Delia Ephron’s Siracusa Reading List

Marriage, motherhood, friendship, and travel in five books.

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“Husbands and wives collaborate,” Lizzie says, “hiding even from themselves who is calling the shots and who is along for the ride.”

My novel Siracusa follows two couples and a child on vacation in Italy. Michael, a famous writer, and his wife, Lizzie, a journalist, travel with their friends from Maine—Finn, Taylor, and their daughter, Snow.

Told Rashomon-style with alternating points of view, the couples stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. “From the start,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy between Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into the adult drama, becomes a catalyst for catastrophe.

When I was researching Siracusa, I read books that I thought I my characters would read on their vacation, books about Sicily, novels I admired because they had emotional depth and, at the same time, kept you in their grip, riveted, wondering what would happen next. I wanted both things to be true in my book.

Siracusa should provoke intense opinions and discussion because, while it has the pacing of a psychological thriller, it’s also an exploration of marriage, motherhood, friendship, and the meaning of travel. I hope you will find it a lens to examine your own relationships—hopefully in a book club and among friends, with an Aperol Spritz in hand.

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Delia Ephron is a bestselling author and screenwriter. She has written novels, including the New York Times bestselling Siracusa, The Lion Is In and Hanging Up; humor books for all ages, including How to Eat Like a Child and Do I Have to Say Hello?; and nonfiction, most recently Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.). Her films include You’ve Got MailThe Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsHanging Up (based on her novel), and Michael. Her journalism has appeared in The New York TimesO: The Oprah MagazineVogue, and Vanity Fair. Her hit play Love, Loss, and What I Wore (co-written with Nora Ephron) ran for more than two years off-Broadway and has been performed all over the world. She lives in New York City.

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