I recently finished reading Tangerine by Christine Mangan. It is her first book, and I had seen it on several “Must Read” lists so I was excited to read it. I had a little trouble with classifying this book, but I would say it is a psychological thriller.
Tangerine takes place in the mid 1950s. Alice has moved to Tangier, Morocco, with her new husband John to start a new, adventurous life together. Although John loves Tangier, Alice does not adapt well, and she spends most of her time inside their apartment.
Then one day Alice’s former college roommate Lucy shows up unannounced. Alice and Lucy were once inseparable during their time at Bennington College. Alice was a nervous, quiet girl from Britain. Her parents had recently died and she was still reeling from it. Lucy was a scholarship student from a nearby town who wasn’t afraid of anything.
The two have not seen each other in over a year, after an accident brings an ending to their friendship. Lucy hopes that she can make things right between the two of them, and they can go back to being the way they were in college.
Although Alice is somewhat relieved to see Lucy because she finally has someone in Tangier to spend time with, she also feels controlled by Lucy. And then, Alice’s husband goes missing. And Alice really questions what is going on, who Lucy really is and her own sanity.
I thought Tangerine was really good … it had a Hitchcock feel to it (the more psychological ones, not the scary ones). I saw some reviews that said it had a Talented Mr. Ripley feel to it, which I saw once but I don’t remember at all. It was really well written and I couldn’t put it down. The book is told from alternating perspectives of Alice and Lucy, so it was interesting to get the same events from both sides. It was also crazy. And I felt myself wanting to scream at the book (and did talk out loud to it several times).
With that being said, I also have some mixed feelings about it. I didn’t love the ending. Obviously I can’t say more about my mixed feelings, but if you have read it, I would love to discuss it! Also, I saw that it is going to be a movie with Scarlett Johansson as the lead. She would probably make a good Lucy.
So have you read Tangerine? If so, let me know what you thought! If not, I would check it out.