cover image The Mitford Affair

The Mitford Affair

Marie Benedict. Sourcebooks Landmark, $27.99 (352) ISBN 978-1-72822-936-2

Benedict (Her Hidden Genius) delves into the Mitford family’s fatal attraction to fascism and Hitler in her captivating latest. Set in 1930s England before WWII, Diana, the middle child of six sisters and a brother, is a famous beauty who is married to Bryan Guinness, heir to the brewing fortune. Diana, 22, leaves Bryan for “fascist gadabout” Sir Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union of Fascists. Diane later teaches her children the Hitler salute, and her connections to elite Nazis keep Mosley’s BUF afloat until the political tide turns against them when WWII looms. Younger sister Unity, 18, hoping to help Great Britain prevent war with Germany, is a fierce Nazi sympathizer and antisemite, and her obsession with Hitler leads her to join his inner circle—a decision followed by dire consequences. When the oldest Mitford sister, 29-year-old novelist Nancy, grasps the precise nature of her sisters’ visits to Germany, she sleuths out Diana’s and Mosley’s treasonous scheme to start up a radio station for spreading Nazi propaganda, and outs them to her cousin Winston Churchill. This engaging tale of genteel spies shifts easily between the sisters’ perspectives and provides timely insight on British fascists and supporters of appeasement. Benedict’s silky-smooth page-turner is sure to please her fans. Agent: Laura Dail, Laura Dail Literary Agency. (Jan.)