My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends—once inseparable roommates—haven’t spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy—always fearless and independent—helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.
But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice—she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.
Tangerine is a sharp dagger of a book—a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless.
Nevertheless, I found myself having trouble connecting with the characters. I didn't think they were fleshed out enough to make me care for them. Sure, we get background events on both Alice and Lucy, but I found myself thinking after I finished the book that I couldn't see them before my eyes while I listened to the book. Frankly, all the characters felt a bit flat to me. The same thing could I say about Tangier. Because of the lack of connection with the characters and not feeling the atmosphere of Tangier couldn't I completely be engrossed in the story.
However, there was something about the story that made me continue listening, a need to know what really happened when Alice and Lucy went to school and what would happen next. I may not be totally engrossed in the story, but I was curious to know more all the way through the book. I can't say that the book surprised me, but the last part, when you realize where everything is going is quite good.
Tangerine is a so-so so book. I kind of liked the book, but I never really found myself completely enjoying the book. Perhaps if the characters had been more fleshed out and if the city had been better described in a way that I have felt transported to it had the book worked better.