Tripping Arcadia: A Gothic Novel

Penguin Random House Audio. Feb. 2022. 10:52 hrs. ISBN 9780593510162. $20. SUSPENSE
Lena’s family is approaching bankruptcy after her father suffered an injury and lost his job in close succession. Back in Boston after two years living with her botanist aunt in Italy, she needs to get a job to help them out. Though she dropped out of med school, Lena is offered a position as a physician’s assistant for the notorious Verdeau family, helping their family doctor with the care of unpleasant Jonathan Verdeau, whose illness baffles every medical professional who sees him. She also works at the family’s lavish parties in the evenings, which is where she meets Jonathan’s sister Audrey, who has a magnetic effect on Lena. But when Lena learns that the Verdeau family is responsible for her own family’s dire straits, she embarks on a dangerous quest for revenge, drawing on the knowledge of poisons she gained from her aunt to go after the corrupt patriarch, Martin Verdeau. Carlotta Brentan provides deliberate, well-paced narration. Mayquist’s entertaining debut features well-drawn characters and plenty of twists and turns.
VERDICT For fans of gothic novels and tales of revenge.
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