Three by Valerie Perrin

Three by Valerie Perrin
Publisher: Europa Editions
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

1986: Adrien, Etienne and Nina are 10 years old when they meet at school and quickly become inseparable. They promise each other they will one day leave their provincial backwater, move to Paris, and never part.

2017: A car is pulled up from the bottom of the lake, a body inside. Virginie, a local journalist with an enigmatic past reports on the case while also reflecting on the relationship between the three friends, who were unusually close when younger but now no longer speak. As Virginie moves closer to the surprising truth, relationships fray and others are formed.

Valérie Perrin has an unerring gift for delving into life. In Three, she brings readers along with her through a sequence of heart-wrenching events and revelations that span three decades. Three tells a moving story of love and loss, hope and grief, friendship and adversity, and of time as an ineluctable agent of change.

This suspenseful tale is sure to touch the heart of its readers. It begins with three childhood friends: Adrien, Etienne, and Nina who promise to always be together. Decades later, a body is found inside a lake, and a journalist, Virginie, discusses the case. She thinks about the three friends. Could they have something to do with it?

We are taken back to 1986 in a provincial area of France, where these kids make big plans. The story unfolds in such a natural way while holding one’s interest. Details bring this passage to life while relationships are explored.

Time passes, and readers cross decades to see the friends later in time. Unexpected things have become of them. Why is this? This is answered by going back in time again. The back-and-forth timelines make for a quick pace and is done smoothly.

While the suspense gets stronger, readers are charmed with the day-to-day episodes of the characters’ lives. The protagonists and their supporting characters are delineated well.

Themes of friendship and dreams, love and choices add layers of complexity to this heart-rending tale. Also, people who love animals will appreciate the aspect of the book that brings their needs to awareness.

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