New York Times Bestselling Author

Book Review: Fiction

Posted on Oct 27, 2017 |

Catalina by Liska Jacobs


Fiction > Women’s Fiction

“I call room service and order another Bloody Mary, which, I tell myself, is basically a salad.”

After being fired from working as an assistant at the MoMa, Elsa returns to California where she meets up with her college friends, including her ex-husband, Robby, who is dating a triathlete, and, though he seems happy with Jane, also seems to pine for Elsa. Her other friend, Charlotte “Charly” has a strained relationship with her husband.

Elsa constantly pops pills she stole from her mother. She doesn’t even know what the pills are—she makes guesses, and then washes them down with alcohol. Obviously alcohol and drugs keep a person in a haze where she doesn’t have to feel the pain of her married lover breaking up with her and firing her, but it also keeps her from being able to emotionally be there for her friends. The more we learn about Elsa, however, the more we learn that her lack of empathy came a long time before her downturn in circumstances.

Elsa is beautiful, and while that gives her some power, it also exacts a toll. This is a dark, well-written novel. It’s not a breezy beach read despite the fact the entire book happens in the course of a few days—at the beach.

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