Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Affairs Of Others by Amy Grace Loyd

2.5 Star

Five years after her young husband’s death, Celia Cassill has moved from one Brooklyn neighborhood to another, but she has not moved on. The owner of a small apartment building, she has chosen her tenants for their ability to respect one another’s privacy. Celia believes in boundaries, solitude, that she has a right to her ghosts. She is determined to live a life at a remove from the chaos and competition of modern life. Everything changes with the arrival of a new tenant, Hope, a dazzling woman of a certain age on the run from her husband’s recent betrayal. When Hope begins a torrid and noisy affair, and another tenant mysteriously disappears, the carefully constructed walls of Celia’s world are tested and the sanctity of her building is shattered—through violence and sex, in turns tender and dark. Ultimately, Celia and her tenants are forced to abandon their separate spaces for a far more intimate one, leading to a surprising conclusion and the promise of genuine joy.

Sabrina-Kate - 2.5 Star

I really wanted to like The Affairs of Others. I thought the synopsis sounded interesting but the book lacked a clear direction in my opinion. While reading, I often felt a bit unsure as to where the story was headed even if I was reading something current or in the past of the main character. The story seemed to skip around a lot and I am not sure if it was intentional to demonstrate perhaps a confused state of mind. Either way, intentional or not, that just did not work well with me. I have a hard time trying to follow books that skip around a lot unless it is perfectly clear that it is being done by a note at the beginning of the chapter for example.

I did quite enjoy the author's incredible descriptions and use of language. The book almost felt a bit too intellectual for me at times due to the vocabulary, but that is something I enjoy as the challenge is stimulating. 

I felt like the characters could have been much more interesting as we seemed to just get a glimpse into their lives and not a very profound one at that. They all seemed intriguing in their own ways and I kept hoping that the author would delve further into their stories instead of only alluding to things. I know Loyd is a new author so I am hopeful that as she progresses in her career that her obvious talent will be honed into something even greater. 

Thank you to Macmillan for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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