Our Ninth #TsundokuSquad monthly book (September) was ‘The Christie Affair’ by Nine de Gramont. I was happy to be back this month as I missed out on August’s… As usual we split the book into parts and discussed as a group on Saturday evenings.
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 . . .
The Christie Affair is a stunning novel that reimagines the unexplained eleven-day disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926, which captivated the world.
As a group we were all pretty excited to pick up this book! After the first week we’re not entirely sure what to make of it so far as it feels a little like two separate books. Enjoying both aspects and interested to see where they go and how they (hopefully) link together.
We all think the family is brilliant and are expecting a high stakes and emotional five star read, so fingers crossed! It’s already such an eye-opener and provoking some really good discussions within the group – which is always good.
Our words for week 1 are as below and our ratings are currently split equally between a 4 and a 3 stars.
Our main questions this week are; How did the hotel deaths link to anything? How did Finbarr know where Nan was?What does the old lady whose body they found have to do with everything?
Most of the group were expecting a bit more Agatha. There are many loose threads and we’re feeling a little in the dark. Hoping it all starts to make a little more sense soon!
A few of us were googling fanatically to try and work out what was real or not, leaving us a little perplexed. Finding it hard to keep up with the characters and settings and the feeling of it being mis-sold as her disappearance starting to set in a little. Hoping we’re wrong and remaining optimistic, hoping part 3 will start to tie everything up really nicely and bring us some more about Agatha.
Mr Marston’s dead eyes popping back open was the highlight for this week!
Our words for this weeks part can be summed up below but in summary we are all hoping for a bit of a change in the next part. Current ratings have three of a 4, three on a 3 and one at 2.5 (me).
This week the shocked laughter came courtesy of Alby the dog, being sent on a suicide mission by the IRA!
There still isn’t enough Agatha for us and we are collectively agreed that it’s starting to feel a little disrespectful to Agatha’s memory.
The story is clearly different to what we expected and wanted. It’s easy enough to read but not really enjoying it. A couple of us are reading it just to finish it at this point, which is never what you want from a book.
We are all agreed that if this was a story (about Nan) with no link to real people we might actually be enjoying it more, which is interesting as Agatha is the main reason we picked it up as a group in the first place!
Our words for this week can be seen below and our ratings based on this week are down with more 2.5 and 3’s out of five!
Week 4/Last Week
Collectively, we were all disappointed by this book and it’s distinct lack of Agatha. Most of us felt the links to real life were tenuous and a little disrespectful to Agatha’s memory.
If it wasn’t sold as a story about Agatha and was potentially focused around Nan or three separate short stories we felt we could have enjoyed this a lot more… which is a shame really.
We felt that the author tried to write in Agatha’s style and didn’t really pull it off for us. We did wonder if we’d read more Agatha books if there were any links to them we had missed? So if you’ve read this and a lot of Agatha’s work, do let us know.
We didn’t necessarily think it was written badly, but just felt uncomfortable with the negative portrayals and links to real people.
I personally found the timeline very confusing and I lost interest after week 2 and skimmed my way to the end, which is a real shame.
Our words for this week and the book overall are as below. Ratings wise we had two people at 2/5, one at 2.5/3, one at 3/5 and the rest at 3.5/5.
Our overall group rating: 3/5
My individual rating: 2/5
You may love this book, you may hate this book – the only way to find out is to read it (if you want!).
…our October book is ‘The Whistling’, we hope you check in to see what we think of it.