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The Affair Paperback – 23 May 2013

42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (23 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847563260
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847563262
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history. Her new novel, No Place for a Lady, set during the Crimean War of 1854-56, is about the difficult relationship between two sisters, against a backdrop of the horrendous chaos of the British campaign and the development of nursing by Florence Nightingale et al. Other titles include Women and Children First, about a young steward called Reg Jones who works on board the Titanic, and The Affair, set in Rome in 1961-62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fall in love while making Cleopatra.

Gill also writes a fully illustrated non-fiction series of Love Stories, each containing fourteen tales of real-life couples: how they met, why they fell for each other, and what happened in the end. Published around the world, this series is enormous fun to research and write.

Gill was born in Glasgow and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in the US when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition, relationships and anything to do with history.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond - "It's good for you so long as it doesn't kill you," she claims - and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls "research trips".

Product Description

Review

‘With beautifully drawn characters and sensitive detail, The Affair draws you in and you won't want it to end. An accomplished, energetic, original new voice in fiction’ (Kate Kerrigan)

‘A fabulous evocation of sixties Rome and film star glamour, full of passion and romance – I loved this delicious novel’ (Lulu Taylor)

‘A page-turner of a novel’ (Hello! magazine)

‘Paul’s beguiling and compelling story captures all the thrilling and sometimes tawdry realities of life on a film set with its warring egos, inherent glamour and fascinating backstage detail as well as delivering a pulsating parallel love story to the famous Taylor-Burton romance. A gripping read perfect for those lazy summer days!’ (Blackpool Gazette)

‘An amazing, passionate story that is full of romance, deceit, lies and movie star glamour’ (TodayImReading.blogspot.co.uk)

‘A brilliant and passionate read that will transport you to a different era and have you on the edge of your seat as the tension rises. Perfect for fans of historical fiction, classic Hollywood movies and great love affairs’ (OneMorePage.co.uk)

‘A compelling story of love, passion, glamour and secrets, with famous actors and actresses and the stunning setting of Rome to sweep you off your feet. This is a novel that must not be missed, and is a firm favourite of mine! Wow!’ (ReadingInTheSunshine.wordpress.com)

‘I adored reading about Italian life in the early sixties, the fashions, the customs and the food, almost as much as I relished having a peek into life on the Cleopatra set. I cannot recommend this work highly enough for movie buffs, historical fiction fans, and just anyone who loves a good yarn! Fantastic stuff.’ (BookWormInk.co.uk)

Book Description

When in Rome ... fall in love


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Moran on 22 May 2013
Format: Paperback
Set in Rome during the filming of the 1963 film Cleopatra, The Affair is a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at one of the most expensive movies of all time. This book is filled with passion and 60′s glamour and if you're a fan of shows like Mad Men then The Affair will appeal to you.

Gill has certainly done her research and I was so wrapped up in the world that she created that I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't real! Her descriptions feel very authentic and there is a wonderful level of everyday detail in the book along with fascinating facts about the film, fashions and sights of Rome at the time. Gill Paul has taken historical fact and woven it into a very personal story and I thought she really captured the moment in Diana's character as she tries to balance the lure of a once in a lifetime opportunity with her duty as a wife and takes a huge risk with her relationship to follow her heart.

Diana's experiences in Rome are a real eye opener for her as a character and surprised me as a reader! I didn't know much about the filming of Cleopatra or Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and their relationship when I started reading and I was fascinated by the details of their affair and life on the movie set in Rome. But although this is a novel about a very famous affair, that story almost takes back seat to the dramas of Diana's own life as she settles into her new role. I really enjoyed the parallels between the the love stories in the book and I thought Diana's contact with Elizabeth was very well done and believable.

The Affair is cleverly plotted as we see the Hollywood spectacle from the other side through the eyes of young journalist Scott and an altogether darker side to the story through make-up artist Helen.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karel Bata on 30 May 2013
Format: Paperback
I love the 60s: what an amazing time! Everything was new, everything seemed possible, and looking back there's a nostalgia for an era so full of hope and optimism (oh, what do I sound like? I'm not even that old.). To me, "The Affair" seems to catch the mood of that far away era perfectly, of those raised in the 50s (when men could pinch girls' bottoms and husbands expected wives not to work) being abruptly shoved into this bright new era. So we see our heroine Diana shocked, but strangely excited, when she sees see two men kissing on the Cleopatra set - her first encounter with homosexuality. And that's just the beginning...

Diana is employed as researcher during the filming of Cleopatra in Rome in 1961-62. She's clever, but hopelessly naive. Everyone is more streetwise, even the younger, very vulnerable makeup artist she befriends. Scott, the protagonist of a parallel story thread, is an American journalist, whose tale becomes intertwined with hers. He is another wet-behind-the-ears, straight out of Harvard and keen to bed as many girls as he can manage. In the background is the Taylor/Burton true-life soap opera, and when Diana meets them it creates some of the best moments of the novel. Always with a glass of something boozy at their elbows, they are smart-talking, magnetic and impossibly glamorous.

The 60s atmosphere is created very effectively through dialogue, detail, and attitudes without impinging on a fast-paced, compelling story of these people living the high life in a foreign land. It's a novel that also questions our attitudes to celebrity, yet it is a lot of fun to read. But most of all, it makes you wish you'd been there, living La Dolce Vita, supping Prosecco in a glitzy Roman cafe, riding on the back of a Vespa, and watching Elizabeth Taylor's feather boa catch fire as she danced a rumba.

Where's the sequel? I want more!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DizzyC on 20 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
Diana Bailey is an historical expert who is hired by the director of the blockbuster Cleopatra to advise on historical accuracies for the movie.

Diana's husband is far from happy about her latest project and the fact that she will be in another country for several months. Their marriage is rather rocky and the age gap does not help. She is 26, he is much older.

Diana arrives in Rome to find a haven of glamour and romance set against the backdrop of the beautiful city of Rome.

The old saying of "when in Rome" certainly comes into play in this novel as once sensible Diana becomes caught up in the romance of Italy as she brushes shoulders with the stars and samples the film set lifestyle and she becomes closer to Ernesto than she had planned.

Scott, a UK journalist, is also in Rome and although he is to report on the Taylor/Burton sensation, he decides to investigate and exposure a more troubling side to Italy after crossing the paths of some unsavoury characters.

The adventure for Diana does not end there when a work colleague, Helen, gets into danger and Diana gets caught up in the drama. Scott had been a friend to Helen and he just may be able to help Diana.

I love the old films and so I really enjoyed the cameo roles of some of my favourite actors/actresses. I liked the way the author gave Elizabeth Taylor a role in this novel rather than just a cameo.

Romantic, action packed, with a colourful cast. A great summer read.
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