Book Review: The Affair by Hilary Boyd

“A summer she will remember forever. Because he won’t let her forget…”

Set to be published on 19th August, The Affair by Hilary Boyd follows tour manager Connie who longs for the summer where she spends her days touring the continent. But it’s on the glamorous shores of Lake Como where she is truly swept away, when Jared, a much younger man, falls for her. Despite resisting his advances, Connie finds that he’s got under her skin. And so begins a long, hot, intoxicating summer where Connie succumbs to temptation – breaking her marriage vows. At the end of the season, Connie returns home to her husband, ready to put this affair behind her. But Jared has other ideas . . .

Rating:

Thank you to NetGalley for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Affair is an authentic and well-crafted story about the conflicts that can arise in a long marriage when a sudden change makes you question what you have done with your life and where you want to go from here.

With the main characters in their 60s, I did find them very accessible but I feel that older readers might be able to relate to the story more with the experience of this stage in life, as I was just expecting something a little more gripping.

Books about affairs are always difficult to engage with fully as at least one of the characters are always acting in the wrong. But I was still hoping to be swept up with the promise of a passion-fuelled romance in the beautiful Italian setting. I certainly got a good feel of the locations that Connie visits, but I always felt that there was something off with Jared, so I remained too cautious to get caught up in the moment.

Despite that, the book perfectly balances the tensions between both Connie and Devan, which I suppose is what the focus of a story about an affair really should be. Author Hilary Boyd obviously puts her knowledge as an ex-marriage counsellor to good use here, as you can completely understand the frustrations, desperate hopes, and regrets from both sides of the party.

While the story begins quite slowly, jumping between Connie’s time at home and her time at work to show the contrast between the two halves of her life, the second half of the book does pick up pace as the threat of everything coming undone gains weight. The conclusions add some tension, but the relationships just didn’t tug on my emotions enough for me to love it more.

Nevertheless, The Affair is a very convincing and well-researched story that feels very personal, and I am certainly interested in reading more by Hilary Boyd.

Details:

The Affair by Hilary Boyd
Hardback Release Date: 19th August 2021
Print Length: 416 pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Michael Joseph UK

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