Review of The Affair by Paula Hawkins
In her new book, “The Affair,” author Paula Hawkins gives us a vivid and richly drawn portrait of her heroine, Billie Eilish. The book is one that will appeal to anyone who has followed the twists and turns of this very popular drama. Here, we take a look at how Ms. Hawkins pulls off a truly remarkable feat in her portrayal of Billie Eilish.
The beginning of the book involves one of the most beautiful scenes that you will ever read about. We follow the subtle manipulations of the abusive, manipulative and cheating husband of Mrs. Briggs (Billie Eilish). He is a conniving man who is also manipulative and deceitful. He is also an abuser of his wife and a serial liar, but Ms. Hawkins portrays these two factors with such passion that it’s difficult not to be moved by the story.
From the first chapter, we are treated to some great character development. It seems as if Ms. Hawkins is telling us all of Billie’s secrets without ever revealing them. We learn about her marriage, her kids, her love life and her career. The way Ms. Hawkins is able to weave the various stories together is impressive and many of the revelations may shock you.
The second part of the book chronicles Billie Eilish’s relationship with her son in-law, Craig Jackson. They are living in Nantucket, one of the islands on the island. As a result of the lifestyle in Nantucket, this is a constant source of conflict between the husband and wife. The characters are brought to life very well and Ms. Hawkins also manages to provide ample facts about their lives.
The third section takes place after Craig Jackson’s arrival in Manhattan. She must adjust to a new life, find a job and get married to someone she wants to be with more than just the day-to-day chores. The tensions between these two are some of the best in the book.
The final chapter describes her new life as a mother of three. It’s a poignant story and I think I can safely say that I cried when I read about her pregnancy and her baby’s birth. The day-to-day life and what the mother must go through is as tough as it gets. The emotions are raw and powerful, but believable.
In addition to this, I really like how Ms. Hawkins has portrayed Billie Eilish’s troubled childhood. The flashbacks are truly heartbreaking and it’s a great chance for readers to see how this woman grew up from a small girl. I am very glad that Ms. Hawkins doesn’t leave this part out.
The writing is excellent and the pacing is just right, giving each chapter just the right amount of time to get the point across. The writing style is clear and entertaining and Ms. Hawkins’ descriptions of places and things are so realistic. Her love for the Nantucket Island is evident in the descriptions and is made even more apparent in her short, but vivid, descriptions of the cultural aspects of the island.