The Anniversary by Stephanie Bishop [7/10]

Having admired 2015’s The Other Side of the World, I had high expectations for Stephanie Bishop’s recent, fourth novel, The Anniversary. When a female writer, married to an older and more successful literary lion, embarks on a luxury cruise with him, a terrible storm sends the husband to his death in the seas, and the novel becomes a quasi thriller about her involvement, and a studied, forensic recollection of their lives together. A novel of love, ambitions, thwarted creativity, and guilt, The Anniversary is solidly, almost portentously written, most immersive, but it never quite lives up to its “literary thriller” billing, if only because the eventual climax is an echo of other mysteries/thrillers, literary or genre. Nonetheless, this is a solid, entertaining read that burrows down into the heart of the creative impulse.

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