Hello fellow bookworms!
At the start of the year I announced that I had joined a book club (#TsundokuSquad) and today I am sharing our groups thoughts on our latest read, The Christie Affair. Quite a few of the group members are big fans of Agatha Christie and were very excited to start this one.
Title: The Christie Affair
Author: Nin De Gramont
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Mystery & Thriller
Goodreads Rating: 4.09
#TsundokuSquad Average Rating:
So begins The Christie Affair, told from the point of view of Miss Nan O’Dea, a fictional character but based on someone real. In 1925, she infiltrated the wealthy, rarified world of author Agatha Christie and her husband, Archie. A world of London townhomes, country houses, shooting parties, and tennis matches. Nan O’Dea became Archie’s mistress, luring him away from his devoted wife. In every way, she became a part of their world–first, both Christies. Then, just Archie.
The question is, why?
And what did it have to do with the mysterious eleven days that Agatha Christie went missing?
The answer takes you back time, to Ireland, to a young girl in love, to a time before The Great War. To a star-crossed couple who were destined to be together–until war and pandemic and shameful secrets tore them apart.
What makes a woman desperate enough to destroy another woman’s marriage?
What makes someone vengeful enough to hatch a plot years in the making?
What drives someone to murder?
These questions and more are explored in Nina de Gramont’s brilliant, unforgettable, lush, and powerful novel.
As per usual we split the book into 4 sections and caught up weekly. These are mainly my thoughts and some of the groups.
Having never read a book by Agatha Christie I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going into this one. I love historical fiction and mysteries though so this seemed like my kind of book. By the end of the first week I was enjoying the read. Whilst the narration from Nan’s POV took a bit of time to get used to I did enjoy the back and forth, learning more about Nan’s past. She had quite a traumatic childhood and it didn’t seem her early adult life was going to be much better. I was interested to see where her story with Finbar would go and got the feeling that her feelings towards Archie weren’t quite what they seemed. A few members of the group commented on the lack of Agatha to the story, whilst we know she disappears we hoped we would have more about her disappearance in there. I gave this week’s section 4 stars with others in the group falling around the 3 mark.
By the end of week two I wasn’t entirely sure what to think and neither did the others in the group. The main word to crop up in this weeks conversation was confused. We all felt that there were a lot of stories going on that all tied together, we just didn’t know how. We were still lacking some Agatha to the story and whilst Nan’s story was interesting we were growing a bit bored of her narration and struggling to like her as a person. We did like the addition of Mr Chilton though. I ended up lowering my rating to a 3 this week, I wanted to carry on reading to know what happened but wasn’t enjoying it as much as the week before.
I was enjoying Nan’s story and learning about what happened to her in the nunnery, Bess’s story in particular tugged at my heart strings. I also liked some of the revelations that followed in this weeks section. I almost wish there wasn’t as many different stories going on at once though, I’m struggling to keep track of all the different characters and who’s who. I’m also wondering if this story would of been told better with involving Agatha’s disappearance? To me it feels like that part has been thrown in to add more drama but I actually prefer Nan’s story on it’s own. We lost a few readers in the group this week as some were really struggling to get on with the story. I’m still a sitting at a 3 and feel there are aspects I like and others I could do without.
I think it’s safe to say that this wasn’t the kind of read we thought it would be. We were all a little disappointed at how the story read, compared to the premise. A lot of us found it quite slow going and a few gave up along the way. For me I liked that everything was tied up in the end, particularly the hotel murders, even if my head is still spinning at the ending. I really enjoyed Nan and Finbar’s story but like I have said already I don’t feel that Agatha’s disappearance was a necessity. Agatha could of been any woman who’s husband had left her for Nan and I for one probably would of enjoyed it more without that part. I finished the book on a solid 3. Parts of it were moving and intriguing and I didn’t see the big revelation coming at all, which was a nice surprise.
As always this is just our opinion of this book. You may read it and agree or you may love it, which would be great. After all the world would be very boring if we all felt that same about every book we read!
Next month we are going spooky and have chosen The Whistling by Rebecca Netley.