The story starts off with Tony, Roz, and Charis meeting in a restaurant as they have been doing ever since the death of Zenia. They all went to college together and although they all have different personalities and interests, they have one thing in common: all their lives were affected by Zenia.
One day, while dining at the restaurant, they spot Zenia entering . The person that they thought that had disappeared from their lives forever and that was dead was standing right before their very eyes. In shock they all leave the restaurant in a trance-like state, each one remembering the affect Zenia had on them a few years before.
Tony's life was affected by Zenia when they were in college together. Zenia and Tony used to be close friends and eventually Tony became friends with Zenia's roommate, West. West and Zenia were in love and lived together. One day, Zenia ran off with all the money West and her had in their joined account. This left Tony to fend for West because he got depressed and very confused. They eventually got married and lived happily when one day Zenia arrives back, having lost all her money. West feels sympathy and love for her and moves back with her, leaving Tony to fend for herself. After a few months, he returns and Tony accepts him back, but not fully because she never knew when he might leave her again.
Charis worked as a volunteer. When she gave refuge to Billy, who had escaped from the war at his hometown. They got married and lived in peace for a few years when one day Charis meets Zenia at the yoga center she was teaching. Zenia tells her how she has cancer and is going to die soon. Overcome with pity and care, Charis invites her over to stay at her house. After a few months of staying, Zenia tells her that Billy wants to sleep with her. Charis, shocked doesn't believe a word she sayz. One morning, after working on her small farm, she goes upstairs to find both Zenia and her husband gone and all her chickens' necks cut-off. She runs to the ferry to see Billy with two strange men and after that she never saw him again.
Roz was a married woman who owned an office. Her husband Mitch had many flings with women that he thought Roz didn't know. Roz meets Zenia when she was dining with Mitch. Zenia was one of the waitresses there. She tells Roz that her father saved her life in the war. One day Mitch leaves the house and goes to leave with Zenia. After a couple of weeks, Zenia writes him a letter and goes off. Mitch follows her. When he returns, Roz refuses to take him back. Thyen the news came that he died on a ship by drowning. They said that since he had a life jacket on, it couldn't have been suicide but Roz knew deep down that he had the life jacket on for the sake of her children and that he did do suicide.
As the three women go about, thinking about the losses in their lives because of Zenia, Zenia's in her hotel room making new plans to make their lives even more miserable.
In Toronto, three friends meet regularly at a restaurant called the Toxique to discuss life. One day, they are startled to see Zenia, a woman they thought dead, at a table near them. They are stunned and each reflects on the ways that Zenia ingratiated herself into their lives in order to ruin them. Roz is a successful business woman. Years ago, she had met Zenia and offered her a job when she learned that Zenia was a successful freelance writer. Zenia does make a success of Roz's business, but she also seduces Roz's husband and leads to his suicide.
Tony is an eccentric academic who lives with West. Years ago, while still in college, Tony had been friends with Zenia. Zenia had been dating West then, and had often borrowed money from Tony. West was stunned when Zenia took the money and moved out suddenly. Zenia and West don't know where Zenia is, but they do find each other. When Zenia returns suddenly, she seduces West away from Tony.
Charis also meets Zenia while in college, but it is not until later, when she is adult, that she meets Zenia again. Zenia claims to be ill and Charis invites her into the home she shares with Billy. When Charis finds that she is pregnant, Zenia leaves with Billy, leaving Charis distraught and betrayed. In the present, each woman in afraid of what Zenia wishes to take now. Each of them visit Zenia in her hotel, and each of them are suspect when Zenia is found dead in the hotel fountain.
The review of this Book prepared by A. Antonow
A circle of friends are each betrayed by a glamorous woman who steals money, men and a feeling of safety and security for the group. The betrayal turns their worlds upside down and causes each friend to reevaluate world views, chosen partners and paths in life.
The review of this Book prepared by Roz Kutler