I featured The Affair by Amanda Brooke when this book came out as an a ebook but didn’t have time to read it then. It’s just about to come out in paperback and today I am sharing my thoughts.
This is certainly a very compelling read which touches a subject many parents must dread. Fifteen year old Scarlett is pregnant and refuses to say who the father is beyond that he’s a married man. Her mother, Nina, has just started to settle into married life with her second husband Bryn and apart from dealing with the usual teenage truculence from Scarlett and her older brother Liam, she had thought her life was going well. Suddenly her world seems to be spiralling out of control. The book tells the story from the points of view of Nina and Vikki, who is married to Scarlett’s teacher and is one of the men Nina suspects could be the father. There are also diary style extracts by Scarlett herself and through these we find out a bit more about what has really been going on -although even within the pages of her diary, she is keeping her secrets well.
This was a book which had me changing my loyalties all the way through. Sometimes I felt sorry for Scarlett as it seemed she had been manipulated and strung along by this older man who should of course have had nothing to do with her. At other times, I felt that she was the one doing the manipulating and that she was a very scheming young lady knowing exactly what she was doing. Of course, at just 15, she was very much the innocent, thinking she knew what she wanted but really she was being abused.
Suspicion fell on a few characters throughout the book and by moving between the past and the present, the author cleverly leads her readers to have doubts about all the men it could be. Like Nina, I wasn’t sure who I could or should trust and that included Scarlett. How much of her story was true and how much was her covering for herself and her lover?
The Affair was not at all predictable. I thought I had worked out who Scarlett was having an affair with. I even made myself a wee note so I could be pleased when I was proved right. Of course, I was completely on the wrong track! Amanda Brooke has written her story so well really delving into the devastation caused to so many relationships and showing just what effect Scarlett’s affair had on not just her own family but also the families of the suspects.
This is the first Amanda Brooke book I have read and I was very impressed with her ability to weave the different aspects of her plot together so well, keeping me turning the pages, keen to find out just what had been going on.
Thanks to the publishers Harper for my copy of the book via Netgalley. The Affair is available now as an e-book and will be published in paperback on 12th January. You can order a copy online here.
From the back of the book
A shocking story about a fifteen-year-old girl and the man who took advantage of her
“You might as well know from the start, I’m not going to tell on him and I don’t care how much trouble I get in. It’s not like it could get any worse than it already is.
I can’t. Don’t ask me why, I just can’t.”
When Nina finds out that her fifteen-year-old daughter, Scarlett, is pregnant, her world falls apart.
Because Scarlet won’t tell anyone who the father is. And Nina is scared that the answer will destroy everything.
As the suspects mount – from Scarlett’s teacher to Nina’s new husband of less than a year – Nina searches for the truth: no matter what the cost.