2 reviews

Domestic Affairs
by Eileen Goudge

Published: 2009-06-02
Paperback : 448 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
From the New York Times bestselling author of Woman in Red comes an intimate story of friendship lost and regained, old loves rekindled, and a baptism by fire that ultimately leads to the redemption of three very special women.

It begins with a betrayal that tears apart childhood friends, ...

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Woman in Red comes an intimate story of friendship lost and regained, old loves rekindled, and a baptism by fire that ultimately leads to the redemption of three very special women.

It begins with a betrayal that tears apart childhood friends, Abigail and Lila, when Abigail’s mother, the housekeeper for Lila’s wealthy family, is summarily banished, casting Abigail from the only home she has ever known. Now, twenty-five years later, Abigail is a self-made successful cookbook author and TV personality. When Lila, who married well and for decades lived the glittering life of a Park Avenue socialite, suffers a tragic reversal of fortune, she seeks out the help of her childhood friend. Penniless and all but unemployable, Lila approaches Abigail about a job, and Abigail gives her one: as her housekeeper.

But revenge is not as sweet as Abigail had imagined. Lila’s reentry into Abigail’s life brings along some unexpected complications and questions: Will Abigail be reunited with her girlhood love, Lila’s twin brother, Vaughn? Will Concepción, the grief-stricken mother whose daughter perished in the fire that consumed Abigail’s factory, succeed in tracking Abigail down and confronting her about her daughter’s death? Will Lila ever find love in the wake of her husband’s suicide?

In this sweeping emotional tale, Abigail, Lila, and Concepción are thrown together and forced to unite in order to save one another...and themselves.

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Discussion Questions

Friendships are the foundations of our lives. Have you ever been betrayed by a best friend?  If so, how has it affected you?  Did the friendship survive? 

Abigail is like many women, in the sense that she feels she has to do it all.  How do you juggle work and family?  What are the challenges and how have you met them? 
DOMESTIC AFFAIRS is about the power of secrets to affect our lives.  Have you ever harbored a secret that changed the course of your life?  How might it had been different had you revealed the secret?

Suggested by Members

Go to Domesticaffairs.com to obtain some questions to jump start the discussion
by ChrisA (see profile) 09/22/10

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

At its core, this is a book about survival.  A friendship surviving betrayal.  Romantic love enduring in the face of time and distance.  A woman struggling to pick up the pieces after losing everything.  A mother surviving the loss of a child.   


What made you want to write this book?  What was the idea that sparked your imagination?  What I find intriguing is the whole notion of the flip side of life.  What would happen if you switched places with your best friend, with whom you’ve had a falling out?  In DOMESTIC AFFAIRS you have two strong women, Abigail and Lila.  Growing up, Lila was the daughter of the wealthy landowner who employed Abigail’s mother as a maid.   Flash forward twenty years: Lila is now down on her luck and Abigail a well-known TV personality who offers Lila a job as housekeeper on her estate.   What makes it so interesting is that it’s all tangled up with lies, secrets, and betrayals.  The result is a bubbling stew seasoned with romance, one worthy of domestic diva Abigail!     


What do you want readers to take away with them after reading the book?  The old saying you can choose your friends but not your family is one I think most people can relate to.  I’d like readers to think about how their lives might have been different without their friends.  Is blood thicker than water or do friendships sometimes count for more than family ties?

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Domestic Affairs"by Chris A. (see profile) 09/22/10

An easy read. Although I enjoyed the book it had too many story lines and too neatly tied up in the end. Yet had some thought-provoking themes which gives a club something to discuss in addition to writing... (read more)

  "Domestic Affairs"by Mary A. (see profile) 09/21/10

It was a predictable book in many ways but did provide for much discussion with the group regarding secrets, revenge and the effects they have on ones life. It was an easy read-great for the beach.

  "Domestic Affairs keep me engaged and entertained."by Liz C. (see profile) 10/12/08

  "well developed characters. A book about betrayal, sruvival , forgiveness. All the women in the book come out at the end as better people ."by Marie M. (see profile) 10/12/08

  "A compelling story of secrets, lies, betrayal and friendship."by Gail B. (see profile) 10/10/08

Our book club all really enjoyed this book. The highlight of our discussion was the call-in interview with the author, Eileen Goudge. She was charming and so easy to talk to. She welcomed all of our... (read more)

  "A story about love, greed, revenge, forgiveness, and friendship"by Lynda E. (see profile) 10/10/08

Wow! What a read. Don't pick this up thinking you will zip right through it and be done. Plan on spending time with each character because you may find a trait or two that will fit into y... (read more)

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