Sunday 28 August 2016

Book Review - An Amsterdam Affair by Amanda Addison

Amazon UK
Title: An Amsterdam Affair
Author: Amanda Addison
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied review copy
Publisher: Peach Publishing
Publication Date: 6th July 2016
Rating: 3.5 Stars

An Amsterdam Affair follows Sam and her idealistic teenaged son, Matty. Phil, Sam’s husband, is unemployed because of a short-lived affair that cost him his job as a geologist. 

Sam finds solace in wild swimming and making art in her beach hut studio. Matty prepares for a college trip to Amsterdam but before he leaves, Sam gives him a book and asks him to look for someone in Amsterdam. 

Phil gets a temporary job and for the first time in a long while, Sam finds herself alone. She starts writing an art blog which attracts the attention of Theo, her Dutch-Indonesian ex-lover from a long forgotten relationship. Their online correspondence re-ignites their relationship and he wants to meet up with her once again. 

Matty meets the girl of his dreams, Alice, and both soon find themselves as detectives caught up in unravelling his family’s secret past. 

Meanwhile, Sam does not realise that her careless emailing has been read by Phil, who returns home early to confront her.

If you like art, then you will love An Amsterdam Affair. It has a very strong artistic theme, with Matty being in Amsterdam on a college trip for the subject, and them heading around Amsterdam to various galleries. And Matty's mother Sam is also artistic and spent a summer in Amsterdam herself in the mid 80s which she relives for us. 

The view point switches between Sam and Matty and its Matty's sections I preferred, as a teenager in Amsterdam is always going to be a fun viewpoint, especially when he's part of a group. Matty is an incredibly gifted child, but struggles to fit in, and had trouble in his earlier childhood. He does thankfully have a couple of friends on the trip with him, as well as a girl who has just joined the college, Alice, who seems to be on his wavelength. 

I loved the scene at customs involving Nikki and some dogs, where I guessed the reason behind the unusual behaviour far before the "adults" in charge of this trip. If it was my child on a college trip, I would have hoped for far more responsible people to have been running it. 

Matty had been given a quest as such, to try and achieve while in Amsterdam, thanks to Sam, and it helps to reveal the real reason she went there in the first place as a youngster. 

Sam in the meantime has had her old lover from those days get back i touch, and she starts to think about him a lot more. 

There are sections of the book that I thoroughly enjoyed, but other bits I just thought dragged on a bit, and where there could have been highly emotionally charged events, or anything with a bit more interest, they just seemed to be glossed over, which I found frustrating. 

An Amsterdam Affair is set between Amsterdam (of course) and Great Yarmouth, which gives off a great feel of both places to the reader. I liked this book but feel I would have loved it even more had I had a bit of knowledge of Dutch artists. 

Thank you to Amanda Addison for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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