This is the first book of Amanda's that I read and what a book it is!? Nina has been a single mother for so long but lately that has changed, meeting a wonderful man and marrying him something she never thought she would ever be doing. For Nina everything seems perfect, that was until her fifteen year old daughter, Scarlett gets pregnant. Suddenly, the whole family's lives are thrown into turmoil and Nina doesn't know who to trust and can't believe how much her life changed in a split second. Vicki is married to Scarlett's teacher, she is having a hard time what with looking after her baby and her mother who isn't very well. I didn't feel as connected to Vicki as much as I did Nina, although I do feel for the events that happen throughout the book which flips her whole world upside down.
The main part of the story is Scarlett's pregnancy and the affair that she has been having, you get hints about who it could be. Personally, I thought it was one person but once I got deeper into the book, I realised how wrong I was. It is shocking and unbelievable. The issue of Scarlett's pregnancy is one that is a very important subject, she is only fifteen years old. It tells of the issues surrounding teenage pregnancy really well, something that a lot of people will find interesting and important as it is happening more and more to young people.
The Affair takes you on a ride that will make you question everything you read. With its twists and turns, it is unpredictable and brilliant in the way that the story is told. My favourite character would have to be Nina, I love how protective and strong she is as a woman and mother. She is also willing to do anything to get to the truth, no matter what. Her determination and strength is so important to her character.
Unpredictable, Amazing and Unexpected.
23 Review Street
Q&A with Amanda Brooke
Hi Amanda, thank you so much for being on 23 Review Street today, I am so excited to ask you questions about your book and writing. Your new book ‘The Affair’ is an amazing read, I loved reading it. How did you come up with the plot?
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. The quick answer to your question is that I have no idea how I came up with the plot! Unlike some of my books where I can remember exactly where I was when I had that first flash of inspiration, The Affair was one of those stories that was an amalgamation of different ideas. To some degree, I drew upon the fears I’d harboured when my daughter was a teenager, but the plot itself evolved slowly over time. My initial synopsis bears no relation to the book I ended up with, and I’d originally focused on a character who didn’t even make it into the final story; a young teacher who walks out on her class and her career. I’m reluctant to say anymore because I think I would be giving too much away.
‘The Affair’ has a lot of different characters, do you have a favourite one to write about?
That is such a difficult question, it would be like choosing a favourite child. In The Affair, I write mostly from the perspective of Nina, who is Scarlett’s mum and Vikki who is the wife of Scarlett’s teacher, and I enjoyed writing both of their stories. I loved the ‘then and now,’ aspect of the novel where I could contrast their understanding of what was going on at the time, with what they were able to see with hindsight. I would also add that I really enjoyed writing in Scarlett’s voice. She’s the only character I write in the first person so she becomes more of a narrator who lets the reader in on some, if not all, of her secrets.
The story draws on some serious issues that happen in real life not just fiction that makes it all the more significant and interesting. Who do you think will find ‘The Affair’ the most relatable?
I’m hoping the book will appeal to a wide audience. Although the main focus of the story is the inappropriate relationship between an older man and an underage girl, I explore lots of other relationships too; husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, friendships. For me personally, I related most to Nina because of her relationship with Scarlett. My daughter is twenty one now and I’m so proud of the young woman she has become, but I worried all my way through her teenage years. I suppose I feel guilty putting Nina through one of those ‘worst nightmare,’ scenarios, and I’ll confess, I was crying buckets when I wrote her final scenes with Scarlett.
Who are your favourite authors/books to read?
If you browse my bookshelves, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a collection from a wide variety of readers. I love so many different genres but one of the first authors I fell in love with was Jane Austen… quickly followed by JRR Tolkien. Also included in my favourites list would be Dean Koontz, Terry Pratchett, Cecelia Ahern, Diane Chamberlain and Marian Keyes. I could go on…
Do you have any plans for future books at the moment?
I’m in the fortunate position of having amazing support from my publisher, HarperCollins who have tasked me with writing two books a year for the next few years. That’s a pretty challenging schedule so I always have at least one work in progress, although right now I’m juggling two books. The Truth is due out in the summer next year and is about a woman with a secret that she has buried so well that even she can’t admit to herself what really happened. The Obsession will follow in 2018 and tackles the issue of stalking.
If you had to sum up your writing style in three words, what would they be?
Heartfelt, intense, uplifting.
Thank you so much for answering my questions and being on my blog. I can’t wait to read what you write next!