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The Ashford Affair [Kindle Edition]

Lauren Willig
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.00 (38%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig comes The Ashford Affair, a page-turning novel about two women in different eras, and on different continents, who are connected by one deeply buried secret.

A New York Times best seller!

As a lawyer in a large Manhattan firm, just shy of making partner, Clementine Evans has finally achieved almost everything she’s been working towards—but now she’s not sure it’s enough. Her long hours have led to a broken engagement and, suddenly single at thirty-four, she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s ninety-ninth birthday, a relative lets slip hints about a long-buried family secret, leading Clemmie on a journey into the past that could change everything. . . .

Growing up at Ashford Park in the early twentieth century, Addie has never quite belonged. When her parents passed away, she was taken into the grand English house by her aristocratic aunt and uncle, and raised side-by-side with her beautiful and outgoing cousin, Bea. Though they are as different as night and day, Addie and Bea are closer than sisters, through relationships and challenges, and a war that changes the face of Europe irrevocably. But what happens when something finally comes along that can’t be shared? When the love of sisterhood is tested by a bond that’s even stronger?

From the inner circles of British society to the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the red-dirt hills of Kenya, the never-told secrets of a woman and a family unfurl.




Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Willig veers away from her Pink Carnation Regency spy series in this stand-alone offering, which follows Clementine Evans, an ambitious young lawyer who decides to dig into her family’s history after discovering she bears more than a passing resemblance to a cousin of her grandmother’s who she’s never heard of. Clemmie’s grandmother, Addie, and the cousin, Bea, grew up together in England in the early twentieth century after Addie’s parents died and Bea’s family took Addie in. Addie grew up in the glamorous Bea’s shadow, eventually losing Frederick, the man she loved, to Bea. In the present, Clemmie tries to reconcile this new information with what she knows about Addie’s long and happy marriage to Frederick. Clemmie feels especially betrayed by Jon, the handsome stepson of her mother’s sister, who clearly knows more than he’s letting on. Though it lacks the swashbuckling charm of her long-running series, Willig’s new outing takes readers from WWI-era London to Kenya of the 1920s to New York in the 1990s, offering plenty of twists and intrigue to keep them entertained. --Kristine Huntley

Review

The Ashford Affair is a reader’s treat, an artfully-woven saga that sweeps us into the lives of three generations of a family entangled in life-changing secrets. Lauren Willig spins a web of lust, power and loss, taking us from England to Kenya to New York, from World War I to today’s modern world, posing a timeless question: what in our own family stories might surprise or shock – or change our lives – if we had access to the whispers from the past?” – Kate Alcott, New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker

"There are few authors who make you want to take a day off from life to devour their latest book, but Lauren Willig is one of them. The Ashford Affair is absolutely impossible to put down!” –Michelle Moran, bestselling author of Madame Tussaud

"Rich with detail and historical imagination, The Ashford Affair evokes the lives and passions of the interwar era with harrowing precision. The enthralling mystery kept me up late into the night, and the characters will remain with me forever. Lauren Willig has delivered a stunning masterpiece." – Beatriz Williams, author of Overseas

“With The Ashford Affair, Lauren Willig crafts a lavishly detailed saga readers will devour.” – Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Enquiry

 

 

 

 

 

 


Product Details

  • File Size: 894 KB
  • Print Length: 367 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (April 9, 2013)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009HP01I0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,801 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glittering brilliance! April 8, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In a departure from her Napoleonic spy romances of the Pink Carnation Series, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig ventures into new territory with The Ashford Affair. Entwining one generation's story with that of another, from post-Edwardian British society to modern day Manhattan to a coffee farm in Kenya, the long veiled secrets of a woman are unraveled.

Clementine Evans, a focused, driven law associate on the cusp of making partner in a large Manhattan firm, attends her beloved grandmother Adeleine's 99th birthday and is accidentally enlightened to a family secret. At 34, Clemmie, feeling like her life is nothing but a 70-plus hour workweek, and a failed engagement, this intrigue becomes more than a distraction to the un-fulfilling, lonely details of her days.

"Clemmie slid the picture back into the drawer. There was another underneath it, a studio portrait of a woman, her head tilted. Her pale hair was crimped in stylized waves around her face and her pale eyes gazed soulfully into the distance. She looked, somehow, strangely familiar, her cheekbones, the shape of her lips, as if Clemmie had seen her somewhere before." p. 65.

But trying to get any information from her own tight-lipped mother proves difficult. And how is it that her ex-stepbrother knows more about the family histories than she does?

Adeleine Gillecote's parents die when she is almost six and she grows up as the mouse-brown ward of her aristocratic aunt and uncle at Ashford Park, a grand English country house. Though brought up with her cousins, Addie never overcomes the status of a poor relation.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just about right..... April 21, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Like most "alternating timeline/present-day woman investigates secret from the past/family saga with a couple of love stories thrown in for good measure" novels, I both very much enjoyed The Ashford Affair and found it fairly predictable and too neatly tied up at the end.

Unlike most alternating timeline novels, I enjoyed both lead characters - Addie from the early 20th century and Clemmie from the end of the 20th century. I never found myself racing through one's portion of the book to get to the other. The relationships between characters were well-developed - particularly the crucial centerpiece of the novel, the relationship between Addie and Bea. And while I thought the lead romantic interest in the early 20th century portion was underdeveloped, I did enjoy the nuanced portraits of the women and how Willig managed to show the impact their social circumstances had on the formation of their characters.

That said, Ashford doesn't have the sweeping, grand feel I was expecting from a novel billed as a Downton Abbey cast of characters meets Out of Africa. In fact, the parts that do take place in Kenya seemed to go by quite quickly and I never had a strong sense of place when the characters were in Africa. The late 20th century story tied up in a way that you can see coming from the very first chapter.

Oddly enough, none of these quibbles really distracted me from the pleasure of reading the book and I got through it in a matter of a few reading sessions. I think most readers will find a lot to enjoy as The Ashford Affair - it's the kind of guilty-pleasure, "no what you're in for" kind of read that can be a lot of fun.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Secrets and an Unforgettable Love Story April 9, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Clementime Evans puts in an appearance at her grandmother Addie's, ninety-ninth birthday. She's been working long hours expecting to make partner in a large Manhattan law firm, but the effort has taken it's toll. She's dealing with a broken engagement and other evidence that her life is falling apart. Seeing her grandmother reminds her of the extraordinary love affair between her grandparents, but even there she finds something disturbing when a guest alludes to a family secret. Clementine's curiosity is aroused, and she begins a quest to discover the secret.

The story is told in the alternating voices of Clementine and her grandmother Addie. Clementine's story takes place in the wealthy sector of Manhattan. Her grandmother's story ranges from WWI society in Britain to the plains of Kenya. The historical locales are realistic giving a glimpse of what Africa and Britain were like before the world wars.

The characters are sympathetic. You can't help wanting to hear their story, and what a story it is: an intense love affair, murder or suicide, and complex family dynamics. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a family saga combined with an unforgettable love story.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets Can Change Everything April 17, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Lauren Willig is a wonderful writer and although this was the first book I have read of hers I will definitely be looking into the others she has written.

Ms. Willig tells a true love story that goes back and forth from Kenya in 1926 up to New York in 2001 and it is done thru two main characters. Clementine Evans, a young ambitious dedicated lawyer who is trying to become partner and has just broken an engagement with her boyfriend and her ninety-nine year old grandmother, Addie.

When the book opens we are meeting the other members of the family who are attending Grandma's 99th birthday party which of cause, Clenmentine is late due to work related issues.

We learn about Addie when she was a child and the problems she had to live with once her parents died in an accident and she was taken to Ashford to live with relatives of her parents. The story goes back and forth from WWI in Britain and the sacrifices and changes that are taking place to her and other family member's. Then we are taken to Kenya where we learn more things that happened in Africa and secrets are revealed from the past.

After Clementine's beloved Grandmother, Addie has passed away she is suddenly shocked after the funeral when her aunt and other members of the family start revealing some shocking secrets from the past that will now change her family forever.

In the end love does win out and you cheer for the happy ending. I recommend this as a must read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good read, page turner but somewhat of a boring, anti climactic ending.
Published 8 days ago by Alicia Motland
3.0 out of 5 stars I cannot wait to see what will come from her next!
While I have read and even listened to many Willig books, this was a change from her previous novels, which are all part of a series, The Ashford Affair is a stand alone. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ashford Affair By Lauren Willig
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book after a slow start. I am sure most readers will enjoy the surprise ending. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Angeline
2.0 out of 5 stars the author's English accent makes for confusion to my poor American...
Haven't finished the book yet, listening to the audio version on CD. While well read, generally, the author's English accent makes for confusion to my poor American brain. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kathleen A. Niemer
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read
I love historical fictions and decided to try this when it was recommended by kindle. Glad I did! Very cool style slowly revealing more of the "mystery". Read more
Published 2 months ago by hilary
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mystery across family generations
I loved the mystery in this book, which spanned several time periods and generations. In 1999, Clementine Evans learns that she has a long-lost relative named Bea. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Dieterich
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex characters with an intriguing storyline.
Great story about interesting & complex characters that makes you want to see what's next or why something happened! Read more
Published 3 months ago by ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars A good English read...
Was entertaining and well written...a good summer read...
Published 3 months ago by Kathryne M. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars SLOW START TO A THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE PAGE TURNER
Although I was distracted from the story easily for the first quarter of this book , when things changed they really changed and the plot truly thickened in an old fashioned sense... Read more
Published 4 months ago by G. Curcio
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic story!
Ashford Park, written by Lauren Willig, reads in parallel, the fate of two women; Grandmother Addie and her granddaughter Clementine, 34 years. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nicole Laverdure
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More About the Author

Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen works of historical fiction. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association's annual list of the best genre fiction. After graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a PhD in English History at Harvard before leaving academia to acquire a JD at Harvard Law while authoring her "Pink Carnation" series of Napoleonic-set novels. She lives in New York City, where she now writes full time.

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