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The books starts off introducing us to Angelica, and I knew I was going to like her straight away. We first see her with 2 children while getting ready to go out with her friends, and Montefiore has written her as a believable and realistic mother than a lot of people will be able to relate to. However, Angelica lives in a very privilege world so that's pretty much where my comparisons with Angelica ended, but even so she was still a fabulous character and I was curious to see if her actions with Jack would change my mind about her. I immediately disliked her husband because of the way he treated Angelica, and perhaps this was intentional on the author's part to make us feel much more sympathetic towards Angelica.

The book takes a little while to move into the main part of the story, but I enjoyed this because it really set up the background of it really well and made us understand Angelica's reasons for what happens, and how it wasn't such an easy decision for her to make to have an affair. As the book progresses and things move on, I became much more involved in the story, I couldn't wait to see if it was all going to turn sour for the lovers, or if they'd manage to keep their liaison a secret from their family and friends. It was fun too to see the change in the relationship between Angelica and her husband as events changed, and even though I knew Angelica was in the wrong, I didn't dislike her for what she was doing, because she seemed like a character who really deserved someone to love and cherish her.

Another great part of the book for me was Angelica's relationships with her friends. There was a small group of amount 4 women who were mentioned regularly throughout the group, and this added a real something to the book. Angelica's friendships with them all were fantastic to read about as it gave a break from the main love story, but it also showed how powerful and important friendships are. The friends were quite often light relief because they really do live in another world, but I think this was really needed and a great addition to the book as a whole.

For a while, the book moves over to South Africa, and I envy the author for the amazing research she must have done to write this part of the book! Montefiore's writing is so vivid that you can easily imagine all the things that Angelica experiences throughout the book, especially the sunsets that Angelica and Jack see together. We also get to envisage the vineyards that Jack's family run, as well as the cities and towns Angelica visits on her book tour, so it really is a journey through the country which is lovely to read about. The action in the UK is set in London, a rather affluent part of course, and that suits the book down to the ground.I have to mention the outfits that Angelica wears throughout the book as well. Brand names are bandied about quite easily and while that isn't usually something I like in a book, it fitted well here because of Angelica's lifestyle, and it was fun to image all the lovely outfits she was wearing along the way too!

Montefiore has a knack of writing so emotively and vividly you really do get absorbed by the words on the page and you just won't want to put this book down once you've started it. I loved every single second and was gutted when it ended because I knew I wouldn't be visiting Angelica and Jack again. There are several extremely shocking twists and turns along the way in this book, and while they seemed so out of place when you initially read them, it really does ground the story and bring you back to earth with a thud. Despite it's title, The Affair is a beautiful story of forbidden love and was a delight to read from start to finish. I will most certainly be hunting out more of Santa Montefiore's work to read now I've finished this superb novel, and I look forward to uncovering more gems like this book.
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on 14 August 2014
Very disappointed by this book by SM. I know her books are quite light and I generally prefer something a bit meatier, but I have read 2 or 3 of her other books when i fancied something less demanding and found them quite a good read. This however is little better than Mills and Boon. Pages and pages of drivel about shallow materialistic people flitting about in their designer clothes (the constant references to designer labels was very irritating). Very unlikeable people, including the heroine who I really disliked. I could not accept her motivation at all for tearing her family apart to have this affair, she seemed to have a very nice life to me. Not one I could recommend.
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on 10 September 2010
I am a huge fan of Santa Montefiore and love this book, however, a word of warning - I had already purchased Santa's book "The Perfect Happiness" and was dismayed to find that The Affair is in fact the same novel under a different title and publisher.
The good news is that I can give my extra copy to a friend!
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on 5 June 2016
This is a dreadful book. The central character is a writer of children's books who has got writer's block and is being harassed by her publisher to produce another book to keep her readership. I suspect this is the real story and Santa Montefiore has hit this problem and her publishers have commissioned a socialite to ghost write one for her. It is a catalogue of "product placement" through out and a story of a bunch of harridans wearing Prada, Gucci and the rest, (although M&S get a mention, but it is negative!) All the characters are ghastly, apart from the wife of the South African character who is cloyingly sweet and supine in her tolerance!
Previously I have enjoyed Montefiore's work but admit I wouldn't buy another one now.
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on 17 May 2010
As always Santa Monterfiore has written another beautiful book, got really aborbed in this story. The book is beautifully written and your just caught up in the whole affair!! would recommend this and all Santa Monterfiore books to anybody who enjoys a well written story, it has all a book should offer, warmth, humour, interesting characters and sometimes a few tears.
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on 12 July 2010
Different from her other books but a book I found hard to put down.

Angelica is a happily married woman with two small children and a circle of devoted friends. But then she meets a charismatic South African who flirts with her and makes her feel beautiful. This starts as a long distance friendship and grows into something deeper.

Beautifully described. The story takes us from glamous London to the lush vineyards of South Africa. Angelica chases a dream that risks her way of living and the things she cares most about. However the dream is flawed and a moment of violence takes her and Jack apart. With life refined down to its bare essence, Angelica learns that what fate takes with one hand, it gives with the other.
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on 6 August 2014
The story is based around a group of yummy mummies and after a short while these characters begin to grate on your nerves. Having said that the underlying story is interesting if predictable.
An easy enough holiday read with predictable conclusion.
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on 13 September 2012
Like many reveiwers, I agree that sometimes it takes time to work yourself into Santa's books but this one I was involved with Angelica and her friends from the start. In The Affair there is much more humour, dry wit and sarcasm which balances out what could be a bit Mills and Boon. Santa does "nice", none of her characters are ever truly nasty or evil. So her secondary character, Candace, appears to be sharp tongued and selfish but turns out to be a true friend. This book is an exploration of friendship and understanding, not about Angelica's belief that she would obtain "perfect heppiness" with an attractive man, one who lies to her from the start. This is a book about acceptation that nothing is perfect, there is not perfect happiness.

I reiterate, Santa has moved from being the next Mary Wesley, this is much more Elisabeth Goudge (and I know she will be flattered by this). The depth of her exploration of friendships is excellent.
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on 4 August 2014
This is the only book by this author that I have not really enjoyed. I found it difficult to warm to any of the characters due to the subject of infidelity which is a theme throughout the book and found the constant references to the expensive life styles enjoyed by the characters a little tiresome. At times it seemed to be an advertising blog for various designers, high end stores and restaurants.
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on 6 January 2016
This book is just terrible. Full of unlikable characters, a sexist and emotionally abusive husband, a woman who loses weight and then suddenly becomes massively attractive, lashing of racism, and a woman who drinks heavily throughout her pregnancy with no shame and faces no retribution, a s***load of commercialism and an appalling plot-line. Seriously, do not bother, unless you enjoy books about shallow, dull women who have affairs with two-dimensional characters. An absolutely horrific book. It's going in the bin - I would usually give books to charity but I don't want to risk anyone else having to read this pile of garbage.
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