Delia Ephron’s new novel Siracusa is a story that comprises the slow destruction of two marriages, the innocence of a child caught in the middle of adult intrigues and a trip to Italy, which will transform their lives forever.
Lizzie, a journalist and her writer husband Michael make the haphazard decision to travel to Siracusa, Italy with their friends Finn, his wife Taylor, and their young daughter Snow. From the very beginning, this trip and their time together in the beautiful Mediterranean backdrop, begins to unravel and slowly wither both marriages. Told from the points of view of the four adults, Siracusa reads like a tragedy waiting to unfold, permeating amidst the lies and infidelities that threaten to tear their carefully crafted lives into pieces.
Ephorn manages to keep the reader in suspense and in awe of the characters, despite the many flaws that plague their actions. Snow, the only true innocent in this charade of marriages becomes a beacon for tragedy that strikes in the form that they least expect, and forces them into an unwilling bond that none of them want to perpetuate.
Ephron wisely provides the points of view of Lizzie, Michael, Taylor and Finn so we can see that none of them are free of guilt regarding the downfall of their relationships and the consequences that sprout from it. In Siracusa, while none of them are worth our sympathy or tolerance, the evident inadequacy of all four to be true to their spouses or to themselves is regally laid out in Ephron’s narrative. Thus we are led to understand that while these destructive individuals clearly do not deserve our affinity or compassion, they most certainly and truly deserve each other.