An Amsterdam Affair by Amanda Addison
Published on the 6th July 2016 by Peach Publishing
Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
How I got this book:
Contacted on Twitter by the author and consequently received a review copy from their publisher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
'An Amsterdam Affair follows Sam and her idealistic teenaged son, Matty. Phil, Sam’s husband, is unemployed because of a short-lived affair that cost him his job as a geologist. Sam finds solace in wild swimming and making art in her beach hut studio. Matty prepares for a college trip to Amsterdam but before he leaves, Sam gives him a book and asks him to look for someone in Amsterdam. Phil gets a temporary job and for the first time in a long while, Sam finds herself alone. She starts writing an art blog which attracts the attention of Theo, her Dutch-Indonesian ex-lover from a long forgotten relationship. Their online correspondence re-ignites their relationship and he wants to meet up with her once again. Matty meets the girl of his dreams, Alice, and both soon find themselves as detectives caught up in unravelling his family’s secret past. Meanwhile, Sam does not realise that her careless emailing has been read by Phil, who returns home early to confront her.'
I have good memories of my own Amsterdam visit, several years ago now, and appreciated being reminded of the city by Amanda Addison's detailed observations and descriptions. She obviously has a great love for this place which shines through her writing. An Amsterdam Affair is set in dual places - Amsterdam and Great Yarmouth - and in dual time periods - present day and 1980s - and I liked the circular feel to the tale with our leading characters undertaking similar life journeys, a generation apart and under very different circumstances. Addison also explores geographical connections, having her characters remark often on the proximity and comparable landscapes of the Netherlands and Norfolk, and I appreciated the realistic diversity of the characters.
It did take me about a third of the book to be entranced by An Amsterdam Affair. The pace remains gentle throughout and the underlying family mystery isn't highlighted until the later stages. I loved the various portrayals of characters confronting 'what might have been'. Art is the star of the story with frequent name dropping, some of which I recognised, and the emphasis on the visual reminded me of Tracy Farr's novel The Life And Loves Of Lena Gaunt which uses evocations of sound as a focus. My copy of An Amsterdam Affair was sadly let down by wrongly used and missing words that often distracted me from the atmosphere Addison creates, however I am assured that this is now rectified. Regardless it is still a lovely read with an uplifting depiction of family and the potential role of art in overcoming trauma.
Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Amanda Addison / Women's fiction / Books from England
see the others here)
I have a trio of my handmade bookmarks to giveaway simply for answering the following question on this blog post. How easy is that?!
Name another book set entirely or partly in Amsterdam?
(If you need a clue, I've already reviewed one here and another here!)
Comment your answer on this post before midnight (UK time) on the 31st of August to be in with a chance of winning. The bookmarks are all hand crocheted by myself and you can see a selection in the photograph above. The winner will be able to choose any three of the bookmarks listed in my Etsy shop.
The Giveaway is open worldwide. Answers must be commented by midnight (UK time) on the 31st of August and I will randomly pick a winner on the 1st of September. The winner will be notified by replying to their Comment so if you think you might miss this response please also include other contact info such as your blog URL, twitter name or FB page. If the winner does not respond within 7 days, they will forfeit the prize.
This giveaway is listed on:
|Beck Valley Books|