The Affair: A Novel
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The Affair: A Novel

2.87 of 5 stars 2.87  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  30 reviews
"All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” —Leo Tolstoy

As a writer, Celia Bayley’s insights into the ways of the human heart made her famous. And why not? She had married a handsome war hero and produced three successful children. Yet, as her family gathers for her funeral, the diaries and notebooks and letters she left behind...more
304 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by St. Martin's Press
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Feb 20, 2014 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Over the years, Celia Bayley's books had inspired her readers and won her legions of fans. It was generally considered that Celia's comprehension of the ways of human heart was almost legendary - and that those insights are what made her famous as an author. And why shouldn't Celia Bayley's fans believe this? After all, she had married a handsome war hero and produced three successful children - the very definition of a 'happily ever after' kind of life.

Yet, as Celia's family gathers together f...more
May 22, 2012 Patricia rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those wanting to learn how not to write
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Molly Vercillo
I received an ARC of this book through Good Reads First Reads.

I wanted to give this book a fair chance despite the negative reviews. Unfortunately, my best efforts finally fizzled out as the pages were turned.

Between a huge (and often pointlessly so) cast of characters and a plot that for the most part, falls flat, I just couldn't get into it. The idea behind the book is a good one, unfortunately the end product didn't reflect that.
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway. The book is about Celia, a successful writer who had a secret affair that was uncovered after her death by a journalist writing her biography. The book was a little slow to get into with lots of characters that weren't really developed. At points the book seemed to build up to something but then fell flat.

Don’t let the title of this book fool you! Whether one likes it or not, this story is a complex, rich masterpiece full of layers that makes one think.

For a complete review, visit Affaire de Coeur magazine, hard copy or online, March 2012 issue.
Dawn Martens
This was a VERY hard book to read.
I found it sort of all over the place. jumping back and forth constantly, I was often confused at what I was reading.
Too many characters. and the book didn't really overly focus on just one character. seemed jumbled up with everyone.
I received a free advance reading copy of this book through a Goodreads First Read giveaway.

Lovely book.
Free ARC through First Reads

I am no stranger to books with a large cast of characters. I love them - but only when those characters serve a purpose. Sadly, most of the people in The Affair are pointless. The large cast wanders about, but none of them have any weight. They are bland and interchangable for the most part.

The Bailey family is repressed. The end. Most of them behave the way they think they should, and they do not speak honestly or openly, and it makes them a little unhappy and deadl...more
Dec 10, 2011 Kathy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lovers of romance novels, historical fiction, drama, or stories centered around families.
Recommended to Kathy by: Goodreads First Reads Giveaway
First, I must disclose that I received a free advance reading copy of this book through a Goodreads First Read giveaway.

Celia Bayley seemed to have the perfect life. She was a successful writer, a beloved mother and grandmother, and wife of a handsome and successful soldier. After her death, her family is faced with the fact that she may not have been the woman they thought they knew at all.

As the family uncovers the truth surrounding Celia's life, they also uncover a new idea of what constitute...more
Dec 22, 2011 Adrian rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
I tried liking this book. I tried for weeks. I forced myself to keep reading by telling myself that it would get better. I finally gave up. And I have to say I absolutely HATE not finishing books that I've started. If I start reading it, I feel like I have to finish, even if I don't like it. Most times, the book gets better and I'm glad I stuck with it. That was not the case with this one though. I made it to page 195/290.
The copy I have, I won from the Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It's an ad...more
I really enjoyed this book. Celia and her mother go to live in house by the sea, her mother as head housekeeper, after her father dies. They are in dire straights and Helen, her mother needs a way to provide for herself and her daughter. There are many interesting characters that serve the lord and lady, who kive on the other side of the house. Celia is glad they live on their side because everything and everyone is so much more intersting and lively.
Celia marries quite young, at 17, to a comm...more
I won this as a first reads off goodreads. It was an enjoyable book that went back and forth between two generations. When a woman dies it's up to her kids to go thru her things. What they find shocks them. The mother was a writer and had lots of papers everywhere. She also didn't come from where she said she did. She changed her life for her husband who had secrets he kept from the kids. The kids are all dealing with issues themselves. Pregnancy, infidelity, bad marriages you name it they have...more
Throughout the book, I struggled with the long list of characters and their relation to each other. I would have to keep checking back on previous pages. Also, the chapers were written by different characters and different points of time. However, I liked the ending of the story and how it tied all the events together. In hindsight, I should have written a family tree to help with the characters.
Patricia Cal
Very interesting family dynamics. If you come from a family which, interacts on a daily basis, I am sure you will recognize your own family members, in the progression of the story. Celia Bayley can be identified as a strong woman, holding her family and herself together under adverse circumstances. Every woman has a hidden moment in her life shared only with girlfriends and not family members.
Rebecca Gernon
Slooooooow moving. I think this story could have been told in 50 pages, but I was trapped with nothing do to because of hurricane Isaac so I plodded through it, skimming much of it. Characters seemed shallow, I think because they lived most of their life with deceit, not telling the truth. I kept hoping something would happen, but it never did. A few nice images, but that was it.
I won this book from the Goodreads giveaway.

The story was a bit too slow for me but Alicia made up for it in her desriptive style of writing. I loved the many characters she created. I also liked that the details of the affair were not revealed at once but slowly throughout the book. It is a book that made me think more of my own relationships.
Shane Cormier
I really enjoyed this book. It did keep you a little confused at times but if you can keep up with it and dont mind a lot of back and forth, then you should be ok lol. It kept my brain on its toes with lots of information and lots and lots of description. Thanks for the win. Its a shelf keeper.
Courtney Wagner

Didn't get great reviews on goodreads but I liked it. Not an easy read but a really interesting story. It was hard to keep track of all the characters but by the middle i knew them and didn't have to keep going back.
Karen Mcdonald
I liked "The Affair," it was different from what I have been reading and in fact was a bit of a period piece which I usually can't get into. A good story!
an interesting exploration of what happens when a family discovers more about their mother's and father's characters.... there is a lot of sadness....
Michelle Mitchell
Started reading this book and gave up. Too many characters in the first 30 pages made it confusing! Didn't hook me from the beginning either.
I really enjoyed this. Interesting family story. Very believable. Readers who rated it low missed the whole point.
Sorry just couldn't get into this book. Too many others out there to read instead of forcing myself to finish.
Loved the book, hated that she gave everyone nicknames, took me a while to figure out who everyone was.
Tried to read this but couldn't! I could not follow it! Next time I will read the reviews!
Leslie Hutchings
I just loved the book after an initial slow start. Lots of secrets to be discovered.
Got too complicated at times..hard to read. Didn't like it much.
Fair to middlin. Had some good family interaction.
Meh with a side of meh.
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Alicia Clifford is a novelist,journalist, and screenwriter whose books have been shortlisted for numerous awards.
She lives in south London.
More about Alicia Clifford...

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