Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie


Did I miss something as to why this book received a Pulitzer Prize? I struggled through the book. I refused to give up on it because it was a book club read. One word to sum it up: B. O. R. I. N. G! Three quarters of the time I kept asking myself where this book was headed.

In summary the book is about two college professors who receive grants to do research in UK. One professor- Vinnie is in her mid-fifties while the other Fred is in his late twenties. Each of them gets involved in romantic affairs. Vinnie gets involved with an American named Chuck Mumpson while Fred has an affair with Rosemary, a famous British actress.

I absolutely had no feelings towards the characters. Vinnie the protagonist was not likeable. In the end however I liked her relationship with Chuck. I probably liked the relationship because of Chuck. Vinnie came off as someone who tried very hard to conceal her feelings from the outside.

Through the book I learnt that social status in the UK is viewed as very important. It determines how people will relate and in a sense define people.

The plot development was flat, with no sense of direction. Okay, Vinnie and arrives in London for her research, then what? I kept asking where the narrative was headed.

The book is also classified as a romantic book. What came out was relationships between the protagonists and the people they met abroad. I struggled to get the romance between Vinnie and Chuck, because most of the time when told that she was loved, she always discredited the person conveying the love to her. As for Fred and Rosemary, the relationship did not come off as romantic until the moment Fred wanted to leave the UK and Rosemary was against it.

Foreign Affairs to me was not believable especially because most of the times I found the characters not believable in their actions and in most instances were not having conversations with each other but within themselves.

2 thoughts on “Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie

  1. You should have shared your thoughts with the gems too 🙂 I felt the same way about the book although unlike you, I wasn’t able to read it up to the end. Great review.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: