Friday, 31 January 2014

Review: The Swiss Affair by Emylia Hall

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

Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Harlequin MIRA (first published September 12th 2013)  
Kristine's Thoughts:
* I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.*
I had mixed emotions when it came to this book. On one hand, I adored the setting and the description of Lausanne and felt that it was a story in itself. Reading how Hadley viewed the city and landscape was pure pleasure. On the other hand, the story that happens within the beautiful landscape fell a little bit short. I'm not sure if it was meant to be a love story, a mystery or a story of friendship.

The friendship between Hadley and Kristina felt a little one sided in my opinion and Hadley seemed almost creepily obsessed with Kristina even before tragedy struck. Initially I thought that this was going to be the "love" story because of how strange the friendship felt to me. When it became clear that it was not Kristina that Hadley desired but Joel I just couldn't feel the chemistry or emotion. To use a phrase from the book, I was "Switzerland" when it came to their relationship. Mix in a mysterious ex lover, an insightful old man (Hugo) and a hit and run and you have a story that is all over the map.

I didn't dislike the book but I didn't love it either. Hadley was a little annoying and naive and the story was totally predictable. In fact, I had the ending figured out very early on in the book. There are some beautiful moments, mostly in the descriptions of the setting and the interactions between Hadley and Hugo but the rest lacked the emotion that I desired.

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