The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

Today I pass the blog back over to Mandie who has a review of The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont. With thanks to the publisher for the review copy via Netgalley. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 20 January 2022
Publisher: Mantle

About the Book

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Only I know the truth of her disappearance.

I’m no Hercule Poirot.

I’m her husband’s mistress.

Agatha Christie’s world is one of glamorous society parties, country house weekends, and growing literary fame.

Nan O’Dea’s world is something very different. Her attempts to escape a tough London upbringing during the Great War led to a life in Ireland marred by a hidden tragedy.

After fighting her way back to England, she’s set her sights on Agatha. Because Agatha Christie has something Nan wants. And it’s not just her husband.

Despite their differences, the two women will become the most unlikely of allies. And during the mysterious eleven days that Agatha goes missing, they will unravel a dark secret that only Nan holds the key to . . .

My Thoughts

The Christie Affair is a fictional look at what happened when Agatha Christie went missing for several days as through the eyes of Nan O’Dea, a character based on Archie Christies mistress and eventual second wife. If you are looking to find out what really took place during that time then this is not for you however if you take it for what it is then you will find this to be a very enjoyable book indeed. It has been written in a style that gives the reader the feeling that at times Nan is either writing in a diary or writing a book recalling her memories which at times you had to wonder if her account of this time was more to justify her actions of pursuing a married man.

To begin with I found that I had little sympathy for Nan O’Dea but as the book progressed and you learned more about her past although I still not agree with her actions I could at least understand a little of what drove her, and her complete fascination with the Christie family. After her troubled start in life, she had managed to reinvent herself yet there were still unresolved things in her past that very few new about and that no one should have to endure. She had a respect for Agatha Christie, and you got the impression that if the circumstances had been slightly different they could have possibly been friends. 

Whilst this book is fiction it does highlight parts of history that are not very palatable and the repercussions of which are still talked about today. Nan’s story is not unique, and you can’t help but feel for all those that suffered a similar fate at the hands of churches and society that thought the best way to deal with a problem was to hide it away and pretend that it didn’t happen. 

The dual timelines in this book gave it depth and added to the backstories of the main characters, without which I think the story would not have made sense. Despite knowing that this is a complete work of fiction the way that actual events are woven into the story gives it the feel that what takes place could have happened however no one will ever truly know as that secret went with Mrs Christie.

About the Author

Nina de Gramont lives with her husband and daughter in coastal North Carolina, where she teaches Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her interest in writing about Agatha Christie began in 2015 when she first learned about the famous author’s eleven-day disappearance. Christie’s refusal to ever speak about this episode particularly intrigued Nina, who loves the fact that someone who unravelled mysteries for a living managed to keep her own intact. The Christie Affair is her fourth novel. 

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