Catharine L. (Petoskey, MI)
Better Than a Beach Read
The novel is about two women recovering from the loss of a husband - one by death and one by betrayal.
Celia is a young widow who becomes the owner of a small apartment building, and her tenants are chosen because they respect privacy. The book is well written. Each chapter is a mini story within the novel. Both Celia and Hope are well developed as characters, but personally, I couldn't relate to their choices. I wanted them to move on. I did enjoy Celia's thought and opinions about her tenants and those who visited the apartment. It is a thoughtful book not one for those looking for a page turner.
Vicki R. (York, PA)
The Affairs of Others
"The Affairs of Others" by Amy Grace Loyd is a beautifully written book. The story quickly moves along and the suspense builds as we meet each new character. However as the tension mounts, I was somewhat disappointed by the sexual resolution to the main character's conflicts. Even as the "villain" returns, she contemplates having sex with him. Even though the language and imagery is very enjoyable I can only give the book an average rating.
Kathy S. (Danbury, CT)
While I can agree that this book is beautifully written in places, I did not connect with any of the main characters or care to know anything of their lives. Although the book description reads "… the sanctity of her building is shattered – through violence and sex …" I was not prepared for the underlying tension of sexual violence and overt sexual violence toward women that runs through the narrative. It seemed unnecessary to the story line (similar to throwing a sex scene into a movie to attract the young male audience) and eventually takes over whatever story the author had planned to tell about Celia forging new bonds with her tenants. In my mind sex does not equal intimacy, and Celia's increasingly sexual relationships with her tenants do not translate into true intimacy; she is still holding herself apart behind her walls. In the end, we really know nothing substantial about Celia or her tenants. I was very disappointed with the reality of this book versus the initial description and its promising potential.
Mary M. (Beverly Hills, FL)
This book is so beautifully written; I found myself, within the first two or three pages, going back and re-reading sentences just for the delight of them. I so wish I could write something like this: "But the day ran too high. It was radiant and boasting, making a parade of its assets and so required cheering bodies and attitudes".
Celia, the young widow of the story, has made a bargain of sorts with her dead husband, to join him in the world of death, to keep him with her - not literally - but she is, in her way, dead to the life and love around her. She owns a small apartment building in Brooklyn and rents to tenants carefully chosen to maintain her and their "separateness." Then she sublets to a dazzling woman, herself leaving a marriage. Celia is gradually drawn into this woman' life, and into those of her other tenants. And she is seduced by life. This sensuous, heartbreakingly sad and ultimately joyous book will seduce you too.
Eve A. (Henderson, NV)
The Affairs of Others
This is the first novel of Amy Grace Loyd. I found her voice unique. I can't compare her writing style to any other "popular" novelists. A widow buys a small apartment building in NY. She respects the privacy of her tenants and expects them to do them same for her. Slowly but surely she is drawn into their lives. The story moves along although I found it slow going at times. I did finish the book and I will be interested to see what she writes next.