“A juicy melodrama cast against the sultry, stylish imagery of North Africa in the fifties.” —The New Yorker
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.
Optioned for film by George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures, with Scarlett Johansson to star
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If you have a vacation coming up, be sure to pack Tangerine—one of the most chilling psychological thrillers we’ve ever read. It’s the story of Lucy and Alice, college roommates whose friendship goes terribly wrong. After graduation, Alice moves to Morocco for a fresh start; a year later, Lucy shows up at her doorstep. What unfolds next in the sunbaked souks and dark alleyways of 1950s Tangier is revealed through chapters that alternate between the two women's points of view. Oozing with foreboding and packed with heart-pounding entertainment, Tangerine is impossible to put down.
The spirit of Patricia Highsmith's sociopathic social climber Tom Ripley is alive in Mangan's transportive debut. Alice Shipley and Lucy Mason met as freshman at Bennington in the early 1950s and became the best of friends. Now, after a year apart, they meet again in 1956 in Tangier, where Alice and her new husband, John McAllister, have moved for his job. Alice doesn't especially enjoy living in Tangier, which is too foreign for her liking. Lucy, meanwhile, revels in the raffish individuals found in the souk. A suspected dalliance by John paves the way for Lucy to reassert her position with the emotionally fragile and easy-to-manipulate Alice. At the same time, the story flashes back to the girls' passionate friendship at Bennington, where they were inseparable until Tom, a drama student from Williams, came between them. A tragedy ultimately broke their friendship, and there is every indication that another accident of some kind will occur in Tangier; the twisted history of this relationship seems fated to repeat itself. Although some of the plot developments are easy to predict, the novel is narrated persuasively in alternating chapters by Alice and Lucy, and Mangan's portrayal of Tangier is electric. This sharp novel reads like Single White Female rewritten as a collaboration between Paul Bowles and Mary McCarthy.
Must be good when you want to shake one of the characters (Alice) for being so naive.
One of the worst books I have ever read and I read over 100 books a year. Don’t waste your money.
Partially brings tangier to life, but not the characters or storyline