Review: A Family Affair by Mary Campisi

a family affair


Title: A Family Affair
Author: Mary Campisi
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 351
Reviewer: Debby

When Christine Blacksworth’s larger-than-life father is killed on an icy road in Magdalena, New York, a hundred miles from the ‘getaway’ cabin he visited every month, she discovers a secret that threatens everything she’s always held to be true. Her father has another family which includes a mistress and a daughter. Determined to uncover the truth behind her father’s secret life, Christine heads to Magdalena, prepared to hate the people who have caused her to question everything she thought she knew about her father. But what she finds is a woman who understands her, a half sister who cherishes her, and a man who could love her if she’ll let him. The longer she’s around them, the more she questions which family is the real one. . .


What a pleasant surprise! My fellow Book Gossiper, Nicole, posted the free kindle edition of this book on our Facebook page and I just thought, why not, it’s free; I will give it a go! While I don’t often seek out the contemporary romance genre, after reading Mary Campisi’s A Family Affair, I am glad this book landed on my Kindle!

Campisi’s writing style is so accessible, reading her book is like hearing a dramatic story from a well-spoken friend. The story and characters grabbed me from the first page and for three days to and from work on the train, on my lunch breaks, and on the couch watching T.V., I could not tear my focus away from this captivatingly emotional tale.

The concept of the secret family is unfathomable, but through protagonist Christine’s eyes, the reader is introduced to the emotional ups and downs of trying to process such a shocking reality. The way Campisi’s uses her character’s point of view to engage the reader is commendable. With each switch of voice I could feel the character’s emotions as though they were my own and this intimacy with the characters is a big part of what made reading A Family Affair so enjoyable.

My favourite aspect of this book is the character of Lily, who shines a child’s innocent light on the dark deceits that form the basis of this story. Lily’s character is a fantastic catalyst in this story, moving the plot and bringing the characters together, all while wrenching emotion from the reader. There was something really magical in her character which made me laugh, cry, and see things from a simpler point of view.

The reader is truly taken on an emotional journey throughout this novel as we move from feelings of hate, confusion, disbelief and shock through to acceptance, forgiveness, and eventually love in relationships that shouldn’t have been formed in the first place. The plot is heavy with irony and learning from mistakes of the past, but not in a preachy kind of way. Campisi definitely takes our definitions of ‘family’ and turns them inside out and back again, ultimately leaving us with the impression that even the most unlikely people in our lives can touch our hearts and connect with our souls.

I was highlighting and making notes all through this novel, which was a pure joy to read. I will definitely be looking to add more of Mary Campisi’s novels to my wish list.

lips grey 4.5

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