Posted in Book review, Books, Reading Challenge, Willoughby Book Club

Book review: The Affair by Gill Paul

With everything that’s been happening with the corona virus situation in Finland and around the world, I felt like reading something light to have some momentary distance to the constant flow of grim news.

The libraries are unfortunately closed but since I still have the habit of buying books to forever growing to-read pile, there was still plenty to choose from and I chose the Affair by Gill Paul.

The Affair is a book that was sent to me by the Willoughby Book Club last year and now was the right time to read it. The Affair tells the fictional story behind the scenes of filming Elizabeth Taylor’s movie Cleopatra.

The Affair focuses on Diana Bailey, a woman who has a troubled marriage and is hired as a historical advisor to the set of Cleopatra, the famous movie filmed in the 1960s. While filming in Italy, Diana witnesses firsthand the fiery love affair of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and its effects on people around the movie stars. The famous love affair isn’t the only messy relationship in this story. Diana starts her own affair with an Italian man and that leads to many revelations about life, love and the consequences of passion. I won’t spoil what happens in the end, but the ending surprised me as it was left quite open.

The other less interesting story thread of the book was a journalist who was investigating the drug scene and mafia in Rome. The journalist’s story is loosely tied to the Cleopatra film set and main character Diana Bailey. I have to say that to me everything around this subject felt unnecessary and I wanted to skip ahead to read more about Elizabeth Taylor. 🙂

Overall the book was entertaining, if a little disappointing. When I was much younger (early teen years) and finally saw the movie Cleopatra, I was really excited and searched the library for anything to read about this mysterious, inspiring queen. So reading The Affair brought out some new details about the film that I was too young to know about (I wasn’t born when the film was made 🙂 ), e.g. the whole affair scandal between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. I enjoyed googling about the events of the book to know what was fact and what was fiction.

The Affair fills these prompts from the two Reading Challenges I’m doing this year:

A book that someone else chooses for you (Helmet Reading Challenge)
This book was sent to me by Willoughby Book Club. It’s a lovely service and I’m always happy to receive my monthly surprise book. ❤

The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed (Popsugar Reading Challenge)

Luckily I still have plenty of paper books to choose from at home 🙂

Stay home, stay safe and we will get through this together. ❤


I love books, games and the coziness of our house (currently it's the kingdom of me and my husband). My work in a game studio as a Senior HR Specialist keeps me busy and social, but I am an introvert in my core. Navigating life between my very social work and my introvert, less social personality can be tricky and it goes hand in hand with my interest in overall personal well-being.

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