DELIA EPHRON (BLOOMSBURY, $26.99)
It’s clear things are doomed from the start. Two couples. The man from one and the woman from the other used to be lovers; now all four of them, Americans, are going on vacation to Italy. And along for the ride, the creepily silent child of one of the pairs. With each chapter told from one of the four adults’ perspectives, none of whom is especially likeable, the crisis at the end is foreshadowed from the very start; these lives are about to unravel dramatically. And when the Pulitzer Prizewinning playwright Michael’s brassy lover turns up in Siracusa, she pulls on the last
fraying thread of the couples’ friendship. Easy to read – quite a page-turner, in fact – Siracusa has some shrewd insights into the human condition thrown in for good measure.