Roz, Charis, and Tony meet once a month for lunch and to catch up on all the gossip. This month though is different as they are stunned having all seen Zenia, someone they thought was dead. They had even all gone to the funeral to be certain. She was someone who they knew from university, and who had had affairs with their other halves stolen money and who they were collectively glad to see the back of. This common dislike of a woman, now seemingly back from the dead brings them closer together but also brings back the memories of what she did to them and the pain that she caused.
As they confront her separately to understand what was going on, Zenia begins to spin her web of half-truths and outright lies as she explains what was going on to the three friends. Her presence has caused much pain before and it looks like she is aiming to cause havoc with their lives once again.
Atwood is a talented author, and this is a very cleverly created story of how one woman can cause so much suffering to people who just want to get on with their lives. Whilst Zenia was a captivating character, the other three were slightly shallow and occasionally annoying. The story took ages to build up, so much so that the first 250 odd pages dragged somewhat. I am not keen on novels that jump back and forwards in time, as it takes a page or so to re-orientate myself to again to the story, and this was another small flaw in here. The final third of the book was the best part as the threads begun in the first half were pulled tight. Really liked the dramatic ending and was as enigmatic as Zenia herself.