Author: Marie Benedict
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Jan. 17, 2023
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Sourcebooks Landmark
Book Rating: 8.5/10
From New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict—she’ll have to choose: her country or her sisters?
Between the World Wars, the six Mitford sisters dominate the English political, literary, and social scenes. Though they’ve weathered scandals before, the family falls into disarray when Diana divorces her husband to marry a fascist leader and Unity follows her sister’s lead, inciting rumors that she’s become Hitler’s own mistress.
Novelist Nancy Mitford is the only member of her family to keep in touch with Diana and Unity after their desertion, so it falls to her to act when her sisters become spies for the Nazi party.
Probing the torrid political climate of World War II and the ways that sensible people can be sucked into radical action, The Mitford Affair follows Nancy’s valiant efforts to end the war and the cost of placing loyalty to her country above loyalty to her family.
Engaging, informative, and colourful!
The Mitford Affair is a timely, intriguing tale set in England in the 1930s, pre-WWII, that takes you into the lives of the Mitford family, specifically three of the six sisters. Nancy, a novelist and the oldest of the siblings whose concern for the family’s political leanings she expresses through her writing and through information she secretly gathers and shares with her cousin Winston Churchill; Diana, a true beauty whose love for the fascist movement leads to the destruction of her marriage to the Guinness heir yet facilitates an ambivalent relationship with the founder of the British Union of Fascists, and perhaps even more controversial a friendship with the Führer of Germany; and Unity, one of the youngest of the sisters who through her all-consuming Nazi obsession becomes one of Hitler’s closest companions until war is declared and tragedy ultimately strikes.
The prose is smooth and precise. The characters are spirited, self-indulgent, and cultured. And the plot is an evocative tale of life, loss, love, self-discovery, passion, war, secrets, friendship, determination, betrayal, treachery, family, espionage, and manipulation.
Overall, The Mitford Affair is an alluring, insightful, compelling novel by Benedict that does a spectacular job of highlighting her incredible knowledge and research into these fascinating historical figures whose complex lives, relationships, and political alliances are often unknown, overlooked, or perhaps just long forgotten.
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Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.