Rome, 1961. As the cameras roll on the film set of Cleopatra, the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton love affair is about to capture the world’s attention.
When Diana Bailey arrives on set to begin work as a historical advisor, tensions are running high. The film is in financial crisis and a media storm is brewing over the Burton-Taylor relationship.
As Diana adjusts to her new life away from her troubled marriage, she strikes up a close friendship with Helen, a young make-up artist, and seeks solace in Ernesto, a charismatic member of the film crew. But Helen is harbouring a dark secret of her own, one that will affect Diana in more ways than she could ever imagine…
The cover of The Affair is stunning! The colours are beautiful and I could not stop staring at it. I’d never read a novel by Gill Paul before, so I didn’t have a clue what to expect, but I was very intrigued by the description on the back of the book. And after finishing the last page I honestly can’t wait to read more from her!
Set in the 1960′s in Rome, Cleopatra is being filmed and the love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is about to set the world alight and grab the attention of people worldwide. But behind the scenes, there are more to the ‘backstage crew’ than meets the eye. Diana Bailey is given a job on set as a historical advisor, and when she arrives tensions are high, not only is the film having financial problems, but the relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is causing a stir. Diana is adjusting to life away from her troubled marriage, and finds a friend in make-up artist Helen, as well as growing close to Ernesto. But Helen has a dark secret that she has been hiding, one that could affect Diana greatly if it is revealed…
I loved The Affair! I started it on a morning and I had finished the book in two sittings. I was gripped from the first page, swept up in this fantastic novel and I could not turn the pages fast enough, I was so keen and eager to read on to find out what would happen next.
The setting of the book was brilliant. I loved the setting of Rome in the 1960′s, Gill Paul brought the story to life for me and I felt as though I had been transported back in time to Italy. In my mind I could see the scenes clearly in front of me and hear the sounds of Rome around me, and it was wonderful! I spent many glorious hours lost in the story and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The filming aspect was fascinating! I’ve never actually seen the film Cleopatra, but whilst I was reading the film set jumped from the pages and seemed so realistic to me. The detail was excellent and created a lot of vivid scenes in my mind, and I was so drawn in I now want to watch the film! It was so interesting to read about what happens on film sets, and to learn about the daily workings of a film project.
I particularly liked that the main characters were the ‘backstage crew’, I was very keen to read about the jobs that the backstage crew have, and I enjoyed reading about their personal stories, as it reinforced to me that every single person has their own story, background and things that they are working through or issues they are facing, whether they are in the forefront as the main actresses or hidden behind the scenes with the other crew members.
I won’t spoil anything but Diana and Helen in particular are exceptional characters and they have some very gripping, enthralling and sometimes intense scenes. There are a few surprises and at times I wasn’t sure which way the story would go, which only fuelled my desire to read on further.
The Affair is a compelling story of love, passion, glamour and secrets, with famous actors and actresses and the stunning setting of Rome to sweep you off your feet. This is a novel that must not be missed, and is a firm favourite of mine! Wow.