by Larry: As the Psalmist wrote,”the human mind and heart are a mystery.” Marie Benedict, in her historical novel The Mitford Affair illustrates this by giving us the possible, and likely in my opinion, thoughts and words of the Mitford family. The author focuses on Diana, and Unity, the two sisters most involved in the fascist movement in Britain before and after WW II. The focus is also on Nancy who is involved in their actions as a concerned sister. Diana becomes infatuated with Oswald Mosley, leader of the movement in Britain. Unity becomes equally mesmerized by Hitler. Nancy reflects on the events in their lives and the effect upon the family and the country. With hesitance and ambivalence Nancy learns the effect it has on her as well, leading her to make difficult moral choices regarding loyalty. As a student of the history of Germany from 1918 to 1945 I was led to the fascist movement in Britain and Oswald Mosley. It was only after reading the letters of Nancy Mitford that I began to develop an interest in the contentious, dysfunctional, aristocratic Mitford family. The Mitfords were no exception to Tolstoy’s comment that all unhappy families are so in their own way. I found the words, thoughts and actions of all the Mitfords believable based on my limited knowledge of them through reading works of history, including Nancy’s letters. Yet, one never knows for sure because the human mind and heart are a mystery. My readings of the era left me with a limited and factual view of the Mitfords. The author of this novel, however, left me with the understanding that despite their questionable actions and beliefs, the Mitfords were human beings who made choices that led to sad and unfortunate situations for themselves and others. Before reading the novel I saw Nancy as an author of caustic wit, a socialite and just another member of an eccentric family. I finished the novel seeing Nancy in a more positive light. We never know with any certainty why humans make the choices they do or their reasons for them. The question of how one can be drawn into personality cults is a timely one in the 2020s. Politics is highly personal, leading one down roads sometimes and explainable and sometimes not. The novel is a good read, a page-turner and one I highly recommend.