L’Affaire

Why pick up trashy novels, and what compels me to sometimes read them all the way to the end? At least this one by Diane Johnson doesn’t commit any egregious sins of writing besides moving the plot along the obvious arc. This was actually suggested by someone as a great take-me-away type book, and I admit to the guilty pleasure of reading it through a rainy day. Stereotypes abound. Rich American woman comes to France to work on self-improvement projects, discovers the cultured Europeans, falls in love with a married man. There is an undercurrent of suspense, an avalanche traps a couple, leading to them on life support, the man is transported back to England where he dies, avoiding certain legal constraints on his legacy. It’s all very hocus pocus and strapping healthy tan ski instructors and doddering old English poets and weepy daughters who didn’t know their biological fathers.