Sad Summer in Biarritz


WOMEN'S LITERATURE:  A woman fleeing an abusive boyfriend ends up in the seaside town of Biarritz, where she finds herself embroiled in a mystery surrounding a young artist named Vinnie and his untimely death. When she starts to ask questions, those who want to hide the truth about him and his life, pull her in deeper. Can she find out what happened to him before her dangerous boyfriend tracks her down?

 "Sad Summer in Biarritz" has an international flair, and the author immerses the reader in the French culture and societal mores of the day. Readers will be surprised at the twists and turns in the story as they find out what truly happened to Vinnie and the reasons several prominent citizens are willing to hide the truth. Unfortunately, beyond the wrap-up of the mystery, the ending is abrupt and doesn’t give the reader any resolution. The writing sometimes rambles between scenes that don’t have any bearing on the story, and long and random conversations the narrator has with men about their views on women, which slows down the pacing considerably. The cast of characters is unique and intriguing, in both their histories and the trials they are facing, but there are time jumps that can make the storyline a bit confusing for the reader. Overall, this is an interesting statement on French society in the '80s and a woman’s search for meaning in her life, but, unfortunately, that also overshadows the mystery that would draw readers in.

Kate Campbell