Les Liaisons Dangereuse (Dangerous Liaisons)
Scandal, deception, lust… What more could you want from a book?
The clever use of letters as narrative lets you in on several characters’ secrets, most of which are shocking even by today's standards. Each character has a definitive voice and every one is believable and entertaining, if not always likeable (although each of us warmed to different characters).
I must confess that I couldn't help comparing it to the film Cruel Intentions (a modern retelling of Dangerous Liaisons) quite a lot, which actually helped me as I still had 30 pages to read by the time everyone arrived - baking the cake seemed more important, somehow. It was a shame, as they were pretty eventful pages, it turned out...
In our book group chat, we mainly talked about the way the book handles gender equality (why is it more socially acceptable for a man to use and discard women than it is for a woman to have a string of lovers?), religion (it is often the vessel through which characters are undone), sex (there's a lot alluded to in the book, not all of it consensual), and friendship (can it always be trusted?).
I think we all enjoyed it - even Ian, by the end of the evening - and would recommend it. I definitely would, especially if you like a bit of old school gossip and intrigue.