by Olivia Brown

June 2003
ISBN: 1-592-86570-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Publish America
Trade Paperback

Feeling discontent with regular married life, Olivia begins to seek out pleasure with an old flame. There are two worlds or sides to this story. The first is the adolescent world, which the adult Olivia seems stuck in. She is sucked in by the good and bad memories of her torrid love affair with Manny as she pursues a new relationship with him.

The second world is her adult life, which is colliding with her fantasies and memories of the past. In her adult life, she has a stable husband and is somewhat committed to him. He has admitted a past indescretion on his part and she is on a whirlwind of hurt and confusion over his mistake. He would like to reconcile their relationship and she has told him in so many words that she will try to make their marriage work. Why then is she so intent on loving this old flame?

I will admit rating this story is really hard. It was thoroughly engrossing and told a good tale but the twist ending leaves the reader with mixed emotions. A very unusual tale of infidelity, those who tend to avoid those types of stories may find themselves surprised by the outcome.

On the other hand, when a book can blindside you with the truth, the author has done a wonderful job of putting you into the fictious situation and making you struggle with the character as it draws time for the conclusion and the ultimate choices the character must struggle to make.

In The Affair the reader views the earlier memories of Manny and Olivia as typical high school love. There is a little bit of every female in Olivia as she struggles with her overwhelming feelings for the unattainable, untamable bad boy. However, one does wonder why the adult Olivia is still trying to recreate this high school fantasy. It seems a little pre-pubescent. Is it just the adult Olivia finally maturing and realizing that life is no longer high school proms and great sex?

An unusual read The Affair weaves a story of a confused and angry woman trying to come to terms with the past and the present. We always talk about growing up and getting over adolescence but there is another growing up period that isnít as widely recognized and thatís when you have to come to terms with married life and the reality of marriage versus the day to day romance fantasies. How you and your significant other deal with these feelings can make or break a marriage and this story deals with that. The author does a wonderful job with that coming to maturity and if youíre a woman stuck in a similar situation this book is a must read. It may help enlighten that journey to adult hood and for some who have already traveled that road and come to grips with it, you may find a piece of yourself in the pages.

Reviewed in November 2003 by Katy.

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