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The Affair    by Alicia Clifford order for
by Alicia Clifford
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Wanda Plourde

Celia Bayley was a romance writer, also a mother and wife to a very handsome war hero. She had three very successful children, all married, and grandchildren. She was reputed to have a perfect marriage, to be totally blessed. When she finally died, Celia left diaries, notebooks and old letters along with her collection of published books.

Amongst these random pieces of paper is something that shocks the family - something they never would have expected in a thousand years. A writer comes to the door and wants to pen a biography on Celia. In a moment of weakness, one of her children allows this woman to go thought Celia's old papers, realizing too late that this entails hanging the family's dirty laundry out on display.

Celia herself had her life torn up by secrets, in particular one of her husband's which broke her heart. Then, while on a trip with fellow writers, she met a man who challenged her beyond reason. He consumed her every thought and awakened a passion that she assumed was long dead. But Celia remained with her husband and persevered in a long marriage right until the end.

What a beautiful, well written story, that touches the heart in more ways than one. It talks about family, choices, friendship and what it takes to achieve happiness. This novel grips readers right from the start and doesn't let go until the very end. I found it captivating to read about a family and what they learn about their mother after she passes away.

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