Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Siracusa” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.40  ·  Rating details ·  10,415 ratings  ·  1,484 reviews
New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from MaineFinn; his wife, Taylor; and their daughter, Snow. From the beginning, says Taylor, it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together. Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities, past and ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Blue Rider Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Siracusa, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Roseann No, it's not clear to me.…moreNo, it's not clear to me. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,415 ratings  ·  1,484 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Siracusa
Remind me never to go on a couples vay-cay, not that its actually an idea that would ever cross my mind in the first place. But this book seals the deal; its a testament to how it all can go bad, very very bad.

There are two couples who take a vacation together in Italy. I tell you, youve never seen a worse bunch of egotists, jerks, and neurotics! Well, to be honest, some arent so bad, but cumulatively, theyre one big sad sack, and frankly I wouldnt want to hang out with any of them. Each person
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of Siracusa by Delia Ephron through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Blue Rider Press and to Delia Ephron for the opportunity.

The pages of this book are deeply embedded in my mind.

Delia Ephron takes you along on a travel destination to sunny Siracusa, a little port dotting the waters with fishing boats and small yachts. Your traveling companions are Lizzie who is married to Michael and Taylor who is married to Finn. Tagging along is Taylor and Finn's precocious ten
Elyse  Walters
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Update: I LOOOOOVVVVEEEEDDDD Diane's recent review of this book!!! --- If THIS book were to win some -best-book-of-the-year --I wouldn't cry! lol
Its another one of my favorite books of the year! Just sooooooo darn good!!!!!!!!! fun fun fun!!!
Naughty pleasures just fit the bill sometimes!!!

"If anyone had really looked into the scandal, like a reporter, Yale would look bad. Instead the entire incident was swept under the Chinese carpet.
"Several years after the play closed, he started telling
Diane S ☔
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some readers have problems when a novel is filled with unlikable characters, for me if the characters are not likable there has to be another draw. Excellent prose, different type of setting or a scenario, plot that can keep me interested. This book is certainly full of unlikable characters. My take: Finn, a charming player, Michael a self centered sleaze, Taylor a controlling neurotic, Snow, at ten is creepiness personified, Lizzie, while she irked and had quirks, I am giving a break, I ...more
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Beautiful old-world charm, rich culture and the lure of forbidden fruit; it all comes together and lends a sexy undertone to this exceptional story. Sure, this cast of characters comes off as pompous, arrogant and theres no denying it makes them unlikeable, but honestly, that was kind of the best part. Theres some shock value and even a touch of humor in their actions and thoughts that I personally found intriguing.

The authors words transported me to what I pictured in my mind as a
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Don't read Siracusa if you look for books with likeable characters. Do read Siracusa if you like tight tense plots loaded with complicated personalities. Siracusa is told from the perspective of four characters -- two couples -- who travel together for a few days in Italy, including Siracusa in Sicily. It's hard to fathom what drew the two couples together, and even what drew the members of each couple to one another. Each character is deeply flawed, and they all tend to misread each other and ...more
Larry H
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-to-read
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

A little soapy, a little sexy, even a little sinister, Delia Ephron's Siracusa is really good. I found myself disliking each character more than the next one, but that made it kind of fun. In fact, this reminded me a little of one of Liane Moriarty's novelsyou find the people odious but utterly fascinating and you can't pull yourself away.

Michael and Lizzie are quintessential New Yorkers. He won a Pulitzer for his first play and gained more acclaim for his memoir, but
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A solid 4.5 I couldn't stop reading this for very long. This story of two couples and of one of their young daughters on a trip to Siracusa, Italy..all of these individuals kind of messed up and deceitful, made for great entertainment.. I thought it was quite brilliant!
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Delia Ephron masterfully probes the state of two marriages, New Yorkers Michael and Lizzie, and Maine couple, Finn and Taylor with their daughter, Snow. Michael is a well known writer who has won the Pulitzer, but is struggling with his latest offering of a novel. Lizzie is also a writer but has lost her way. Finn and Lizzie used to be lovers. Finn is a restauranteur and Taylor is busy smothering her strange and manipulative daughter, Snow. Both relationships are crumbling but there is ...more
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Two married couples and one tween-aged daughter head to Italy for a relaxing vacation. What could go wrong in this scenario? In this clever and addictive tale, pretty much everything.

This was SOOOO good! It grabbed me by the throat and sucked me in right away. I loved the four different narrators and their alternating short chapters. Ephron masterfully crafted their personae via their narration, observations and dialogue with the other characters. What a bunch - flawed, selfish, naive,
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is like A Room with a View turned on its head. Italy is once again called upon to move characters closer to the truth of who they are. But theres nothing romantic about the rite of passage here. Behind a thin film of sophisticated civility the four characters in this novel are as infantile, sterile, deluded and ultimately deplorable as each other. They barely share a quality between them. It might have been a better book had the author balanced the shortcomings with some qualities, which ...more
Aug 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own-it, 2016, botm
3.5 stars

I've begun to realize that when it comes to mysteries and suspense, I much prefer the effects rather than the causes. I'd much rather read about how an event takes its toll on someone psychologically, emotionally and relationally, than reading about the illusive switchback of events leading up to the breaking point.

And while in this novel, the climax doesn't really come until near the end, and it's not really much of a plot twist, I was still incredibly engaged throughout the story.
Siracusa by Delia Ephron is a 2016 Blue Rider Press publication.

Edgy, suspenseful, and utterly absorbing!!

The synopsis promises the reader a trip to Italy, to Siracusa, in particular, with two married couples, Lizzie and Michael and Finn and Taylor. What starts off as a seemingly ideal and romantic vacation quickly deflates as the two couples experience marital discord, divulge and uncover secrets and sins, and flirt with disaster until it all blows up spectacularly. But underneath this
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

I felt unsettled but intrigued the whole time I was reading SiracusaI knew something bad was coming, but I couldnt put my finger on what exactly.

When two couples decide to vacation together to Italy, little do they know that their lives will change forever. Lizzie and Michael travel with Finn and his wife, Taylor, and their strange 10 year old daughter Snow, to Italy. The two couples dont really like each otherpart of the dislike comes from the fact that Lizze and Finn dated 15 years
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Siracusa is a wonderfully small and old town in Italy. The setting for a story told through four perspectives and one I was riveted in from the beginning. I could physically see this book being played out in my head, and got so entangled in the characters- all of which are so unlikable you end up missing them when you set this book down. Two married couples- Lizzie & Michael, and Finn & Taylor head on this trip that Lizzie has coordinated. Taylor and Finn bring their 10 year old daughter ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ephron pulled me in from the start. This author's writing style is so entertaining with her characters' descriptions that you enjoy disliking everyone of them--even the kid--especially for me, the kid. Not a likable one in the bunch! At first, I wondered who was controlling who but that soon became apparent not far into the storyline. The egotism was rampant.

The only uplifting feature of this intense character-based novel was that Ephron would intermittently treat the reader to snippets of Rome.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Looking back now, reading this was similar to reading a Patricia Highsmith novel. Two couples and a very weird child take a trip to Siracusa and nothing will ever be the same again. Love triangles, naughty desires, sophisticated and rich prose--all here. Personally, I quite enjoyed the story as each character and their quirks are revealed, even though I couldn't relate to any of them. Sort of liked Lizzy, though, starting from the point early on when she said she didn't go in for using hand ...more
Siracusa was almost a perfect novel.

Two American couples take a one week trip to Italy (who travels that far for only one week? I know Americans don't get many days of paid leave, still...).
Who are they? Michael Shapner and Lizzie Ross are New Yorkers, Michael is a Pulitzer winner who hasn't written anything in a long time, Lizzie is a free-lance writer. They're joined on the trip by Taylor and Finn Dolan, and their beautiful but extremely shy ten-year-old daughter, Snow. Finn is a successful
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Why did this get such good reviews? I thought the characters were one-dimensional and the "surprise" was telegraphed early on in the book. It was well-written and an interesting set-up, but ultimately unsatisfying.
A snappy literary thriller about two American couples who take a holiday together to the Sicilian island of Siracusa. Shifting between the perspectives of the four main characters, the novel looks back to ask what went so disastrously wrong on that trip. All four voices are distinct and believable. Thats not to say theyre likable, though; the two men, in particular, are fairly despicable. But its ten-year-old Snow whos the most intriguing character here. She is like a blank that the others ...more
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
What a tangled web they weave as five neurotic individuals - two couples (with romantic history been them) and one child - travel to Siracusa, on vacation. The story is told in short chapters, alternating among the four adults. As secrets are exposed, things begin to fall apart quickly.

This was my first Delia Ephron novel. Her film You've Got Mail is one of my favorites that I seem to watch every year! Her style of writing reminds me of Liane Moriarty's.

I listened to the audio version of this
Bam cooks the books ;-)
One day recently we were listening to NPR on the way into the city and heard an excellent interview with Delia Ephron about her new book, Siracusa. It sounded so good! I checked to see if it might be available from NetGalley and was thrilled that it was and was later approved for it. Many thanks to Delia Ephron, Blue Rider Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this fine, intriguing novel.

The book is basically about marriage and deception, with a dash of travelogue thrown in. Two
Book of Secrets°ღ
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Two couples, both with rocky marriages, travel to Rome and Siracusa on a joint vacation. Michael and Lizzie live in New York City, while Finn and Taylor hail from Portland, Maine. There's also a 5th wheel on their Italian holiday - Snow, 10-year old daughter of Finn and Taylor, and a child I can only describe as peculiar. Actually, the whole group is odd, and downright unlikable, yet I couldn't put this book down. Lots of secrets, lies, and betrayal, and as each of these characters tells his or ...more
Susan Johnson
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
I received this book from Net Galley. Thank you.

I really liked this book which is amazing as I didn't like any of the characters. Not one. They all deserve each other and what happens. Yet it oddly doesn't effect how good this book really is. Two married couples, one with a 10 year old daughter named Snow, vacation together in Italy. They first visit Rome and then go to Siracusa in Sicily.

The childless couple, Michael and Lizzie, have based their marriage on lies. They both know that and
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2 couples go on vacation in Italy. Relationships unravel, loyalties are questioned, there is a traumatic event. Ok I'm not going to say more about the plot. I think the less you know about this going in the more you will enjoy it.

The characters aren't always easy to like but the writing is great and the setting interesting. I had an Ebook on this but I've heard the audio is great. Recommend for a fast paced summer read.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
An Italian setting, unlikable characters, a creepy "shy" 10 year old, dysfunction, lies and secrets. What's not to like? We find out from the first pages that things don't turn out so well on a week long vacation in Italy, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough in this well-written novel to find out what happened.

I won't go into the plot. I think it's best for readers to go in knowing little to nothing, but I will say the story is told in 4 alternating voices that allows us to get inside each
Mary Ruth Deutsch
Jul 29, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't waste your time

Very disappointed . Was lured in by the Ephron name. Cast of thoroughly unlikable self absorbed people. Glad it was short.
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A group of friends travel to Italy together. Michael, a Pulitzer-winning author, and his wife Lizzie, a journalist, together with Finn, a restaurant owner, and his wife, Taylor, and their 10-year-old daughter, Snow. Taylor has a quite odd relationship with her daughter and interprets shy Snows weird clucks and grunts and speaks for her. Finn and Lizzie have a past history together as they were once lovers. Taylor is enamored with Michael and is thrilled when he starts to show Snow special ...more
Betsy Robinson
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a well-written, sophisticated, slow-building but intriguing soap opera about two well-heeled, literate couples (one with a child) on vacation in Italy. I think the lush descriptions of food and fashion will appeal to foodies and fashionistas. With a story told in alternating first-persons by the adult characters, the narrative is excellent; these voices have a quality similar to voiceovers in a movie. One major beef: there was huge plot transition missing toward the end.

Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Two couples (who don't really like one another much) travel from the States for a holiday in Italy. There's Finn and Taylor and Lizzie and Michael. With them is the extremely strange and annoying ten year old daughter of Finn and Taylor (we later find out she has extreme shyness syndrome, or so her mother says). Also, Finn and Lizzie were a couple long before they married their new partners. And sometime during the vacation, the mistress of one of them appears.

All this is a recipe for disaster.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Challenge: 50 Books: October Group Read: Siracusa 4 28 Oct 25, 2016 08:01PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • L'Italia spensierata
  • Affari di famiglia
  • Heidi
  • After Julius
  • This Real Night
  • Still Life: A Memoir
  • L'anno in cui imparai a leggere
  • The Fountain Overflows
  • Quello che non siamo diventati
  • La Storia I
  • Manuale per ragazze rivoluzionarie: Perché il femminismo ci rende felici
  • Ah l'amore l'amore
  • Divino amore
  • The Sea Change
  • Ossigeno
  • Cousin Rosamund
  • The Florios of Sicily
  • Hilda and Pearl
See similar books…
Bestselling author and screenwriter Delia Ephron's most recent novel is Siracusa. Her other novels include The Lion Is In and Hanging Up. She has written humor books for all ages, including How to Eat Like a Child and Do I Have to Say Hello?; and nonfiction, most recently Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.). Her films include Youve Got Mail, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Hanging Up (based on ...more

News & Interviews

"Stay calm and read on" might be our collective slogan for the coming months. Since we all might need some help with that, we asked Goodreads m...
126 likes · 127 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Am I being too critical? That’s what happens when you feel shitty about yourself. You turn into a bitch.” 3 likes
“This is an example of why travel is important. It changes perspective. It alters your eyes and ears, puts unexpected notions into your head, provides aha moments.” 1 likes
More quotes…