By Nina de Gramont
Rating: 5/5 Stairs
Expected Publication: 1 February 2022
Which starts like this:
A long time ago in another country, I nearly killed a woman.
It’s a particular feeling, the urge to murder. First comes rage, larger than any you’ve ever imagined. It takes over your body so completely it’s like a devine force, grabbing hold of your will, your limbs, your psyche. It conveys a strength you never knew you possessed. Your hands, harmless until now, rise up to squeeze another person’s life away. There’s a joy to it. In retrospect it’s frightening, but I daresay in the moment it feels sweet, the way justice feels sweet.
Agatha Christie had a fascination with murder. But she was tenderhearted. She never wanted to kill anyone. Not for a moment. Not even me.The Christie Affair
I just finished listening to this beautifully written novel, which imagines the true story behind Agatha Christie’s disappearance for eleven days in 1926. I thought this would be about Agatha, but ultimately it’s not Agatha’s story at all. I loved that this story focuses on Nan O’Dea, a fictional version of the mistress of Archie Christie, Agatha’s first husband. The story is told through Nan’s perspective, weaving Nan’s present and past together to create a narrative that was difficult to put down. I don’t want to say much on the story itself and spoil anyone’s journey with this book – I loved the characters and the twists the story takes along the way.
As I read, I did stop a few times to look up articles about Agatha Christie’s disappearance. Ms. de Gramont did an excellent job fitting this story in with the facts known about the disappearance. While this story is fiction, it feels as though Nan’s account really could have happened.
The narrator (Lucy Scott) does a fantastic job bringing the story to life and immersing you in Nan’s world.
Highly, highly recommend The Christie Affair. It was just a beautiful, bittersweet read.
Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book and the audiobook. You can’t go wrong reading it in print or listening to the story.