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The Mitford Affair by Marie Benedict: A Book Review

The Mitford Affair
Author: Marie Benedict
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: January 17, 2023
Pages: 352
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict comes an explosive novel of history's most notorious sisters, one of whom will have to choose: her country or her family?

     Between the World Wars, the six Mitford sisters―each more beautiful, brilliant, and eccentric than the next―dominate the English political, literary, and social scenes. Though they've weathered scandals before, the family falls into disarray when Diana divorces her wealthy husband to marry a fascist leader and Unity follows her sister's lead all the way to Munich, inciting rumors that she's become Hitler's mistress.

     As the Nazis rise in power, novelist Nancy Mitford grows suspicious of her sisters' constant visits to Germany and the high-ranking fascist company they keep. When she overhears alarming conversations and uncovers disquieting documents, Nancy must make excruciating choices as Great Britain goes to war with Germany.

     Probing the torrid political climate in the lead-up to World War II and the ways that seemingly sensible people can be sucked into radical action, The Mitford Affair follows Nancy's valiant efforts to stop the Nazis from taking over Great Britain, and the complicated choices she must make between the personal and the political.

     My Review: The Mitford Affair tells the story of three sisters—Nancy, Diana, and Unity Mitford. Nancy watches in horror as her sisters, Diana and Unity, become enthralled with fascism. Diana divorces her husband to marry a fascist leader. Unity leaves England and moves to Germany to become a follower of Adolf Hitler. Nancy must make a devastating choice on whether to turn in her sisters for treason to the English government.

     Nancy was the only likable main character in this book. She is loyal to her country, but she also loves her family. It is because of her love for sisters that she hesitates to report Diana’s and Unity’s treasonous actions. I found her to be the most fascinating character. Thus, I wished that this book would solely focus on her instead of Diana and Unity. 

     Diana and Unity were repulsive characters. They were selfish and unsympathetic. I also hated how they drooled over fascist leaders, especially Adolf Hitler. Their devotion to Oswald Mosley and Adolf Hitler was very disgusting and made me uncomfortable. Thus, it would have been more enjoyable if Diana and Unity were not the main characters.

     Overall, this novel is about treason, loyalty, and sisterhood. I found all of the characters to be flat. Even though this was a short read, it was very disturbing. I did not like how two of the main characters were in love with fascism. The writing in this novel was very choppy and was not filled with vivid imagery. I did like how the author underwent exhaustive research for this novel. Still, The Mitford Affair was a disappointment. I recommend this novel if you are fans of the Mitford sisters. However, I advise you to skip this book and read Marie Benedict’s previous novels instead. Her previous works are more satisfying than The Mitford Affair.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

  Here is the official book trailer for The Mitford Affair:


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