Brown Bag Book Club: The Christie Affair
3 mins read

Brown Bag Book Club: The Christie Affair

The Brown Bag Book Club will meet in person at Parr Library on Thursday, February 23, at noon, to discuss The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont.

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

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In December 1926, Archibald Christie came home to tell Agatha, the successful author and his wife of twelve years, that he was divorcing her to marry his mistress.  He then promptly left their home for a country weekend.   Later, the devastated Agatha also left their home and disappeared for eleven days, launching an international manhunt.  This set of facts is the basis for the historical fiction novel, The Christie Affair.  The narrator, Nan O’Dea, the mistress and a woman with secrets, meets the wife, Agatha Christie, at a country spa where two murders occur.  The effort to solve the murders fleshes out the character of the two women.  Both have been scarred by the First World War; both are likable.  The wonder is that either of them would want Archie Christie who is portrayed as wimpish.  The unexpected twists and turns will keep you engaged until the whole story comes into final focus.  It’s an inventive story masterfully told, and the author does an excellent job of creatively embellishing factual events.

“The story unfolds in a series of carefully placed vignettes you may find yourself reading and rereading, partly to get the details straight, partly to fully savor the well-turned phrases and the dry humor, partly so the book won’t have to end. Devilishly clever, elegantly composed and structured—simply splendid.” – Kirkus

“Whether it is Chilton, Nan O’Dea, or Agatha Christie, De Gramont brings these personalities to sparkling life. Her novel is a fine work of fiction that has much to recommend it to lovers of detective stories with a social and gender twist, and to those who believe in second chances. Wearing its feminism lightly on its sleeve, The Christie Affair is a wonderful study of the terrible antagonisms, as well as the intimate ties, that exist between wives and mistresses, and how each group might turn the tables upon the other. Prepare to be surprised.” – Historical Novel Society

“De Gramont treats O’Dea’s story with sympathy and care, highlighting the bleak circumstances for both women in the historical period and teasing out the motivations for breaking up the Christies ’ marriage. This is an enjoyable reimagining of a scandal whose exact nature remains a puzzle a century later.” – Publisher’s Weekly

Nina de Gramont lives in coastal North Carolina with her husband, the writer David Gessner. She teaches at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is almost always in the company of her two dogs, Missy and Isabelle. She’s the author of the acclaimed Meet Me at the River, Every Little Thing in the World, Gossip of the Starlings, The Last September, as well as The Distance from Me to You, which has recently been optioned for a movie.

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