Miranda stands up and fires the cork into the loch, where it makes its own series of ripples, widening out in shining rings across the water. We drink straight from the bottle, passing it around like Girl Guides, the cold, densely fizzing liquid stinging our throats.
‘It’s like Oxford,’ Mark says. ‘Sitting down by the river, getting pissed after finals at three p.m.’
‘Except then it was cava,’ Miranda says. ‘Christ – we drank gallons of that stuff. How did we not notice that it tastes like vomit?’
‘And there was that party you held down by the river,’ Mark says. ‘You two’ – he gestures to Miranda and me – ‘and Samira.’
‘Oh yes,’ Giles says. ‘What was the theme again?’
‘The Beautiful and Damned,’ I say. Everyone had to come in twenties’ gear, so we could all pretend we were Bright Young Things, like Evelyn Waugh and friends. God, we were pretentious.
“Were”? Why the past tense? These people are still annoying. Incredibly irritating actually.
They are a group friends in their 30s who were all at Oxford together and are now spending New Years Eve at a lodge in the Scottish Highlands.
I have a lot of issues with this book. And I mean, A LOT of issues, starting with the characters, who all behave as if they are in their early 20s, not their 30s. None of them seem to have had a life. Any life.
And as much as Foley may have tried to re-create the Bright Young Things one might find in an Agatha Christie mystery, all of her characters are self-absorbed, arrogant, vapid, vacuous snobs.
I also have issues with the setting of the “lodge in the Scottish Highlands” because it seems to have been written by someone who doesn’t believe in research.
And last of all, the writing is pretty bad. Any writer who has to resort to dropping brand names to describe something, has lost with me. Any writer who tries to define their characters by their fashion choices, is worse. Add a chick lit tone of narration to it, and I am out.
DNF @ p. 81 of 391
1* (out of 5*)