Book Review: ‘Mad’ Is An Awesome Debut Novel By Chloe Esposito

I am just mad about Chloe Esposito’s debut novel Mad (Dutton; in stores Tuesday, June 13). I am not the only one. In reading the press notes Universal Pictures has already optioned the book (which is planned on being a trilogy).

The story centers around Alvina Knightly and her twin sister Beth. Alvina lives in England and is a train wreck. She drinks, smokes, has casual sex and an I don’t give a fu** attitude. Her sister lives in Sicily, married to a rich man, has a little boy and is the complete opposite of her. They haven’t seen each other in two years since an incident at Beth’s wedding (she also has a history with the husband from many year ago). Now Beth is begging Alvina to come visit. She has something to ask her and can only do it in person. When Alvina is fired from her job and kicked out of her flat, she decides to go visit.

Alvina takes to the rich life right away. Driving in a Lamborghini, staying at a mansion in the hills and seeing all the beautiful stuff her sister has. She starts asking Beth what it is she wants. Beth wants her to switch places with her for a few hours. She has something to do and needs to get away. Alvina agrees, very reluctantly to do it.

It works until Beth comes home and there’s an arguement with her neighbor and then with Alvina by the pool. Beth slips and ends up dead in the pool. Alvina gets help and continues to be Beth.

This is where I will stop with anymore plot to avoid spoilers. Alvina now has to not only convince everyone she’s Beth, but also find out why she was invited and what’s really going on (and believe me there’s a lot happening).

Alvina is a spitfire of a character. One of the best I have read in years. She’s a force to be reckoned with and by the time you finish this story you’ll know exactly why. I haven’t been as excited by a book since I read Girl On The Train and Big Little Lies.

I cannot wait until the next chapter comes out and see what Universal can do with it as a movie (hopefully better then their version of Girl On A Train).

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