The Affair by Gill Paul

I have enjoyed reading Gill Paul’s books since I first stumbled upon No Place For a Lady and loved it. I then read Women and Children First which I devoured in days and couldn’t wait to read The Affair, knowing that if it was anything like the previous books by this author that it would be another engrossing read and I was not disappointed… the only disappointment is having to now wait until later in the year for her next novel!

It has been about a week since I finished this book and normally I like to review right away whilst it’s still fresh in my mind but I’ve not been so well so didn’t get the chance… however, luckily, this book is one which was so brilliant that it’s hard to forget what happened and how much i enjoyed it.

The Affair is set in the early 1960’s and really made me realise how much we’ve changed in our opinions since then! Diana Bailey is married to Trevor. They are both history academics although Trevor is quite a lot older than Diana and has very traditional views so when Diana is offered a job on a film set in Rome to work as an historical advisor he is far from pleased and is appalled when Diana accepts the job.

The film is Cleopatra staring Elizabeth Taylor and Diana finds herself in a completely different world surrounded by celebrities, make up artists and producers who’s open outlooks on life help Diana to feel more free but it raises questions about her life back home with Trevor… and then Diana meets Ernesto who is very passionate and makes her question her life even more.

Life on the film set is not all glamour and fun though, there are dark moments, especially when we meet Scott who is a journalist. Scott reveals lots of secrets and undercover operations happening across the city which become interwoven with the events happening in Diana’s life.

What I loved about this novel was how it portrayed the way of the world during this time- where women were beginning to realise their opportunities whilst men struggled with this change andhow the world then was hungry for drama and scandal in the celebrity world.

I struggled to put this book down as so much was happening. Having Scott’s story be told in a way which linked into Diana’s really made this quite a fast-paced read. I kept wondering if the two stories would link together and how without ever preempting it.

As well as finding it gripping it was also really interesting to hear about the relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. So eye opening to see that she was a very intelligent woman but the media portrayed her as nothing but a dramatic actress who liked to work her way through men, which made me wonder whether we judge people in the same way today too and why do we do this?!

Yet again Gill Paul has created a brilliant set of characters which make this book a proper rollercoaster of a read. At first I thought Trevor, Diana’s husband, was awful, really mean and selfish for not supporting her job opportunity but then part way through I felt sorry for him and could understand his struggle somewhat and then towards the end I was really proud of him and found myself really liking his character, such a rollercoaster and this was the same for many characters and just reminds you that you shouldn’t judge someone on first impressions!

This is another brilliant creation by this author which had me staying up late again to find out what happened next! It’s a very entertaining and interesting read that’s for sure. I’m now waiting for her next publication which can’t come soon enough!

Available on Amazon paperback £7.99 and Kindle currently £1.49

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