fantastic! Loved the writing style and storyline. I'm sure I'm the only person who would find it completely just that a certain hoebag learned her hubby was a rapist, especially since she was banging a friend's husband but... I do and I won't apologize! LOL I know, I know! But I just love it when the "other woman" doesn't get to simply walk away unscathed and happy as a clam since it seems to happen far too much in romance stories! LOL
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 13, 2013 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
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel Gilbey
Feb 10, 2015 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 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 Tin ...more
Jun 05, 2013 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 indeed! ...more
Melanie O'Neill
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. There were a lot of characters in it and that was a. little confusing at first, but lots of twists and turns along the way .. definitely not your average chick lit! A great page turner.

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
Liz Barnsley
Jul 01, 2013 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
Jul 31, 2015 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 16, 2015 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
May 21, 2015 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!
Renita D'Silva
Tense, compelling, searing. A story of friendship and secrets, wrong choices and horrible betrayals. Loved it.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has been languishing on my TBR for nearly 4 years. I gave it a try once before but gave up on it, as both storyline and characterisation seemed so unconvincing. But the guilt always gets to me in the end. If NetGalley gives me a book, I feel duty bound to read and review it. So I steeled myself and tried again – and this time I must have been feeling in a mellower, less critical mood, as not only did I finish it but I quite enjoyed it – well, sort of. The characterisation and storyline ...more
Trigger warnings: rape, death of a spouse, cancer, probably other stuff that I didn't get to because I gave up.

DNF on page 153. Look, I was desperately hoping to love this because I was hooked from start to finish by Tina Seskis' The Honeymoon last year. But unfortunately, I just found this a big ol' pile of confusion. There are six friends in this story, and it jumps around between their six different perspectives. But it also jumps between the past and the present, so it's more like twelve di
Après partir que j avais bien aime j ai voulu lire cet autre thriller de Tina seskis. Un thriller psychologique sur une amitié de 6 femmes que les années et les événements à pourri.
Pas un page turner mais on le lit voulant savoir qu est ce qui s est passé ce soir la et comment leur amitié à pu prendre ce virage.
Aug 05, 2013 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
Jun 27, 2013 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 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, arc, womens-lit, fiction
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 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
Jul 13, 2013 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
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Tina Seskis grew up in Hampshire, before going off to study in the beautiful city of Bath and then moving to London, where she has lived on and off ever since.

Tina's first novel One Step Too Far was released in 2013, and has since been published in 17 languages in over 60 countries. Her latest novel, The Honeymoon, will finally be released on 1st June 2017.

Tina lives in North London with her husb
“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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