The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

THE SWISS AFFAIR By Emylia Hall

The Swiss Affair by Emylia HallPublisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Release Date:  January 28, 2014
Pages:  384

About the Book:  From the highly acclaimed author of The Book of Summers comes a tale of love, lies and innocence lost.

For Hadley Dunn, life has been predictable and uneventful. But that is before she spends her second year of college abroad in Lausanne, a glamorous Swiss city on the shores of Lake Geneva. Lausanne is imbued with the boundless sense of freedom Hadley has been seeking, and it is here she meets Kristina, a beautiful but mysterious Danish girl. The two bond quickly, but as the first snows of winter arrive, tragedy strikes.

Driven by guilt and haunted by suspicion, Hadley resolves to find the truth about what really happened that night, and so begins a search that will consume her, the city she loves, and the lives of two very different men. Set against the backdrop of a uniquely captivating city, The Swiss Affair is an evocative portrayal of a journey of discovery and a compelling exploration of how our connections with people and with places, make us who we are.

Wanda's Thoughts --- The Swiss Affair is definitely geared to the young adult or college age readers. This is the story of Hadley Dunn, a young woman's coming of age, and her one year of self-discovery while she is abroad. I must say, I had my doubts that I was not going to enjoy this book. But, what a pleasant surprise! Emylia Hall has crafted a beautifully written novel with her descriptive writing. She certainly paints a picture with words - lush descriptions of the scenery in Lausanne - I felt like I was there. And she does a marvelous job getting into the hearts and minds of the characters. 

Hadley Dunn was going to be spending her second year of college abroad in Lausanne, Switzerland. French was to be the common language for a year. Lausanne, very elegant and stylish, appears to be a place of privilege. She was far from home, no one knew her, and she was feeling a sense of freedom. 

Hadley soon meets the very exotic Kristina Hartmann and they connect from the beginning. Kristina's whole being glowed with sophistication and Hadley was impressed with her, never knowing anyone like her. Kristina is involved in a secret relationship that she's not able to be completely honest about, but this makes her even more interesting in Hadley's eyes. 

Joel wilson is an American professor teaching American Literature, specialism - Hemingway. He is twice Hadley's age, but she finds herself attracted to him. Joel seems to be harboring some dark secrets and Hadley's life is about to change quickly. There are many Hemingway references made through Joel's character, which added interest and dimension to the storyline. 

Hugo Bezier, a favorite character, is an elderly writer who has lost his zeal for writing. Hadley often chooses Hugo's company over her friends and their friendship helps to renew Hugo's interest in writing. 

Hadley experiences first love, friendship, tragedy, and loss, and it changes her into a different person. She discovers that in Lausanne she has never been sadder, but also never been happier. And the story unfolds ---

I highly recommend this very poignant and coming of age novel for college readers. Superbly done! 5 stars.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin through NetGalley in exchange for and honest review.

About the Author:  Emylia Hall’s short fiction has appeared in a number of publications, and she was dubbed by Elle magazine (UK) as one of 2012’s three most anticipated debut novelists. She lives in the UK with her husband, who is also an author. The Book of Summers is Emylia’s first novel and is inspired by her childhood memories of vacations spent in rural Hungary.